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Keynote Speaker

Kathie L. Olsen Kathie L. Olsen
Associate Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy

Dr. Kathie L. Olsen, Associate Director with the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in the Executive Office of the President, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in August 2002. As Associate Director she serves as OSTP Director Dr. John Marburger's deputy for science. She is responsible for overseeing science and education policy, including physical sciences, life sciences, environmental science, and behavioral and social sciences.

Prior to her confirmation, she held the position of the Chief Scientist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (May 1999 - April 2002) and the Acting Associate Administrator for the new Enterprise in Biological and Physical Research (July 2000-March 2002). As NASA Chief Scientist, she served as the Administrator's senior scientific advisor and principal interface with the national and international scientific community, as well as the principal advisor to the Administrator on budget content of the scientific programs.  Before joining NASA in May 1999, Dr. Olsen was the Senior Staff Associate for the Science and Technology Centers in the National Science Foundation (NSF) Office of Integrative Activities. From February 1996 until November 1997, she was a Brookings Institute Legislative Fellow and then an NSF detail in the Office of Senator Conrad Burns of Montana . Preceding her work on Capitol Hill, she served for two years as Acting Deputy Director for the Division of Integrative Biology and Neuroscience at the NSF, where she has worked and held numerous other science-related positions.

Dr. Olsen received her B.S. with honors from Chatham University, Pittsburgh, Pa. , majoring in both biology and psychology and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She earned her Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the University of California, Irvine . She was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Neuroscience at Children's Hospital of Harvard Medical School. Subsequently, at SUNY-Stony Brook she was both a Research Scientist at Long Island Research Institute and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the Medical School . Her research on neural and genetic mechanisms underlying development and expression of behavior was supported by the National Institutes of Health. Her awards include the National Science Foundation Director's Superior Accomplishment Award; the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society Award; the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology Award for outstanding contributions in research and education; the Barry M. Goldwater Educator Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics-National Capital Section; the Barnard Medal of Distinction, which is the college's most significant recognition of individuals for demonstrated excellence in conduct of their lives and careers; and the NASA's Outstanding Leadership Medal. She has also received honorary degrees from Chatham University, Clarkson University, and the University of South Carolina. Her first research presentation was at the 2nd Annual WPUPC.
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