The United States Senate confirmed Dr. Sharon Hays as the new associate director for science at the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy on 29 September 2006. Hays fills the post vacated by Dr. Kathie Olsen, who is now deputy director of the National Science Foundation. Hays previously served as chief of staff at the Office of Science and Technology Policy prior to her nomination by President Bush earlier this year. She has also served as staff director of the Subcommittee on Research on the Committee on Science in the United States House of Representatives. Hays received her bachelor's degree from the University of California and her PhD in biochemistry from Stanford University.
In 21 September 2006 testimony before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Hays stated, "Science is an increasingly integral and important part of the Federal government, as evidenced in part by recent record-breaking budgets for Federally-funded research. The President's FY 2007 budget requested $137 billion for research and development—the highest level ever. The American Competitiveness Initiative, announced in the President's State of the Union address, includes a significant new Federal research agenda." Her priorities include maintaining balance in the federal research and development portfolio, mobilizing science in support of national challenges, and improving math and science education.
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