Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA), invited to the White House today for the launch of an initiative to retain women in scientific research careers, pledged to work with the Administration in its focus on STEM education - science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
"STEM education is education for the future. It is the gateway to American competitiveness," Fattah said after attending the National Science Foundation policy launch in the East Room. The program included First Lady Michelle Obama and NSF Director Dr. Subra Suresh, who had joined Fattah at a STEM education event at Drexel University in Philadelphia one week ago.
"We cannot leave behind some of our brightest and most promising young scientists," Fattah said. "The new policy, to encourage young women of science to continue in their careers while raising a family, is simply, as the First Lady said today, a common sense step to keep these women in the STEM pipeline."
Fattah is the leading Democratic appropriator for the National Science Foundation and other scientific research agencies of the federal government. Fattah is ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Commerce, Justice, Science and related agencies.
The White House program today showcased the announcement by the National Science Foundation of new workplace flexibility policies to support America's scientists and their families. See www.whitehouse.gov for details of the new program and today's rollout.
Fattah has been a leader in Congress for the NSF and other government science initiatives, including medical and healthcare research and NASA's space programs.
"Young women are increasing in the ranks of scientific and technical research. But too often they have been forced to choose between career and family. The President, the First Lady and our research agencies are saying today: It is time to tear down those unsupportable barriers," Fattah said.