Executive Profiles

Sethuraman Panchanathan, National Science Foundation Director

Sethuraman Panchanathan



Sethuraman Panchanathan, National Science Foundation Director

Sethuraman Panchanathan is the 15th director of the National Science Foundation, an independent government agency that supports non-government science and engineering.

NSF is tasked with advancing all fields of scientific discovery, technological innovation and science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.

Panchanathan was nominated by former President Donald Trump for the role and unanimously confirmed by the Senate in June 2020, the NSF said.

As the foundation’s director, Panchanathan is responsible for overseeing staff and management, program creation and administration, merit review, planning, budget and day-to-day operations, according to Arizona State University.

Panchanathan had a distinguished career in both higher education and government. He is credited with advancing research innovation, strategic partnerships, entrepreneurship, global development and economic growth. 

He previously served as the executive vice president and chief research and innovation officer of ASU’s Knowledge Enterprise.

During his tenure at ASU, the university increased research performance and was recognized as the fastest-growing research university in the United States. 

Panchanathan previously served on the National Science Board as chair of the committee on strategy and as a member of the external engagement and national science and engineering policy committees. 

According to NSF, Panchanathan has contributed to the scientific areas of human-centered multimedia computing, machine learning for multimedia applications, medical image processing and media processor designs.

He has published nearly 500 articles in refereed journals and conference proceedings, in addition to mentoring more than 150 graduate students, research engineers and research scientists. 

Potomac Officers Club Logo
Sign up for Potomac Officers Club's daily briefing
Receive updates on events and relevant news

Category: Executive Profiles