Dr. Alondra Nelson is performing the duties of the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The first social scientist and woman of color to hold the role, Nelson leads OSTP’s six policy teams in their work to advance critical Biden-Harris Administration priorities in science and technology. That work includes game-changing clean energy innovation; a people’s Bill of Rights for an Automated Society; a national strategy for STEM equity; appointment of the nation’s Chief Technology Officer; a transformative, life-saving Community Connected Health initiative; a National Nature Assessment to place value on our environmental resources in the face of the climate crisis; the Cancer Moonshot; pandemic preparedness; and programs to ensure the U.S. remains a magnet for the world’s top innovators and scientists.
Dr. Nelson, a Deputy Assistant to the President, has also served since Day 1 of the Biden-Harris Administration as Deputy Director of the newly-created OSTP Science and Society team. She has played a key role in overseeing the implementation of the President’s early directives on Restoring Trust in Government Through Scientific Integrity and Evidence-Based Policymaking and working with the White House Domestic Policy Council on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.
A renowned scholar of science, technology, medicine, and social inequality, Nelson has served since 2019 as the Harold F. Linder Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey and was previously Dean of Social Science at Columbia University. From 2014 to 2017, she led the Social Science Research Council as the international research organization’s president and CEO, directing historic efforts to apply the insights of social science to the work of making technology development more equitable.
Nelson is the author of numerous books and articles. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.