Yale’s Handelsman nominated for key U.S. science post

Jo Handelsman, professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology at Yale University, has been nominated to serve as associate director for science at the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the White House announced July 31.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Handelsman will help advise President Barack Obama on the impact of science on both international and domestic affairs.

As a scientist, Handelsman is an expert on microbial communities.  As a Howard Hughes Institute professor, she built a national reputation as a leading innovator in science education and is a passionate promoter of opportunities in science for women and other underrepresented groups.

“This is an enormous opportunity that I felt I just could not pass up,” she said.

"Yale University takes great pride in the long history of public service of its faculty, and in that tradition we congratulate Jo Handelsman on her nomination by President Barack Obama to serve as associate director for science at the Office of Science and Technology Policy," said President Peter Salovey. "If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Jo will help advise the president on science and science education. Jo is a world expert on microbial biology. She is passionate about improving science education and spurring increased opportunities for women and minorities in the sciences. We feel fortunate that she is a distinguished member of the Yale faculty, and we know she will bring considerable energy, enthusiasm, and dedication to her new position."

Her contributions at Yale have been enormous, said Steven Girvin, deputy provost for science & technology.

“In addition to being a superb biologist, Jo Handelsman is nationally recognized as an exceptional mentor of young scientists and an effective champion for increasing diversity in the scientific work force,” Girvin said. “Her energetic devotion to improving science education is of critical importance to the nation.”

Announcement from the White House