Technology Administration head resigns as agency nears end

Commerce Department Undersecretary of Technology Robert Cresanti announced his resignation yesterday, ending a two-year tenure as head of the Technology Administration.

“I am grateful to the President for allowing me to serve my country while pursuing some of my life’s great passions...while helping make America the place for technology companies to spawn, grow and thrive,” he wrote in a resignation letter to his staff.

The administration is slated to close in the coming months after years of shrinking funding. Embedded within the Commerce Department, the administration supported technological advances in the United States by providing market and workforce analyses, grants and educational information, and by setting technology standards.

The agency also oversaw three agencies. The National Institute of Standards and Technology and National Technical Information Service will fall under the secretary of commerce while the Office of Technology Policy will be disbanded.

A new Commerce-wide council will replace the functions of the TA. Proposed by the Bush administration, the council would be headed by the deputy secretary of Commerce and include the heads of many component Commerce agencies, including NIST, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

Earlier this year, former technology undersecretaries sent a letter to Sens. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) protesting the administration’s demise, saying that the functions of the agency deserve to be overseen by an undersecretary-level position.

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