President-elect Trump’s Cabinet picks ?>

President-elect Trump’s Cabinet picks


Presidential appointees help prioritize U.S. research goals by advising the sitting president on current and future scientific issues.  In fiscal 2016, the federal government provided a projected $137.6 billion in support for research and development , $33 billion of which went to  basic research.  To date, president-elect Trump has identified 17 of 21 key cabinet members. These Cabinet members will be responsible for the bulk of federal dollars awarded to scientists across the U.S.


Department of Health and Human Services

The National Institutes of Health, Food and Drug Administration , Center for Disease Control

Basic Research funding in fiscal 2016: $16.5 billion

Tom Price

  • six-term Republican congressman from Georgia
  • Chairs the House Budget Committee
  • Worked as an orthopedic surgeon for 20 years
  • Has worked extensively to repeal the Affordable Care Act
  • Voted against expanding the number of human embryonic stem cell lines for NIH-funded researchers
  • Has spoken in support for increased funding for the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and Center for Disease Control while proposing defunding NSF programs he deemed “unnecessary”

Department of Energy

Office of Science

Basic research funding in fiscal 2016: $5.3 billion

Rick Perry

  • Former Republican Texas governor
  • Opponent to climate change
  • Intended to state but forgot DOE’s name while listing federal agencies he wanted to close permanently during his presidential run
  • Pushed to balance evolution and creationism in Texas schools

Department of Commerce

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Basic Research funding in fiscal 2016: $1.9 billion

Wilbur Ross

  • Billionaire investor
  • Opposes current trade deals
  • Advocates for tariffs on China

Department of the Interior

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey

R&D fiscal 2016: $1.1 billion

Ryan Zinke

  • Republican congressman from Montana
  • Member of the House Armed forces and Natural Resources Committees
  • Has fought for increased coal mining and oil and gas drilling
  • Worked with conservation groups to protect federal lands from state control


In addition to filling the remaining spots in his cabinet, Trump will need to decide if he will keep the current National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health directors or appoint new ones.  Francis Collins, current NIH director, has publicly stated that it would be a “privilege” to remain at the helm of NIH while Republican Congressman Andy Harris from Maryland has voiced his interests in taking the reins of the biomedical research agency.  President-elect trump has yet to name a nominee for the Department of Agriculture.

We at the ASBMB will continue to monitor the administration and will provide updates as the remaining leadership nominations come in.

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