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July 23, 2018

Trump’s pick to lead energy technology program puzzles observers

  • Government
  • Agency
  • Executive
  • Energy

Science – Since it was first funded in 2009, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) in Washington, D.C., a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) program aimed at using government funding to push promising technologies from the laboratory into the marketplace, has been headed by scientists bearing doctorates in fields such as chemistry and engineering. Now, President Donald Trump’s administration wants a lawyer and energy investor to take over.

This week, the White House announced that Trump intends to nominate S. Lane Genatowski, a Houston, Texas–based investment adviser, to be ARPA-E’s next director. If confirmed by the Senate, he would become ARPA-E’s third director. (It has had several interim leaders.)

The 10 July announcement is prompting questions about the direction ARPA-E will take under Trump—and whether someone with Genatowski’s experience is equipped to lead a small, tight-knit agency where discussions can touch on the latest developments in fields as diverse as nuclear fusion and batteries.

Read more at Science.

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