Today the United States Senate unanimously confirmed Dr. Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan as the next Director of the National Science Foundation. Nominated in December by the President to succeed France Córdova, Dr. Panchanathan’s nomination was possibly delayed by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing social distancing disruptions to Congress’ operations. However, his nomination sailed through the Senate HELP Committee on June 3rd and quickly moved to the full Senate for today’s vote.
“Panch” is well-known and well-respected in the computing research community. He now joins Erich Bloch as only the second Director in NSF’s history hailing from the computing community. Joining Margaret Martonosi, the new (as of February 1st) head of NSF’s Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate, the computing research community is now well-represented in an agency important to the field, as NSF supports approximately 85 percent of all fundamental computing research performed at U.S. universities (nearly $1.4 billion annually).
CRA is excited about Dr. Panchanathan’s leadership at NSF and we look forward to working with him and his team to advance the nation’s computing and information technology research.