- In a Tuesday press release, the White House announced it would relaunch the council of science and technology advisors to the president.
- The council has not existed since Trump took office in 2017.
- Like President Obama’s selections, this council has few tech executives, but it does not have any tech industry CEOs.
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The Trump administration announced on Tuesday that it is relaunching the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) by Executive Order.
The purpose of PCAST is to “provide policy recommendations on strengthening American leadership in science and technology, building the workforce of the future, and supporting foundational research and development across the country,” according to a White House press release.
The council has been inactive since President Trump took office 3 years ago, Nextgov reported. The Trump administration has a history of dissolving councils. In 2017, following the white nationalist marches and attack in Charlottesville, Virginia, several CEOs resigned from 2 of Trump’s economic advisory councils. In response, he eliminated both.
Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2017
Trump’s newly announced council has 2 tech executives, and a mix of people from the private sector and academia, which isn’t unusual by itself. President Obama’s council was also made up mostly of academics, though the Obama council also included some high profile tech figures, including Google’s then-CEO Eric Schmidt and Microsoft Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie. The sole CEO on Trump’s science and tech council is H. Fisk Johnson, the head of SC Johnson and Son Inc, the privately held company that makes Raid and Drano.
President Obama also named his council much sooner after his election, in April of 2009. It’s not clear why Trump’s council is being announced three years into his term.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
Here are the 7 members appointed by Trump:
- Catherine Bessant, Chief Technology Officer, Bank of America
- Dr. H. Fisk Johnson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.
- Dr. Dario Gil, Director of Research, IBM Research
- Dr. Sharon Hrynkow, Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs, Cyclo Therapeutics
- Dr. A.N. Sreeram, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Dow Chemical
- Shane Wall, Chief Technology Officer and Global Head of HP Labs, HP Inc.
- Dr. K. Birgitta Whaley, Director of Quantum Information and Computation Center, University of California, Berkeley