Five months after taking office, President George Bush has announced he will nominate the director of the Brookhaven National Laboratory to lead the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
John H Marburger III, 60, who has led the Brookhaven lab in New York state, since March 1998, has been selected by Bush to fill the post as the nation's science and technology booster.
The nomination will now go to Congress for confirmation hearings. In the Clinton administration, the post was held by Neal F Lane, a former director of the National Science Foundation.
Marburger has been on a leave of absence from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he served as president and a professor from 1980 to 1994 and as a professor of physics and electrical engineering from 1994 to 1997.
From 1976 to 1980, he served as the dean of the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences at the University of Southern California.
A graduate of Princeton University, Marburger received his PhD in applied physics from Stanford University in 1967.
The Brookhaven National Laboratory, which is operated by the US Department of Energy, was established in 1947 on New York's Long Island to advance safe science and carry out basic and applied research.
The lab features a Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, the world's newest and largest particle accelerator for nuclear physics, as well as the National Synchrotron Light Source, which attracts more users annually than any other research machine in the world.
The lab, which has a budget this year of $US434 million, does work in nuclear and high-energy physics, the physics and chemistry of materials, environmental and energy research, neurosciences and medical imaging and much more.