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New Mexico State University System Chancellor Dan Arvizu has been named to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). The group advises President Joe Biden on matters involving science, technology, education and innovation policy. The announcement was made Sept. 22 by the White House.
“From Covid-19 to cyber security to clean energy and other topics, science and technology are at the core of so many issues facing the U.S. at this time,” Arvizu said. “I’m humbled and honored that I can serve our country by providing my expertise. Importantly, I want to ensure we expand a non-partisan approach to understanding public policy and the ramifications those policies have for the people of New Mexico.”
A direct descendent of the scientific advisory committee established by President Eisenhower in 1957 in the weeks after the launch of Sputnik, PCAST is the sole body of external advisers charged with making science, technology and innovation policy recommendations to the president and the White House.
Arvizu, a native of Alamogordo, has a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from NMSU and a master of science and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. He has decades of experience in advanced energy research and development and is an expert in energy materials, process sciences and technology commercialization. His focus is on harnessing education, research and outreach initiatives to foster economic development and social mobility.
“Membership in the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology is a tremendous honor,” said U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. “This appointment is a well-deserved recognition of Chancellor Arvizu’s distinguished background, and I know his expertise will be important in helping to guide some of our nation’s most important policy decisions.”
“Chancellor Arvizu will bring a strong perspective to the President’s Council as the Biden administration works to bolster America’s competitiveness in science, technology, education, and innovation,” said U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M.
“The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology includes our nation’s top minds in science, technology, education, and innovation,” said U.S. Rep. Yvette Herrell, R-N.M. “I know Chancellor Arvizu’s expertise will be important in helping to guide some of our nation’s most important policy debates. Today’s announcement is a proud moment for Alamogordo and all New Mexico.”
Arvizu is also a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and a member of that academy’s Division of Engineering and Physical Sciences Board. He served as director and chief executive of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory during the Obama administration, in which role he was the first Hispanic to lead a U.S. DOE national laboratory. Additionally, he served two six-year terms, the last four years as chair, on the National Science Board, the governing body of the National Science Foundation, and he is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Public Administration.