BOX 1:
TOP SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP POSITIONS

The following are lists of what the committee considers to be the most critical federal science and technology (S&T) appointments. The positions listed below include both presidential and nonpresidential appointments (but not career appointments) that the committee believes are important for the development of S&T-based policy. The list is divided into two parts. In the first are the key positions for which S&T background is essential. In the second are S&T policy-related positions that are not traditionally held by a scientist, engineer, or health professional but for which an understanding of S&T is important in a broader context of policy development. These positions may sometimes be held by persons with a science or engineering background. Major presidentially appointed commissions and boards whose province is S&T or S&T-related policy are included on both lists (for example, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, the National Science Board, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission).

In general, those listed are presidential appointees (PA) or presidential appointees with senate confirmation (PAS). However, a nonpresidential appointment is listed if there is no one higher in the chain of command that can be expected to have a scientific or technical background and it is not a career appointment. For example, the director of basic energy sciences in the Department of Energy, who manages a billion-dollar program, is not listed because the director of the Office of Science is a presidential appointee higher in the line of command. However, this guideline will not be followed in exceptional cases, such as director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, who reports to the director of defense research and engineer-ing but also historically has a crucial role in innovative technology development. Also not listed are important career appointments such as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the science and technology advisor to the secretary of state, the deputy director for science and technology at the Central Intelligence Agency, and the director of research and development at Department of Homeland Security. These people are appointed by the relevant secretary or director, not the president.

Both lists focus on positions relevant to the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences. Positions traditionally held by social and behavioral scientists, including economists, are not included, because the number of these positions in the federal government is large and they are rarely viewed as involving input from a science adviser to the President.

Furthermore, each relevant cabinet agency is represented to identify the key S&T official or adviser in each agency.

Lists of this type inevitably involve judgment and are not unique. They do, however, represent the positions that the committee believes are most critical to S&T or in which S&T are critical factors in policy making. The goals of the lists are to provide guidance to those involved in the appointment process about the most criti-cal positions from the perspective of the S&T community, to encourage timely appointment to the positions, and to suggest policy positions beyond those traditionally filled with scientists and engineers for which such appointments may be considered.

In each table, the following appointment categories are used:

PAS = presidential appointment with Senate confirmation

PA = presidential appointment (without Senate confirmation)

NA = noncareer appointment

Defined by Office of Personnel Management as “appointment authority allocated on individual case basis by OPM; authority reverts to OPM when the noncareer appointee leaves the position. Appointments may be made only to General positions and cannot exceed 25 percent of the agency’s Senior Executive Service (SES) position allocation.” (Source: Office of Personnel Management Web site: http://www.opm.gov/ses/glossary.asp)

FT = fixed term appointment, with length of appointment indicated



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement