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New Offices and Leadership across NASA, NIH, Pentagon and State

Recent appointments show growing priorities around emerging technologies and maintaining a national strategic edge.

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New Offices and Leadership across NASA, NIH, Pentagon and State
NASA astronauts Jessica Watkins and Bob Hines work on the XROOTS space botany investigation. Photo Credit: NASA

The federal government has seen some notable developments over the past two months.

NASA named a new agency-wide chief technologist leading technology innovation. A.C. Charania replaces Bhavya Lal, who was serving in an acting role. Based in the agency’s new Office for Technology, Policy, and Strategy, Charania will work to ensure NASA continues to be a leader in innovation.

The new office follows a Biden administration priority to provide data- and evidence-driven technology, policy and strategy advice to NASA leadership and advance the nation’s space strategy.

“I now look forward to the opportunity to work with the entire community to increase the rate of space and aviation progress,” said Charania, according to a NASA press release.

The National Institutes of Health’s Center for Information Technology recently saw leadership departures after Director and CIO Andrea Norris announced her retirement and Deputy Director Stacie Alboum moved on to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Currently serving as acting director is Ivor D’Souza, the National Library of Medicine’s previous CIO and IT director. Moving forward, CIT’s director and CIO roles will be separate, the agency said.

The Department of State launched a new office with a purpose of creating foreign policy around new technology. The Office of the Special Envoy for Critical and Emerging Technology will be led by Deputy Envoy Seth Center.

The Pentagon also announced a new office that will help defense technology startups make it through the tedious development stages and onto production. The Strategic Capital Office (OSC) will work to give these companies access to much-needed funds, allowing them to produce technology faster. With the help of agencies such as the Small Business Administration, the OSC hopes to secure investments for valuable startups in the near future.

Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Heidi Shyu will build up this office. She is working on assembling a team of roughly 20 individuals initially, according to a Pentagon press release.

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