Biden’s top science adviser resigned Monday evening following an internal investigation that found he bullied colleagues.
The investigation into Eric Lander, who served as the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, found that he was disrespectful towards staff and spoke to female colleagues “in a demeaning or abrasive way” in public settings, the Daily Caller reports.
Lander’s resignation comes hours after White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki dodged questions about the situation, including why Biden hadn’t yet fired him.
“I am devastated that I caused hurt to past and present colleagues by the way in which I have spoken to them,” Lander wrote to Biden in his resignation letter. “We have assembled the most amazing set of people at OSTP, and we have together set out the most ambitious goals that this agency has ever attempted. I have sought to push myself and my colleagues to reach our shared goals – including at times challenging and criticizing.”
“But it is clear that things I said, and the way I said them, crossed the line at times into being disrespectful and demeaning, to both men and women,” he continued. “That was never my intention. Nonetheless, it is my fault and my responsibility. I will take this lesson forward. I believe it is not possible to continue effectively in my role, and the work of this office is far too important to be hindered.”
In a statement, Psaki said that Biden accepted Lander’s resignation “with gratitude.”
“The President accepted Dr. Eric Lander’s resignation letter this evening with gratitude for his work at OSTP on the pandemic, the Cancer Moonshot, climate change, and other key priorities,” she said. “He knows that Dr. Lander will continue to make important contributions to the scientific community in the years ahead.”