Endorsing Kelvin Droegemeier for White House Office and Science and Technology Policy

The audience of this BLOG knows that, as a third-party voter for President the last cycle, I think independently, evaluate actions and issues on their own merits and not through major-party lenses, have not hesitated to air grievances regarding the current occupant of the White House, and also, have credited the administration when it has made good choices.

This announcement is its BEST choice yet—a grand-slam home run.

The new White House science and technology advisor nominee, Kelvin Droegemeier, is as smart as they come, a former professor of mine in atmospheric dynamics (think I still smell those clouds of chalk dust flying off that board as he wrote equations at near-warp speed!), a sharp and well-published atmospheric scientist, mentor of many students, skilled communicator, and most importantly, a fundamentally good man who has served state and national science advisory roles, including the National Science Board in both the Bush-43 and Obama administrations.

Kelvin has a powerhouse 55-page CV: broad, deep and well-suited for any national science advisory role. Personally, I’ve known Kelvin for over 30 years and can vouch for his high character and unwavering integrity. He also is a keen dynamicist who can “out-math” some physicists I’ve known. Now, if confirmed, Kelvin gets the ear of the White House as perhaps the most influential meteorologist ever in government.

It’s telling how many atmospheric scientists (dozens, so far), whom I know to be firmly on the right or left sociopolitically, have one thing in common: they have supported this nomination on social media. There is a good reason for that. Kelvin is a true “servant leader” who has the interpersonal skills to build bridges across disparate groups and personalities, and before diving into something, makes sure he has the knowledge base to back up everything he says.

In addition to many of us who know Kelvin, and/or are familiar with his scientific and/or communications work, the American Association of Universities enthusiastically endorses him for the role. I hope this helps to offset some opposition he’ll have on purely partisan grounds from some members of the D side, at least to enough extent to get him resolutely confirmed.

Regardless of which of the two major parties is “in charge”, there always will be hyperpartisan hacks on both sides of the aisle ready to support or oppose a candidate without knowing a flipping thing about that person. That’s the ugly reality. It’s also the only reason Kelvin would not get a unanimous support vote, based on his background and endorsements.

Count this as one more on the endorsement pile. Kelvin Droegemeier has what it takes to skillfully navigate this mine field, and I endorse his nomination to the utmost degree.

The Senate committee will hold a confirmation hearing next Thursday at 9:15 a.m. CDT (10:15 a.m. EDT). Kelvin—go do us all proudly. In this climate (pun intended) it won’t be easy, but if anybody can, it’s you!


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