Sethuraman Panchanathan, Director, U.S. National Science Foundation

Sethuraman Panchanathan

Director, U.S. National Science Foundation

Sethuraman Panchanathan was born in Chennai (formerly known as Madras), India. He attended Vivekananda College at the University of Madras, earning degrees in physics. He later earned a B.S. in electronics and communication engineering from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India. He received an M.Tech. in electrical engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, and later earned a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Ottawa, Canada, where he became an assistant professor and then full professor after receiving tenure. 

He moved to Arizona as a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Arizona State University. He was later promoted to the University Chief Research Officer. He became Senior Vice President of ASU’s Office of Knowledge and Enterprise Development, where he was later the Chief Research and Innovation Officer. 

He was nominated by President Barack Obama to be a member of the National Science Board of the National Science Foundation. He was nominated by President Donald Trump to be the Director of the National Science Foundation and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate. He assumed office in June 2020. 

He is married to Dr. Sarada “Soumya“ Panchanathan and they have two children. 

In the News…

On the first day of the Atlantic hurricane season, the National Science Foundation announced grants in the amount of $91.8 million have been awarded to the National Center for Atmospheric Research to design and develop an airborne-based array radar.

The new generation of radar will be capable of taking three-dimensional scans of major storms, such as hurricanes, from research aircraft. The scans will capture unprecedented details of storms, from their organization to the type, shape, and direction droplets within the clouds are moving. 

Climate change and its “unprecedented threats” were cited as a reason for the new funding. 

Contact this Leader…

Did you pray for Director Panchanathan today? You can let him know at:

The Honorable Sethuraman Panchanathan 
National Science Foundation 
2415 Eisenhower Ave 
Alexandria, VA 22314 


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