On April 27, during remarks at the National Academy of Sciences, President Barack Obama announced the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). Among the newly appointed members was CCST Senior Fellow Maxine Savitz, retired general manager of Technology Partnerships at Honeywell Inc. and Vice President of the National Academy of Engineering.
“This council represents leaders from many scientific disciplines who will bring a diversity of experience and views,” President Obama said. “I will charge PCAST with advising me about national strategies to nurture and sustain a culture of scientific innovation.”
PCAST is an advisory group of the nation’s leading scientists and engineers who advise the President and Vice President and formulate policy in the many areas where understanding of science, technology, and innovation is key.
Savitz has more than 30 years of experience managing research, development and implementation programs for the public and private sectors, including in the aerospace, transportation, and industrial sectors. From 1979 to 1983 she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Conservation in the US Department of Energy. She has been actively participated in a number of CCST projects in recent years, including the research task force for Shaping the Future: California’s Response to “Rising Above the Gathering Storm” and the CCST reviews of the Public Interest Energy Research program.
Two other prominent members of the California science and technology community were appointed along with Savitz: Nobel laureate Mario Molina, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego and the Center for Atmospheric Sciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, as well as Director of the Mario Molina Center for Energy and Environment in Mexico City, and Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO of Google Inc.
“This PCAST is a group of exceptional caliber as well as diversity, covering a wide range of expertise and backgrounds,” said Dr. John Holdren, Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. and PCAST co-chair. “The President and I expect to make major use of this extraordinary group as we work to strengthen our country’s capabilities in science and technology and bring them more effectively to bear on the national challenges we face.”