Biden tapping 2 to step in for ousted science adviser

Darlene Superville
Associated Press

Washington – President Joe Biden is replacing a top science adviser who resigned under a cloud with two individuals who will split his duties on an interim basis.

Biden is tapping a deputy in the White House science and technology office along with the recently retired director of the National Institutes of Health, according to a personal familiar with the president’s plans.

President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for deputy director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy Alondra Nelson, left, and NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins.

Biden was expected to elevate Alondra Nelson, currently the deputy director for science and society in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, to become the temporary director of the office.

Biden was also expected to name Francis Collins, who retired in December from his job as longtime director of the NIH, to be the president’s top science adviser, according to the person, who requested anonymity to discuss the plans before a formal announcement, likely this week.

Eric Lander, who had served in the dual roles of Biden’s chief science adviser and head of the science and technology office, resigned last week after the White House confirmed that an internal investigation had found credible evidence that he mistreated staff.

Lander was the first Cabinet-level departure of the Biden administration.