White House officials announced this week President Obama intends to nominate the dean of MIT’s School of Science to head the Department of Energy’s Office of Science.
Marc Kastner, the Donner Professor of Physics, has been a faculty member at MIT since 1973 and has led the School of Science since 2007, campus officials said.
“In nominating Dean Kastner to head the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, President Obama made an inspired choice,” said a statement from MIT President L. Rafael Reif. “A brilliant physicist and highly effective manager, Marc Kastner is ideally suited to manage DOE’s basic science portfolio and its network of national labs.
“Through his leadership of MIT’s School of Science, he has an unrivaled grasp of the nation’s scientific enterprise and a record of attracting exceptional talent,” Reif added. “He argues eloquently for the value of basic science but has worked with equal enthusiasm to help MIT faculty transform emerging ideas into important real-world technologies. He knows the challenges of building a sustainable energy future, and I can think of no one better to help the U.S. seize the opportunities, as well.”
The Office of Science is “the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States,” with a 2013 budget of $4.9 billion, according to officials at MIT. The office is also responsible for 10 of the Department of Energy’s 17 laboratories.