Obama selects Google CEO Eric Schmidt for nascent tech council

Posted by Aharon Etengoff

Washington, D.C. - Google CEO Eric Schmidt has been selected as a member of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).  

According to the White House, PCAST is an "advisory group" composed of the nation's leading scientists and engineers. The council will be tasked with the formulation of policy in a number of areas where "understanding of science, technology, and innovation is key to strengthening [the] economy."

"This council represents leaders from many scientific disciplines who will bring a diversity of experience and views. I will charge PCAST with advising me about national strategies to nurture and sustain a culture of scientific innovation," said Obama. The president also noted that American students were currently "outperformed" in math and science by their peers in Singapore, Japan, England, the Netherlands, Hong Kong and Korea.

The council will be co-chaired by John Holdren, Director of the White House Science and Technology Policy Office, Eric Lander, Director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and Harold Varmus, CEO of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Additional PCAST members include Craig Mundie (Chief Research and Strategy Officer at Microsoft), Ahmed Zewail (Professor of Chemistry and Physics at Caltech) and Shirley Ann Jackson (President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute).