President Joe Biden announced his intent this week to appoint two new members of the National Science Board – Dr. Victor McCrary and Dr. Julia Phillips.

The National Science Board establishes the policies of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and serves as an advisor to Congress and the President. The board also approves major NSF awards, provides congressional testimony, and issues statements relevant to the nation’s science and engineering enterprise.

The board can have up to 24 members, appointed by the President for terms of six years.


McCrary currently serves as vice president for Research and Graduate Programs at the University of the District of Columbia, where he leads a team to manage and develop the strategic direction of the university’s research enterprise.


Before that McCray served in similar leadership roles at other higher education research facilities including the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Morgan State University, and the University of Tennessee.


McCrary previously served on the National Science Board, when he was appointed by former President Barack Obama in 2016. As a member, he chaired a task force that produced the report The Skilled Technical Workforce: Crafting America’s Science and Engineering Enterprise. In 2020, he was elected as vice chair of the board.


Phillips is a materials physicist, and she previously served as vice president and chief technology officer at the Sandia National Laboratories before retiring in 2015. Phillips managed the laboratory’s $160 million Directed Research and Development Program. She was also responsible for research strategy development, implementation, and intellectual property protection and deployment.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.