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The Department of Energy’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Department of Energy

Trump to nominate Chris Fall, neuroscientist and policy veteran, to lead DOE science

President Donald Trump announced today that he will nominate a senior official at the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) technology commercialization program, and a former member of the White House staff under President Barack Obama, to lead the department’s $6 billion Office of Science. The office is the nation’s leading funder of the physical sciences, and supports a fleet of facilities used extensively by academic and commercial researchers.

Fall, who earned a doctorate in neuroscience from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, is currently principal deputy director of DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), which helps transform promising research findings into commercial products.

Prior to joining ARPA-E, Fall spent 6 years with the Office of Naval Research in a variety of roles, including a 3-year assignment to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) under Obama. At OSTP, he served as assistant director for defense programs and then as acting lead for the National Security and International Affairs Division, according to a White House statement. He was one of the few Obama-era OSTP officials to stay on well into the Trump administration.

Fall earned a master’s degree in business administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, according to the White House. Fall also was “a faculty member at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Bioengineering and Anatomy and Cell Biology Departments, and he completed postdoctoral fellowships at the University of California at Davis Institute for Theoretical Dynamics and the New York University Center for Neural Sciences,” according to a DOE website. “Fall’s scientific research has included studying the resilience of energy production in neurons, and measuring and modeling the coupling between cellular energy production and cellular signaling systems.”