Obama to nominate President Zimmer for National Science Board

President Barack Obama has announced his intent to nominate University of Chicago President Robert J. Zimmer to the National Science Board, the governing body of the National Science Foundation.

The NSF provides funding for approximately 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted in U.S. colleges and universities, and is the major source of funding in fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences.

“The pursuit of scientific discovery and innovation is essential for our nation’s future, and the National Science Foundation plays a crucial role in forming a vision to carry American research forward,” said Zimmer, who chairs the governing boards of both Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. “Having the opportunity to contribute to this valuable work is an honor for me, and moreover it reflects the University of Chicago’s position as a global leader in research.”

Along with the NSF director, the board recommends national policies for the promotion of research and education in science and engineering. The board oversees NSF’s operational and programmatic aspects, including its $7 billion budget. It also serves as an apolitical, independent body of advisors to the president and Congress on policy matters related to science and engineering.

The board is made up of 25 members nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Drawn primarily from higher education, members serve six-year terms with one-third of the board nominated every two years.