Nelson Joining the Biden-Harris Administration as First Deputy Director for Science and Society in the White House Office of Science and Technology

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK - The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) today announced that President Alondra Nelson, who has led the SSRC since 2017, has been appointed to the Biden-Harris administration in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). President-elect Joe Biden will name Dr. Nelson OSTP’s inaugural Deputy Director for Science and Society today at an event held in Wilmington, Delaware.

Says Board Chair Dr. Teresa Caldeira, “It is our deep honor and great pleasure to congratulate Dr. Alondra Nelson on this prestigious, first-of-its-kind appointment to the White House Office on Science and Technology Policy. We commend President-elect Biden on this exceptional choice. Dr. Alondra Nelson’s brilliant career as a social scientist and as an institutional leader has prepared her well for this challenging and crucial position. She is an acclaimed sociologist whose work focuses on issues of science and technology as well as of race, citizenship and inequality. She is a leader in the social sciences and member of several foundations’ boards and scientific societies.”

“Dr. Nelson’s appointment is also a tremendous validation of the SSRC’s mission to mobilize social science for the public good”, continues Caldeira. “This moment, more than any other in recent memory, demands that we strengthen our efforts to support social science research and scholarship. The SSRC is committed to doing its part to connect across disciplines and work with people around the world to advance fresh ways to inquire, expand, and integrate the craft of social science to solve some of our most pressing challenges.”

Dr. Helen Milner, Executive Committee Chair, states, “The work of the Council during President Nelson’s tenure has been devoted to elevating the social sciences. Notable accomplishments include the To Secure Knowledge Task Force report, that advocates for new institutional arrangements and funding models to propel social science research, including a framework for researchers, nonprofit organizations, policymakers, and businesses to collaborate in order to ensure the highest standards for research, accountability, and public trust, and the forthcoming Public Health, Surveillance, and Human Rights Network white paper, which raises a broad range of questions about governance, social inequalities, data protection, medical systems, and community norms, among many others. These works illustrate the elevated role the Council is playing in setting research agendas and in applying knowledge to policy in the US and globally.”

Alondra Nelson is the fourteenth president of the Social Science Research Council. Widely renowned for her research at the intersection of science, politics, and social inequality, she holds the Harold F. Linder Chair in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study, an independent research center in Princeton, New Jersey.

Alondra Nelson Full Biography →

January 16, 2021