June 15, 2020

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader
United States Senate
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Charles Schumer
Minority Leader
United States Senate
322 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Schumer,

The Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) - a broad-based group of professional organizations, universities, scientific societies, and businesses - wants to thank Congress for its consistent support for fundamental scientific research and educational programs supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF). As the only federal agency charged with the promotion of scientific progress across all scientific and engineering disciplines, NSF is the cornerstone of America's basic research enterprise.

We urge you to swiftly allow a vote on Dr. Sethuraman "Panch" Panchanathan's nomination to become the Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) following his recent unanimous approval by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. In this time of national crisis, it is imperative that NSF has strong, permanent leadership to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, develop solutions and understanding to strengthen our resilience, and ensure our national science and technology competitiveness.

Dr. Panchanathan has served as a member of the National Science Board, NSF's advisory body, since 2014, providing him an in-depth understanding of the agency and its current goals. This, along with his service in various Chief Research Officer roles at Arizona State University since 2010, make him exceptionally qualified for the position.

Dr. Panchanathan's nomination comes as the United States faces new and novel competition from countries around the globe and seeks to maintain its title as the innovation capital of the world. His confirmation will allow NSF to continue its long legacy of investing in essential basic research and supporting the growth of the American scientific enterprise.

Sincerely,

The Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF)

*AIBS is a member of CNSF

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