Dr. Lynne Parker, Deputy Chief Technology Office and Director of the National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Office within the White House, announced Monday that she’s leaving her government post.
She is expected to return to academia as a professor within the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. It’s not clear yet who will replace Parker within the White House’s AI office.
“I am this week concluding my 6-year service in the U.S. Government – four years in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (2018-2022) and two years at the National Science Foundation (2015-2016),” Parker said in an announcement on LinkedIn regarding her departure Monday morning.
“My goal has always been to advance #AI initiatives and policy to the benefit of the American people, and indeed our world. I am proud of the accomplishments we have made over three Administrations, together with colleagues from across government, academia, and industry,” she added.
Parker, along with Winter Casey, was named deputy U.S. chief technology officer in November 2019, and previously served as assistant director for artificial intelligence within the Trump administration.
Parker previously spent over 20 years teaching at the University of Tennessee, including multiple top leadership roles within the Tickle College of Engineering. She also previously served at the National Science Foundation as Division Director of Information and Intelligent Systems.
She started her career at Oak Ridge National Laboratory as a distinguished research and development staff member. She received her PhD in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The National AI Initiative Office, launched in January 2021 under President Donald Trump, is responsible for coordinating artificial intelligence research and policymaking across government, industry and academia. It is focused on implementing a national AI strategy as directed by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021, to increase research investment, improve access to computing and data resources, set technical standards, build a workforce, and engage with allies.
An OSTP spokesperson said: “Dr. Parker has been a key leader in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Office’s efforts to ensure the United States remains a world-leader in AI innovation and to equitably expand access to AI resources for researchers around the country.”
They added: “As envisioned in the Congressional statute creating the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, experts join OSTP for short stints in government service to bring expertise in fast-changing technologies and industries. Dr. Parker was on a ‘loan’ through the Intergovernmental Personnel Act for the last four years and she’ll now return to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in time for the 2022-2023 academic year.”
Editor’s note: This story was updated to include comment from the Office of Science and Technology Policy.