WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Monday, February 27, 2006, the White House announced that President Bush has appointed fourteen new members to his Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), bringing the total PCAST membership to 38. These appointments follow the President’s September 29, 2005 amendment to PCAST’s Executive Order to increase its membership and to designate PCAST to serve as the President’s information technology advisory panel.

As a result of that designation, PCAST now fulfills a statutory duty to provide the President with an independent assessment of progress made in implementing the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program and to determine whether the research and development undertaken within the NITRD Program is helping to maintain U.S. leadership in information technologies and their applications. The President had earlier designated PCAST to perform a similar statutory advisory role with respect to the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), and PCAST issued its first nanotechnology assessment in May 2005. (http://www.nano.gov/html/res/FINAL_PCAST_NANO_REPORT.pdf)

Dr. John Marburger III, Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the President’s Science Advisor, stated: “These appointments position PCAST well to consider a full range of science and technology issues confronting the Nation today, including providing advice on networking and information technology R&D. The President’s announcement in his State of the Union Address of the American Competitiveness Initiative has increased the focus on research and innovation. Prior PCAST reports were instrumental in setting the stage for ACI. These appointments will enable this PCAST to play a key role in helping to implement the initiative. The PCAST is a highly respected voice within the Administration, and these appointments will enhance its effectiveness.” Dr. Marburger serves as PCAST’s Co-Chair.

PCAST Co-Chair, Floyd Kvamme, a Partner at the high technology venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, expressed excitement at the addition of the new members. “I look forward to working with these outstanding representatives of U.S. industry and academia to provide the best possible advice to the President on science and technology issues. The PCAST has a very broad portfolio and a heavy workload, and the additional expertise in information technology and other S&T matters is extremely welcome.”

Dr. Simon Szykman, Director of the National Coordination Office for NITRD, and Dr. Clayton Teague, Director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office, echoed the sentiments of both Kvamme and Marburger. Dr. Szykman added, “I look forward to working with the expanded PCAST during its assessment of the Federal government’s sizeable interagency information technology R&D portfolio.”