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Indian American scientist quits top energy post

Arunava Majumdar has resigned after the US Senate did not confirm President Barack Obama`s proposal to elevate him.

Washington: Arunava Majumdar, eminent Indian American scientist has resigned after the US Senate did not confirm President Barack Obama`s proposal to elevate him as undersecretary at the Department of Energy.

Obama yesterday withdrew Majumdar`s nomination which was sent to the Senate on November 30, 2011, the White House said in a statement.

Head of the Department of Energy`s (DOE`s) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), Majumdar would leave the position June 9, US Energy Secretary Steven Chu wrote in his e-mail early this month.
Last November, Obama had proposed elevating Majumdar to an undersecretary at DOE, but the Senate never confirmed the appointment.

"Under Arun`s leadership, we have seen ARPA-E grow from a fledgling program to become a leading agency for innovation and energy research," Chu wrote.

"Arun has recruited some of the most talented professionals across the country to join the ranks at ARPA-E and create programs that have the potential of changing the entire energy landscape," Chu said.

Biochemist Eric Toone, a former professor at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and DOE`s deputy director of technology for ARPA-E, will become head of ARPA-E, Chu wrote according to the Science Insider magazine.
David Sandalow, assistant secretary of energy for policy and international affairs, will become undersecretary.

Majumdar became the first Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E), the country`s only agency devoted to transformational energy research and development, in October 2009.


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