White House Top Science Adviser Dr Eric Lander Resigns Amid Reports of Bullying
02:12 GMT 08.02.2022 (Updated: 13:28 GMT 06.08.2022)
© REUTERS / ALEXANDER DRAGODr. Eric Lander, Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), speaks following being ceremonially sworn in by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building near the White House in Washington, U.S., June 2, 2021
© REUTERS / ALEXANDER DRAGO
Earlier reports claimed that a two-month probe in the White House discovered that President Joe Biden's top science adviser Dr Eric Lander had been humiliating and mocking his associates.
Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Director Eric Lander resigned on Monday following an investigation into reports of bullying.
The announcement was later commented on by White House spokesperson Jen Psaki.
"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", Psaki said. "He knows that Dr Lander will continue to make important contributions to the scientific community in the years ahead".
Lander wrote in his letter that it would "be effective no later than February 18 in order to permit an orderly transfer".
"I am devastated that I caused hurt to past and present colleagues by the way in which I have spoken to them", he added.
The probe was said to have found "credible evidence" that Lander bullied his then general counsel, Rachel Wallace. Apart from that, several women earlier complained "about negative interactions with Dr Lander, where he spoke to them in a demeaning or abrasive way in front of other staff".
In an office of approximately 140 people, 14 current and former employees who worked under Lander described the work environment as "toxic", as Lander was said to often mistreat and dismiss his subordinates. Nine current and former employees said Lander yelled and sometimes made people feel humiliated in front of his colleagues.