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Ex-Purdue president picked to head science agency

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Former Purdue University president France Cordova's next job could be as director of the National Science Foundation.

The White House announced Wednesday that President Barack Obama was nominating Cordova to lead the federal agency that awards billions of dollars in grants for scientific research around the country.

Cordova was Purdue's president for five years before stepping down last year. She has since been chairwoman of the Smithsonian Institution's Board of Regents and a visiting faculty member at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico. Cordova is an astrophysicist who was NASA's chief scientist in the 1990s.

Current Purdue president Mitch Daniels says Cordova's selection adds to the university's legacy of leadership in the science.

Cordova's nomination must be approved by the Senate.

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