PCAST Members

Dr. Kelvin K. Droegemeier (Chair) is Director of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and serves as the President’s science advisor, and leads OSTP in its coordination of science and technology initiatives across the Federal Government. Kelvin’s background is in extreme weather, numerical weather prediction, and data assimilation.  Before joining The White House, Kelvin served as Vice President for Research and Regents’ Professor of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma, where he joined the faculty in 1985 as Assistant Professor of Meteorology. In his 33 years at the University of Oklahoma, Kelvin generated more than $40 million in research funding and authored or co-authored more than 80 refereed articles and 200 conference publications. He also co-founded, directed, and led the National Science Foundation (NSF) Science and Technology Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms (CAPS) and served as co-founder and Deputy Director of the NSF Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sense of the Atmosphere (CASA).  Kelvin earned a B.S. in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in atmospheric science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Catherine Bessant is the chief operations and technology officer at Bank of America. In this role, Ms. Bessant is at the leading edge of the integration of emerging technologies with the banking and financial services sector. She was named the Most Powerful Woman in Banking by American Banker, the top Financial Technology Leader by Institutional Investor magazine, and one of the Most Powerful Working Moms by Working Mother magazine. She led the formation of the Council on the Responsible Use of Artificial Intelligence and serves on the advisory board for the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Bessant graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Dr. Shannon Blunt is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Kansas and Chair of the Radar Systems Panel of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). Dr. Blunt is also on the Board of Governors for the IEEE Aerospace and Electronics Society and was chair of the Nathanson Awards Committee. Previously, Dr. Blunt spent three years within the Radar Division of the Naval Research laboratory in Washington, D.C. Dr. Blunt has made major contributions to radar technology, as shown by his publication of over 150 articles and 11 book chapters, 2 books, his 16 patents/patents-pending, and his receipt of the Fred Nathanson Memorial Radar Award (2012) and IEEE Fellowship for contributions to radar waveform diversity and design (2016).  Dr. Blunt received his B.S. with honors from the University of Missouri in Electrical Engineering, his M.S. from the University of Missouri in Electrical Engineering, and his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri in Electrical Engineering.

Dr. Dorota Grejner-Brzezinska - Prior to her academic career, Dr. Grejner-Brzezinska was a research specialist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Center for Space Development’s Center for Mapping. Dr. Grejner-Brzezinska is the recipient of the Institute of Navigation’s 2016 Kepler Award for outstanding contributions in advancing technology, educating future navigation leaders, and for strengthening the ties between satellite navigation and geodesy and 2011 Fellow award for her sustained contributions to advancements in the art and science of navigation. Dr. Grejner-Brzezinska was recently inducted into the National Academy of Engineering, the first woman from the Ohio State University to receive the honor. Dr. Grejner-Brzezinska received a Masters of Science from The Agricultural and Technical University of Olsztyn, Poland in Surveying and Land Management with Highest National Distinction and a Masters of Science from the Ohio State University in Satellite Geodesy. Her Ph.D. is also from the Ohio State University in Satellite Geodesy.

Dr. Sharon Hrynkow is chief scientific officer and senior vice president for medical affairs at Cyclo Therapeutics, Inc., where she leads the company’s clinical and scientific programs. Dr. Hrynkow previously served as the President of the Global Virus Network and in executive leadership roles within the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. State Department, and the United Nations Foundation. She has spent her career advancing science for the benefit of society and brings critical global health leadership and perspective. She holds a B.A. in biology from Rhode Island College, a PhD in neuroscience from the University of Connecticut, and she conducted post-doctoral research at the University of Oslo, Norway.

Dr. H. Fisk Johnson is the chairman and chief executive officer of S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. Dr. Johnson joined S.C. Johnson in 1987 and became chairman in 2000, where he is the fifth generation Johnson family leader of the 133 year old company.  Dr. Johnson has decades of experience at the intersection of research, manufacturing, technology commercialization, and workforce development. He holds a B.A. in chemistry and physics, master’s degrees in engineering and physics, an MBA, and a PhD in physics, all from Cornell University.

Dr. Abraham (Avi) Loeb is the Frank B. Baird, Jr., Professor of Science at Harvard University. He graduated from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel at age 24 (1980-1986), led the first international project supported by the Strategic Defense Initiative of President Ronald Reagan (1983-1988), and was subsequently a long-term member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton (1988-1993). Loeb wrote 8 books and over 750 papers on a wide range of topics, including black holes, the first stars, the search for extraterrestrial life and the future of the Universe. He had been the longest serving Chair of Harvard's Department of Astronomy (2011-2020), Founding Director of Harvard's Black Hole Initiative (2016-present) and Director of the Institute for Theory and Computation (2007-present) within the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He serves as Chair of the Board on Physics and Astronomy of the National Academies (2018-present) and is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the American Physical Society, and the International Academy of Astronautics. Loeb is a member of the Advisory Board for "Einstein: Visualize the Impossible" of the Hebrew University. He also chairs the Advisory Committee for the Breakthrough Starshot Initiative (2016-present). In 2012, TIME magazine selected Loeb as one of the 25 most influential people in space.

Dr. Theresa Mayer is the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships and Professor at Purdue University.  An electrical and computer engineer, she is widely recognized for her work in applications of nanoscience and technology to create electronic and photonic devices with new properties and functions.  Prior to joining Purdue in 2019, she was the Vice President for Research and Innovation at Virginia Tech. Her early career was at Penn State University, where she was a distinguished professor of electrical engineering, and served as the associate dean for research and innovation in engineering, the site director of the NSF National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network, and the director of the Materials Research Institute Nanofabrication Laboratory.  Mayer is a fellow of the Institute for Electronic and Electrical Engineers, and has received awards for her teaching, research, and technology transition.

Professor Daniela Rus is the Andrew (1956) and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL); and Deputy Dean of Research for Schwarzman College of Computing at MIT. Prof. Rus brings deep expertise in robotics, artificial intelligence, data science, and computation. She is a member of the Department of Defense’s Innovation Board, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineer, and the Association for Computing Machinery. She is also a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, the Engelberger prize for Robotics, Mass TLC Innovation Catalyst Award, and the IJCAI John McCarthy Award. Rus earned her PhD in computer science from Cornell University.

Dr. A.N. Sreeram is the senior vice president and chief technology officer for Dow. His expertise is in the field of advanced materials and their applications to make lives better by enabling products that are simultaneously better performing and more sustainable in infrastructure, industrial, consumer, packaging, automotive, electronics and other global markets. Dr. Sreeram holds two dozen U.S. patents, has authored several peer reviewed scientific articles, earned his doctorate degree from the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Master’s degree from Alfred University, New York, and Bachelor’s degree from IIT-Varanasi, India.

Dr. Hussein Tawbi, MD, PhD, is Associate Professor and Deputy Chairman, Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX. He also is Director of Melanoma Clinical Research and Early Drug Development, Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine, and Co-Director of the MD Anderson Brain Metastasis Clinic. Dr. Tawbi received his Ph.D. in Clinical Translational Science from the University of Pittsburgh, and his M.D. from American University of Beirut. 

Shane Wall is HP Inc.’s Chief Technology Officer and global head of HP Labs. He has spent decades driving technology and innovation in engineering and leadership roles across computing, telecommunications, and venture capital industries. Among his areas of expertise, Wall is focused on Industry 4.0, the future of manufacturing and the ways in which technology can unlock new sources of economic growth, empowerment, and environmental sustainability. Wall is a graduate of the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and has a B.S. in computer engineering from Oregon State University.

Dr. K Birgitta Whaley is a professor of chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley, a faculty scientist of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and co-Director of the Berkeley Quantum Information and Computation Center. She is a foremost expert in the fields of quantum information, quantum physics, and molecular quantum mechanics. Dr. Whaley has authored over 230 scientific publications, is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a recipient of awards from the Bergmann, Sloan, and Alexander von Humboldt foundations. She earned a B.A. in Chemistry from Oxford University, and a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from the University of Chicago.