NSF News

NSF selects Greg Hager to head Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate

Alexandria, VA – The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has selected Gregory D. Hager to serve as head of the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE). 

Hager is the Mandell Bellmore professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins University and founding director of the Johns Hopkins Malone Center for Engineering in Healthcare.  

His research spans many areas of artificial intelligence and machine learning, including activity recognition and detection from video data; collaborative and vision-based robotics; and medical applications of machine learning, image analysis and robotics. In addition to his contributions to vision and robotics, Hager is known for his pioneering work on the "language of surgery," which formalized the study of the process of surgery from video and motion data. This work has led to numerous scientific publications and several patents and is now an integral part of the growing field of surgical data science. Hager has also participated in the founding of four startups, and he holds 39 patents in areas related to robotics, computer vision, human-robot interaction and medical applications of information technology.  

"Dr. Hager brings his in-depth knowledge, experience and accomplishments in the field of computing to NSF during an important time for CISE and the agency," NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan said. "Leadership across the whole spectrum of computer science and engineering is essential to our nation's future competitiveness, economic growth and success. NSF and CISE investments are powering important progress, ranging from AI, networking, cybersecurity, advanced semiconductor manufacturing, data science and supercomputing that will no doubt unleash new breakthroughs. Computing education is crucial to the success of the industries of today and the future. I am confident that Dr. Hager’s expertise and experience will advance CISE to new heights and enable fantastic accomplishments." 

Hager has held several leadership and advisory roles in the computing community, including serving as chair of the Computing Community Consortium, a member of the Computing Research Association Board and a member of the CISE Advisory Committee. He also co-chaired (with Susan Graham) the 2015 review of the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program for the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. He has held several leadership roles at Johns Hopkins and contributed to several professional societies and National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine activities. 

"I'm honored to have this opportunity to lead the CISE Directorate and to work with the CISE research community and NSF leadership to advance research, innovation and education in computer science, information science and computer engineering," said Hager. "The impact of CISE-supported research can be seen everywhere, from the most advanced AI systems to the digital communications infrastructure that underlies our everyday social interactions and secure systems that support millions of financial transactions every day. It is essential that we continue to support this incredible, vibrant history of innovation and impact."  

Hager is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers for his contributions to vision-based robotics and a fellow of the Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Interventions Society and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering for his contributions to imaging and his work on the analysis of surgical technical skill. He was elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science for his contributions to vision-based robotics and to computer-enhanced interventional medicine.  

CISE supports research in all areas of computer and information science and engineering, as well as advanced research cyberinfrastructure necessary for discovery in all science and engineering fields. Awards made by the directorate foster broad interdisciplinary collaboration, help develop and maintain cutting-edge national research computing infrastructure and contribute to the development of a workforce with skills essential for success in the increasingly competitive global market. 

Hager received bachelor's degrees in computer science and in mathematics from Luther College and master's and doctoral degrees in computer and information science from the University of Pennsylvania. 

His appointment at NSF will begin June 3, 2024.