IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — Dr. Noël Bakhtian, director of the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES), has been selected by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to serve on its Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP).
She joins nine other members, selected from industry, academia and government. Her term, which began April 1, runs until the end of March 2022.
The STEP board’s mission is to boost the U.S. and global economy by spreading awareness of new scientific and technical discoveries. The board and its committees draw from the expertise of scholars, industrial managers, investors and former public officials to help craft policies intended to guide and accelerate scientific and technological change. Results are communicated through reports, conferences, workshops, briefings and the press.
Bakhtian joined INL’s senior leadership team in May 2017 as the CAES director. CAES is a research, education and innovation consortium bringing together Idaho National Laboratory and the four public research universities of Idaho and Wyoming: Boise State University, Idaho State University, University of Idaho and University of Wyoming. Prior to joining CAES, she served as senior policy advisor for environment and energy in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Bakhtian earned a doctorate in engineering at Stanford University’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. She holds master’s degrees from Stanford and the University of Cambridge, where she was a Churchill Scholar, and completed her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and physics at Duke University.
Bakhtian is a governor-appointed member of the Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission Council and the Idaho Leadership in Nuclear Energy (LINE) 3.0 Commission. She is a trustee of the Summer Science Program, a member of the Stimson Center’s Loomis Council, and was recently appointed advisory board chair of the Idaho Science and Technology Policy Fellowship program. In 2018, Business Insider magazine named Bakhtian one of the most powerful female engineers in the world.
The STEP board advises federal, state and local governments, and informs the public about public policies to promote the creation, diffusion and application of new scientific and technical knowledge to enhance the productivity and competitiveness of the U.S. economy and foster economic prosperity for all Americans. The board oversees the work of the Innovation Policy Forum, a workshop series on the policy implications of emerging technologies, and a variety of consensus reports, including assessments of the small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs at the five largest federal research agencies.
“There couldn’t be a more important time to bring together national experts to provide objective guidance for policymakers,” Bakhtian said. “I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues on the STEP Board to shine a spotlight on critical areas of our time and make an impact for the nation.”