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Ronnie Chatterji to lead $50 billion CHIPS for America program

Indian American economist to coordinate implementation of CHIPS and Science Act to give the US a competitive edge

Indian American economist Aaron “Ronnie” Chatterji has been named White House Coordinator for the implementation of the CHIPS and Science Act’s historic $50 billion investment in the semiconductor industry at the National Economic Council (NEC).

In his new role he will manage the work of the CHIPS Implementation Steering Council, as laid out in President Joe Biden’s Executive Order on CHIPS Implementation, the White House said Tuesday announcing the leadership team to guide implementation of the act.

Signed into law by Biden on Aug 9, 2022, the CHIPS (Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors) and Science Act aims to boost domestic research and manufacturing of semiconductors in the United States to give the country a competitive edge on the world stage.

Read: Vedant Patel becomes first Indian-American to hold State briefing (September 7, 2022)

The CHIPS leadership team will be housed at the White House and the US Department of Commerce. Chatterji will work closely with the National Security Council, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Department of Commerce and the Steering Council to ensure effective interagency coordination, the White House said.

“This leadership team brings enormous experience and skill to the cross-agency implementation effort already underway,” said NEC Director Brian Deese.

“In his role at the White House, Ronnie will help coordinate a unified approach to our key implementation priorities while ensuring that we have guardrails and oversight in place to responsibly spend taxpayer dollars,” he said.

Chatterji has served as the Chief Economist of the Department of Commerce since April 2021. In this role, Chatterji has been the principal economic adviser to the Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and responsible for developing policy related to US competitiveness, labor markets, supply chains, innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic growth.

Chatterji previously worked in the Obama Administration, serving as a senior economist at the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers and as a visiting Associate Professor at Harvard Business School.

Read: Indian American Amit Jani named acting White House liaison at DHS (August 9, 2022)

Chatterji is currently on leave from his position as the Mark Burgess & Lisa Benson-Burgess Distinguished Professor of Business and Public Policy at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

Chatterji also has served as a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and worked as a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs.

He received his PhD from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley and his BA in Economics from Cornell University.

Tuesday’s announcements include executives experienced in large-scale program management, finance and the government’s needs for accountability, according to the White House said.

These leaders, along with the staff they are hiring, will be responsible for the implementation of the CHIPS and Science Act’s historic $50 billion investment in the semiconductor industry, it said.

At Commerce, Michael Schmidt will serve as Director of the CHIPS Program Office, Eric Lin will serve as Interim Director of the CHIPS Research and Development Office, and Todd Fisher will serve as Interim Senior Advisor in the CHIPS Program Office, housed within NIST

Donna Dubinsky will serve as Senior Counselor to the Secretary for CHIPS Implementation and J.D. Grom will serve as Senior Advisor to the Secretary on CHIPS Implementation. Dubinsky and Grom will work in the Office of the Secretary.

“After outlining a thoughtful and comprehensive strategy for CHIPS for America, we are wasting no time building an office with experts and leaders who will efficiently execute this work,” Raimondo said.

Read: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces CHIPS for America Leadership (September 20, 2022)

“These leaders bring decades of experience in government, industry and the R&D space, with a special emphasis on standing up and implementing large-scale programs.

“Their work will be essential to bolstering our supply chains, spurring historic investments in research, strengthening our national security, and creating good-paying jobs for the American people,” Raimondo added.

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