President Obama names SNRE Dean Bierbaum to PCAST, the national science advisory council

4/27/2009
Bierbaum PCAST
Members of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) were recently announced during the annual National Academy of Sciences meeting. Among those present were (from left): SNRE Dean Rosina M. Bierbaum; William Press, professor of computer sciences at the University of Texas at Austin; John Holdren, co-chair of PCAST and director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President and assistant to the president for Science and Technology; Christine Cassel, president and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine; Chad Mirkin, professor of materials science and engineering, chemistry, and medicine at Northwestern University; and President Obama.

President Obama today named Rosina M. Bierbaum, dean of the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment, to the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).

PCAST consists of 20 of the nation's leading scientists and engineers. They advise the President and Vice President directly to help the administration formulate policy in the many areas where understanding of science, technology and innovation is key to forming responsible and effective policy.

President Obama made the announcement in a speech to the National Academies. He called the newly-named advisors a stellar team of experts who will help advance his agenda to reinvigorate the economy. (Read White House news release ...)

"I am honored to serve on the Council and contribute to its deliberations on behalf of the nation," said Dean Bierbaum, who came to the University of Michigan in October 2001 to lead SNRE. (Read bio of Dean Bierbaum)

Dean Bierbaum is currently on a yearlong sabbatical to direct the prestigious World Development Report, the World Bank's annual synthesis of a key topic, with advice for the next decade.í‚   For the first time, this report will focus on Climate Change and Development, helping nations think about how sustainability, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, and development can be achieved simultaneously.

President Obama's PCAST includes three Nobel laureates, two university presidents, four MacArthur Prize Fellows and 14 individuals who are elected members of one or more of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine and American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dean Bierbaum has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science as well as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

PCAST will be co-chaired by John Holdren (Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy); Eric Lander (Director of the Broad Institute and one of the principal leaders of the Human Genome Project); and Harold Varmus (President and Chief Executive Officer of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and former head of the National Institutes of Health and a Nobel laureate).

Members of PCAST other than Holdren are not regular employees of the government. They are Presidential appointees and are not compensated for their service. Their two-year appointments are renewable and effective immediately.

Today's announcement marks the third time the Obama administration has called upon Dean Bierbaum to help advance and define aspects of its science agenda.

Dean Bierbaum, who spent 20 years in public service at the federal level, was named by the Obama Transition Office last fall to serve on its Agency Review Team for OSTP. The team provided direction on a range of issues, including the restoration of science integrity and how best to achieve that goal. Dean Bierbaum served as the Senate-confirmed Director for Environment at OSTP during the Clinton Administration and as Acting Director of the agency into the first months of the Bush administration.

Earlier this spring, Dean Bierbaum was selected as a science role model to young women and invited to attend the signing ceremony for the creation of the White House Council on Women and Girls.

Since her arrival at SNRE, Dean Bierbaum has overseen the creation of a new undergraduate Program in the Environment; enhanced interdisciplinary teaching and research by successfully recruiting 13 new faculty, eight of whom hold joint appointments in other colleges at the University of Michigan; developed a new master of science track to link business, engineering and natural resources; tripled research activity; and expanded the mission of the school to include global change.

About the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology
On Sept. 30, 2001, President Bush signed Executive Order 13226 to form the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). PCAST was originally established by President George Bush in 1990 to enable the President to receive advice from the private sector and academic community on technology, scientific research priorities and math and science education.
http://www.ostp.gov/cs/pcast

About the School of Natural Resources and Environment:
The School of Natural Resources and Environment's overarching objective is to contribute to the protection of the earth's resources and the achievement of a sustainable society. Through research, teaching and outreach, faculty, staff and students are devoted to generating knowledge and developing policies, techniques and skills to help practitioners manage and conserve natural and environmental resources to meet the full range of human needs on a sustainable basis.
http://www.snre.umich.edu/

Kevin Merrill<br />SNRE<br />734.417.7392<br />merrilk@umich.edu