Dr. Alondra Nelson is a distinguished senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. A scholar of science, technology, medicine, and social inequality, she is the Harold F. Linder professor at the Institute for Advanced Study. From 2021 until 2023, Dr. Nelson was deputy assistant to the president and principal deputy director for science and society at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). She also served as acting director, becoming the first African American and the first woman of color to lead U.S. science and technology policy. At OSTP, she drove the Biden-Harris administration strategy to create science and technology policy that expands economic opportunity, protects civil rights, advances equity, and ensures innovation works for—not against—our democratic values.
Dr. Nelson served as the 14th president and CEO of the Social Science Research Council, as well as the inaugural dean of Social Science at Columbia University. She has published four books, which have examined the intersections of science, technology, rights, and race. Her essays, reviews, and commentary have been featured in national and international media outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, and Science. Dr. Nelson is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Medicine, and the Council on Foreign Relations. She is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego, and holds a Ph.D. from New York University.