Interim NSF Director Announced

Current NSF Deputy Director Cora Marrett will take over as acting director of the agency at the end of next week when Subra Suresh steps down.

By | March 13, 2013

Cora Marrett NSF, SAM KITTNER/KITTNER.COMUntil the Senate confirms who will become the next National Science Foundation (NSF) director, current Deputy Director and sociologist Cora Marrett will play the part, current Director Subra Suresh announced on Friday (March 8). She has been in this position before—taking over as temporary leader of the agency after former NSF Director Arden Bement left in May 2010 until Suresh came that October—and she has been with the agency since the 1990s, when she ran NSF’s social and behavioral sciences directorate. She has also run the agency’s education programs, and has served as the deputy director since January 2009. Given her impressive resume, some former directors think Marrett is ready to take the reins, ScienceInsider reported.

“[She’s] smart, dependable, and organized,” Neal Lane, a physicist and former NSF director, told ScienceInsider. “I'm very high on her.”

“They couldn't do any better than to nominate Cora,” added engineer John Slaughter, who led NSF in the early 1980s. “She's helped to define the agency's programs in several areas, and her background and approach to management are extremely important to the foundation.”

Current director Suresh will officially step down from his post after just 2.5 years at the end of next week (March 22) to become the president of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

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