S President Obama's top science official and Padma Shri awardee Dr Subra Suresh has resigned from his current position of Director of the National Science Foundation to join as the president of the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University ( CMU).
As Director of National Science Foundation(NSF) since 2010, Suresh was responsible for driving scientific research of the country. With an annual budget of USD 7 billion, the independent federal science agency is charged with advancing all fields of fundamental science and engineering research and related education.
"Subra has shown himself to be a consummate scientist and engineer - beholden to evidence and committed to upholding the highest scientific standards. He has also done his part to make sure the American people benefit from advances in technology, and opened up more opportunities for women, minorities, and other underrepresented groups," Obama said accepting his resignation.
"We have been very fortunate to have Subra Suresh guiding the National Science Foundation for the last two years," said the US President in a statement. "I am grateful for his service," he added.
In a note to his staff, Suresh said that he would step down from his current role at NSF at the end of March to accept an appointment as Carnegie Mellon University's ninth president from July 1. "It has been my extraordinary honour to lead the National Science Foundation, which is blessed with a marvellous cohort of highly talented and devoted staff, as well as hundreds of thousands of innovative grantees and investigators from every field of science and engineering. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the country in this capacity," Suresh said in his note.
John Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy thanked Suresh for his outstanding service as Director of the National Science Foundation.
"Subra has made critical contributions to a broad range of science and technology priorities, including expanding federal investments in fundamental research, accelerating the commercialisation of university research, and strengthening our scientific collaborations with partners around the world. "He also leaves a crucially important legacy of having expanded NSF's family-friendly policies, which make it easier for young scientists to balance the challenges of furthering their careers while raising a family," he said.
As NSF head, Suresh became a champion for interdisciplinary research and international collaborations. Daniel Arvizu, National Science Board (NSB) Chairman praised him for this. "His accomplishments are many, but noteworthy are his unprecedented engagement and collaboration with the international community and his interest to ensure that NSF-sponsored science results find their way more quickly into the marketplace," he said.
Suresh will become the ninth president in CMU's 113-year history. He will succeed Dr Jared L Cohon, who is stepping down from the position after 16 years.
"Suresh possesses the strategic vision, international expertise and commitment to technology research and education that will continue to build CMU's reputation as a world leader in higher education" said Ray Lane, partner at Kleiner Perkins, chairman of Hewlett-Packard and chairman of Carnegie Mellon's Board of Trustees.
"Amongst hundreds of candidates, Suresh stood out as uniquely qualified to lead Carnegie Mellon -- an institution internationally known for education and research in computer science, engineering, the arts and business. He also recognises Carnegie Mellon's interdisciplinary capabilities -- including its work in science, public policy, humanities and social sciences -- to research and solve the world's most complex problems," Lane added.