Trump science-adviser pick breezes through Senate committee vote

Meteorologist Kelvin Droegemeier awaits final vote on his nomination to lead White House science office.

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Kelvin Droegemeier, seated, talks into a microphone whilst holding notes at the Russell Senate Bldng, Washington

Kelvin Droegemeier is a meteorologist who studies extreme weather.Credit: Bill Ingalls/NASA

Meteorologist Kelvin Droegemeier is one step closer to becoming director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and science adviser to President Donald Trump.

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation voted unanimously on 5 September to approve Droegemeier. The scientist, whom Trump nominated on 31 July, now faces one last hurdle: a vote by the full Senate, which is expected to take place later this month.

Droegemeier, an expert on extreme-weather events, recently stepped down as vice-president for research at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. He was a member of the National Science Board, which oversees the National Science Foundation, during the administrations of former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

If confirmed, Droegemeier would be the first non-physicist to serve as White House science adviser since Congress established the OSTP in 1976.

The Senate panel’s leading Democrat, Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, said that lawmakers had received dozens of endorsements for Droegemeier. “I think it’s safe to say that the research community is eager for this committee to quickly confirm the nominee.”

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