(CNN)Eric Lander, a top science adviser to President Joe Biden, resigned Monday after a White House investigation that found he had violated workplace policies became public.
“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,” Lander wrote in his resignation letter to Biden.
“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. That was never my intention.”
Lander wrote that his resignation is effective “no later than February 18 in order to permit an orderly transfer.”
The resignation of the President’s science adviser and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy comes just a day after damning reports surfaced that he had been the subject of an internal investigation late last year after a complaint was filed under the Executive Office of the President’s Safe and Respectful Workplace Policy. The investigation, first reported by Politico, found “credible evidence” of violations of the policy and “corrective action was taken consistent with those findings,” a spokesperson for OSTP told CNN. It did not find credible evidence of gender-based discrimination, the spokesperson noted.
A person familiar with the situation told CNN that Biden had not asked for Lander’s resignation but that he had offered it Monday night after staying on in his role as a top adviser had become “untenable.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the resignation in a statement Monday evening, saying, “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. He knows that Dr. Lander will continue to make important contributions to the scientific community in the years ahead.”
At a briefing earlier Monday, Psaki had t
White House science adviser resigns, acknowledges ‘disrespectful and demeaning’ behavior
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