New Mexico State University (NMSU) System Chancellor Dan Arvizu has been named to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, better known as PCAST.
The group advises President Joe Biden on matters involving science, technology, education and innovation policy. The announcement was made this morning 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 advisors charged with making science, technology, and innovation policy recommendations to the president and the White House.
PCAST provides the president with scientific and technical information needed to inform public policy. Members include distinguished individuals from sectors outside of the federal government with diverse perspectives and expertise in science, technology, education and innovation.
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. “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. From one engineer to another, I send him my heartfelt congratulations.”
“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. “I congratulate Chancellor Arvizu on this well-earned appointment, and I look forward to working together to support innovation and new opportunities across New Mexico.”
“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. “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-Biden 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.
Additional information about PCAST and its members can be found here.
Arvizu became Chancellor and the 28th Chief Executive of the New Mexico State University System (NMSU) on June 1, 2018.