PRESIDENTIAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY APPOINTMENTS

One of the greatest challenges of modern society and its governing bodies is to manage S&T properly and to incorporate such information into daily decision making. Knowledge creation and diffusion are increasingly important drivers of innovation, sustainable economic growth, and social well-being. The security, prosperity, health, and environment of Americans depend on senior leadership to sustain our vibrant S&T and to nurture an environment that transforms new knowledge into opportunities for creating high-quality jobs and for reaching shared goals. The nation increasingly looks to the scientific and engineering communities for solutions to some of its most intractable problems—from chronic disease to missile defense; to transportation woes; to energy security; to ensuring clean air, clean water, and safe food. Expectations for S&T are perhaps higher than at any other time in our history and are placing unprecedented demands on leadership.

Box 1 lists the top federal S&T leadership appointments important for the development of S&T-based policy. The list includes the key positions for which an S&T background is essential. The list could be much longer if it included all S&T-relevant presidential appointments, but the committee chose to emphasize, on this list, the priority key appointments that a new administration should address in the first months after the inauguration. These positions will be not only essential in providing daily leadership, but also key to setting longer term priorities in the budget and policy-making process.



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Presidential Science and Technology Appointments O ne of the greatest challenges of modern society and its governing bodies is to manage S&T properly and to incorporate such infor- mation into daily decision making. Knowledge creation and diffu- sion are increasingly important drivers of innovation, sustainable economic growth, and social well-being. The security, prosperity, health, and environment of Americans depend on senior leader- ship to sustain our vibrant S&T and to nurture an environment that transforms new knowledge into opportunities for creating high- quality jobs and for reaching shared goals. The nation increasingly looks to the scientific and engineering communities for solutions to some of its most intractable problems—from chronic disease to missile defense; to transportation woes; to energy security; to ensur- ing clean air, clean water, and safe food. Expectations for S&T are perhaps higher than at any other time in our history and are placing unprecedented demands on leadership. Box 1 lists the top federal S&T leadership appointments important for the development of S&T-based policy. The list includes the key positions for which an S&T background is essen- tial. The list could be much longer if it included all S&T-relevant presidential appointments, but the committee chose to emphasize, on this list, the priority key appointments that a new administration should address in the first months after the inauguration. These positions will be not only essential in providing daily leadership, but also key to setting longer term priorities in the budget and policy- making process. 

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SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR AMERICA’S PROGRESS BOX 1 Key Science and Technology 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 secretaries of various mission agencies are not included in the list even though they have major responsibilities for the health of the scientific enterprise. In general, those listed are presidential appointees (PA) or presidential appointees with Senate confirmation (PAS). The goals of the list are to provide guidance to those involved in the appointment process about the most critical 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 the 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. 

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Presidential Science and Technology Appointments Key Science and Technology Positions EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT Assistant to the President for Science and Technology (APST)a (PA) Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)a (PAS) Associate Directors, Office of Science and Technology Policy (4) (PAS) President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technologyb (PA) Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers (PAS) Chairman, Council on Environmental Quality (PAS) Director and Deputy Director, National Economic Council (PA) Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs (PA) Associate Directors, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) (3) (NA) Administrator, OMB Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (PAS) DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics (PAS) Under Secretary for Food Safety (PAS) Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services (PAS) DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere/Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) (PAS) Director, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) (PAS) Director, Bureau of the Census (PAS) DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Director, Defense Research and Engineering (PAS) Under Secretary for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (PAS) Director, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) (NA) Director, Operational Test and Evaluation, Office of the Secretary of Defense (PAS) Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs (PAS) Assistant Secretary for Networks and Information Integration/Chief Information Officer (PAS) Assistant to the Secretary for Nuclear and Chemical and Biological Defense Programs (PAS) DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Director, Institute of Education Sciences (PAS) DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Under Secretary of Science (PAS) Under Secretary for Energy and Environment (PAS) Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (PAS) Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management (PAS) Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy (PAS) Assistant Secretary of Nuclear Energy (PAS) Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) (PAS) Principal Deputy Administrator of NNSA (PAS) In many administrations, the same person has held the posts of APST and director of OSTP. There have been instances in a which presidential administrations have not named an assistant to the President for science and technology. b These positions are part-time. 

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SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR AMERICA’S PROGRESS DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of Public Health and Sciencec (PAS) Director, National Institutes of Health (PAS) Director, National Cancer Instituted (PA) Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (PAS) Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration (PAS) DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Under Secretary for Science and Technology (PAS) DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Assistant Secretary for Water and Science (PAS) Assistant Secretary, Fish and Wildlife and Parks (PAS) Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (PAS) Director, U.S. Geological Survey (PAS) DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Commissioner, Bureau of Labor Statistics (PAS) DEPARTMENT OF STATE Assistant Secretary for Oceans and International Environment and Scientific Affairs (PAS) Advisor to the Secretary for Science and Technology (NA) [FT = 4 years] DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Administrator, Research and Innovative Technology Administration (PAS) DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Under Secretary for Health (PAS) [FT = 4 years] ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY Assistant Administrator for Research and Development (PAS) NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION Administrator (PAS) Deputy Administrator (PAS) NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION Director (PAS) [FT = 6 years] Deputy Director (PAS) National Science Board (24)b (PAS) [FT = 6 years] NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Chair and Commissioners (4) (PAS) [FT = 5 years] c In recent administrations, the same person has held the posts of assistant secretary for public health and science and surgeon general, but this has not always been the case. d The director of NCI is listed, while the other NIH institute directors are not, because the position is the only one that is filled by presidential appointment. The others are career appointees. Likewise, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is not a presidential appointee. 

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Presidential Science and Technology Appointments The committee found four aspects of the appointment process in which reforms are needed to enhance the nation’s ability to recruit and attract the best S&T leadership to government posi- tions: accelerating the speed with which appointments are made; enhancing the process by which candidates are nominated, cleared, and confirmed; reducing pre-government and postgovernment restrictions; and broadening the pool of potential candidates. Accelerate the Appointment Process for Science and Technology Leadership The growing importance of S&T in so many elements of policy making and the need for clear policies with regard to day-to-day management of the scientific and engineering enter- prise make clear that there should be minimal gaps in senior S&T leadership. Top S&T appointments need to be made early in an administration. The nation learned from the work of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States (known as the 9/11 Commission) and that of the Commis- sion on National Security/21st Century that lapses in appoint- ments and long-standing vacancies can have deleterious—even dangerous—consequences.1 S&T Leadership in the White House White House leadership on science and technology can be strongly influenced by certain key decisions taken before, as well as in the first months after, the November election. The commit- tee strongly supports the view that good science advisers should be active with all candidates during the election process to inform the public debate on a host of key issues in 2008. Secondly, selection 1The United States Commission on National Security/21st Century, 2001. Road Map for National Security: Imperative for Change: The Phase III Report of the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century . Washington, DC, pp. 89-94; U.S. National Commis- sion on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. 2004. The 9/11 Commission Report Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, pp. 422-423. 

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SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR AMERICA’S PROGRESS of an assistant to the President-elect on S&T immediately after the election is essential to ensure that assistance is available to the incoming President in identifying the best candidates for key S&T appointments, to provide advice in the event of a crisis, and to sup- port early implementation of the President’s agenda. In the critical early days of a new administration, that person should be named to the post of Assistant to the President for Science and Technology (APST) to serve as a respected personal and confidential adviser to the President on S&T-related policy issues, presumably honed over the course of the election campaign, rather than as a representative of the S&T community. The APST can also play a crucial role in identifying candi- dates for key S&T appointments and in advising the President on S&T considerations with regard to priorities in the ongoing federal budget process, an activity that will immediately confront a new administration for both FY2009 and FY2010. The annual federal investment in research and development is approximately $145 bil- lion (about 1 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product), and about 40 percent of it is devoted to research. It is critical that the APST be in place as quickly as possible to advise the President and cabinet members on various aspects of that substantial investment. Having an advisor to the President in place is also important to have a voice in the deliberations of other key White House offices that inter- sect with S&T concerns. Examples include the National Security Council, National Economic Council, Domestic Policy Council, Council on Environmental Quality, and the Homeland Security Council. The mandates of the latter groups increasingly involve S&T, and working relationships at senior levels need to be estab- lished at the beginning of the administration, perhaps even through joint appointments between the Office of Science and Technology Policy staff and the councils listed. The President is not required to name an assistant for S&T, and some have declined to do so. However, the “assistant to the President” normally has direct access and indicates the impor- 

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Presidential Science and Technology Appointments tance the president attaches to S&T. For this reason, the committee strongly recommends that the new President appoint his APST immediately after taking office.2 The director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy holds a statutory position with government-wide coordination obligations that do not, necessarily, encompass the important confidential advisory role that the APST should play. Because of the overlap in responsibilities of the APST and the Director of OSTP, we recommend that the new President select one individual to serve both roles and seek rapid Senate confirma- tion for the latter. The committee considered the possibility that different persons could hold the positions of APST and director of OSTP. Nothing prevents that option legally, although no administration has ever taken that approach. Proponents of that approach argue that: (1) the APST, as an adviser to the President, cannot be forced to testify before Congress (as the OSTP director can) and can thus be closer to confidential decision making in the White House; and (2) having two voices in the White House on S&T matters rather than one would strengthen the position of science, engineering and medicine in administration decision making. The committee took these views into account, and came to the conclusion that there were greater advantages in having the two positions occupied by the same person: (1) the APST would have virtually no staff support; (2) a rise of competition between the APST and the OSTP director could easily occur; (3) with the presence of the APST in “insider circles,” it would be less likely that the OSTP director would be given cabinet-level status; and (4) linkages of agencies with the 2Other groups analyzing this issue in 2008 also consider this a priority proposal. See, for instance, Jennifer Sue Bond, Mark Schaefer, David Rejeski, and Rodney W Nichols. 2008. OSTP 2.0 Critical Upgrade: Enhanced Capacity for White House Science and Technology Policymaking: Recommendations for the Next President. Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, p. 4. 

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SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR AMERICA’S PROGRESS White House would become more complicated with multiple chan- nels. For these reasons, the committee has opted for the following recommendation. 1. Shortly after the election, the President-elect should identify a candidate for the position of assistant to the President for Science and Technology (APST) to provide advice, including suggesting and recruiting other science and technology presidential appointees. After inauguration, the President should promptly both appoint this person as APST and nominate him or her as the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The director should be a cabinet-level position,3 and the office needs to be represented physically in the Old Executive Office building. The APST should have credibility and the respect of the S&T community; an understanding of large research or educational enterprises; background as a practicing researcher (academic or nonacademic); awareness of a wide variety of public policy issues; familiarity with issues in technology and national security, economic development and energy, health and the environment, and interna- tional affairs; and the ability to work and communicate with others, including policy makers. Because the APST does not require Senate confirmation, the person can be appointed immediately after the presidential inauguration without delay. However, because the APST cannot become OSTP director without Senate confirmation, the President 3The committee refers to a “cabinet-level position,” in the sense of having rights and responsibilities that can vary from administration to administration to mean anything from simple participation in cabinet-level committees to an actual seat at the table as a member of the cabinet. 0

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Presidential Science and Technology Appointments should seek her or his rapid confirmation to facilitate a continuous connection between the two roles. The new administration should make the director of OSTP a cabinet-level position. It is essential that the OSTP director be included in cabinet consultations that include discussion of the sci- ence and technology components of broader policy decisions and to invest commensurate authority in the senior leadership of OSTP. S&T Presidential Appointments The opportunity to serve in high-level S&T positions is widely considered by former occupants to have enabled them to make valuable contributions to meeting the nation’s long-term chal- lenges. Such service brings together a life of advancing knowledge with the chance to bring that knowledge to bear on major societal issues. Those who have served in S&T leadership positions report that they highly value their experience and feel that their appoint- ments gave them an opportunity to make a substantive impact in achieving important public objectives. In a 2002 survey of several hundred principal appointees by the Council for Excellence in Government, for example, 74 percent of these former presidential appointees said that they were very satisfied with their work in government, and an equal percentage said that they would willingly return to government service. They cited numerous reasons to work in federal leadership positions, including patriotism, the chance to be a part of history, and the opportunity to help a President in whom one believes.4 The same survey, however, also highlighted some of the personal and financial challenges that may emerge through a com- 4Brookings Presidential Appointee Initiative. 2002. Attracting and Keeping the Best and Brightest. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution. 

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SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR AMERICA’S PROGRESS mitment to high-level public service as a presidential appointee.5 The issues often cited include an unfamiliar appointment pro- cess, an appointment without tenure, the organization of personal finances to meet government conflict-of-interest requirements, and the need to pay close attention to postemployment restric- tions. Various reports have identified solutions to these issues, and multiple sources of guidance are available to potential appointees to steer their way through the procedural requirements for serving in a presidential appointment. The appointment process should be improved. Figure 1 provides an overview of this cumbersome process. The process can stretch for long periods and involve considerable requests for information from nominees for background checks. Financial disclosures regarding ranges of assets (including their families) ultimately become public knowledge. On average, it now takes more than 8 months to fill key S&T positions that require Senate confirmation—an extended period of uncertainty for nominees (see Figure 2). As a result, some believe that a new administra- tion should consider whether some senior positions could be filled as effectively with presidential appointments that do not require Senate confirmation In preparing for the nomination and clearance process, a candidate typically faces unfamiliar regulations, reporting require- ments, and administrative procedures set by the Office of Gov- ernment Ethics (OGE), the General Services Administration, and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The process includes background investigations conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and an ethics official for the agency to which the President wishes to appoint the candidate. As part of the process, the candidate usually prepares and submits several forms, including the Public Financial Disclosure Report (Standard Form [SF] 278), the Questionnaire for National Security Positions 5Brookings, 2000; 2002. 

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Presidential Science and Technology Appointments White House Office of Presidential Personnel narrows candidate list, checks references, and makes single recommendation to the President. Candidate completes battery of forms in preparation for background check. Office of the Counsel to the President oversees background check through the FBI, IRS, Office of Government Ethics, and the agency’s ethics official. No conflicts found. Conflict found. Counsel clears the candidate. Office of Government Ethics and the agency’s ethics official work with candidate to address potential problems or conflicts. Office of Presidential Personnel submits nomination to Senate through the Office of the Executive Clerk. Senate committee holds confirmation hearing and then votes. Confirmation moves to full Senate for vote. Nomination approved. Nomination disapproved. President signs commission. Official is sworn in. FIGuRE 1 Overview of the presidential appointments process. figure 1 SOURCE: The Nonpartisan Presidential Appointee Initiative. 2000. Staffing a New Redrawn 11/8/04 Administration: A Guide to Personnel Appointments in a Presidential Transition. A project of the Brookings Institution funded by the Pew Charitable Trust. Washington, DC. 

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SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR AMERICA’S PROGRESS 10 8.7 8.53 9 8.13 8 7 6 5.3 Months 4.55 5 4 3.39 3 2.38 2 1 0 Jimmy John F. Richard M. Ronald George H. Bill Clinton George W. Bush Kennedy Nixon Carter Reagan W. Bush President FIGuRE 2 The average number of months it takes2 fill the top 500 jobs in the to Fig administration. SOURCE: The Nonpartisan Presidential Appointee Initiative. 2000. Staffing a New Administration: A Guide to Personnel Appointments in a Presidential Transition. A project of the Brookings Institution funded by the Pew Charitable Trust . Washington, DC. NOTE: This analysis, originally conducted by Calvin McKenzie, has been updated with estimated data for the George W. Bush administration from Paul Light, former Director of the Presidential Appointee Initiative. The averages presented here are estimates for initial appointments during the presidencies’ first years based on information available at the time they were calculated. Averages for some administrations may be different when data for candidates during the entire term are included. The committee authoring the 2004 edition of this report analyzed the data on the pool of key S&T candidates listed as “key S&T appointments,” and there is no substantial difference in time needed for confirmation of these candidates between the first Clinton term and the first George W. Bush term. Note also that the time from inauguration to confirma- tion is actually a conservative estimate inasmuch as several positions are still vacant after the President’s first year in office. 

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Presidential Science and Technology Appointments (SF 86), and the White House Personal Data Statement Question- naire. OGE and the agency ethics officer may work with a candidate to resolve conflicts that surface during this stage. Once cleared, the nomination is ready to be submitted to the Senate. Separate forms exist for the particular Senate committee if the position requires Senate confirmation. 2. The President and the Senate should streamline and accelerate the appointment process for all S&T appointees—indeed, all key appointees—to simplify the financial procedures for nominees and to allow impor- tant positions to be filled promptly. Streamlining proposals include such mechanisms as relying on one system of background checks rather than separate systems for the White House and the Senate, clarifying the criteria for the position in question and the principles for questioning nominees, requesting only relevant and important background information, and keeping the process timely and on track with the goal of completing the appointment process in a target period (e.g., within 4 months) from first White House contact to Senate confirmation. The presi- dent can enhance and accelerate this process by • Reducing the time between first White House contact and the intent to nominate announcement, • Providing feedback to candidates on their status at all approval steps; and. • Advising candidates on issues of conflict-of-interest, reporting, and divestiture requirements and ensuring that they understand the personal financial implications before accepting the nomination and notifying their current employers. The committee also endorses the recommendations of the Brookings Institution Presidential Appointee Initiative Advisory 

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SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR AMERICA’S PROGRESS Board (see Box 2) as to how the presidential appointment process can be streamlined and accelerated. The recommendations of its nonpartisan commission are similar to those of this committee, sug- gesting that the challenges for S&T appointees are not unlike those for other appointees. In sum, the Brookings Institution recommends that: • The President should maintain a professionalized Office of Presidential Personnel with knowledge of executive recruitment in the Executive Office of the President. • The President and Congress should simplify and stan- dardize the information-gathering forms used in the presidential appointments process and develop and maintain on-line interac- tive access to all such forms and questionnaires for persons going through the appointment process. • Congress should undertake a comprehensive review of the ethics requirements imposed on political appointees with the goal of striking a balance between concerns about the integrity of those who serve and the need to eliminate intrusive or complex disclosure requirements. The Senate should consider approaches that • Limit the imposition of “holds” by all senators to a total of no more than 14 days. • Require Senate confirmation votes within 45 days after receipt of a nomination. • Allow nominations to be reported out of the relevant Senate committees (without a hearing) when a majority of commit- tee members of each party concur 6; and 6The Presidential Appointee Initiative Advisory Board. 2001. To Form A Government: A Bipartisan Plan to Improve the Presidential Appointments Process. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution. 

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Presidential Science and Technology Appointments BOX 2 Recommendations of the Brookings Institution Presidential Appointee Initiative Advisory Board In April 2001, the Brookings Institution Presidential Appointee Initiative, a nonpartisan project funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, and whose advisory board was co-chaired by Nancy Kassebaum Baker, former Republican Senator from Kansas, and Franklin D. Raines, former director of the Office of Management and Budget, provided a set of recommendations as to how the presidential appointment process could be improved. The following are some of the recommendations as to how they believe the nomination and confirmation process for presidential appointees can be streamlined. 1. The Congress should enact legislation to establish a permanent Office of Presidential Personnel in the Executive Office of the President and to authorize staff levels sufficient to recruit the president’s appointees efficiently and to provide them with transition assistance and orientation. This should include some career employees who retain appropriate records from one administration to the next and who are experts in the operations of all aspects of the appointment process. 2. The President should order all departments and agencies to simplify and standard- ize the information-gathering forms used in the presidential appointments process. The Senate should require its committees to do so as well. The president should then order the General Services Administration to develop and maintain on-line, interac- tive access to all such forms and questionnaires for persons who are going through the presidential appointment process. 3. Congress should undertake a comprehensive review of the ethics requirements cur- rently imposed on political appointees. Its goal should be to strike an appropriate bal- ance between legitimate concerns for the integrity of those who hold these important positions and the need to eliminate unnecessarily intrusive or complex requirements that deter talented Americans from entering public service. 4. The Senate should adopt a rule that limits the imposition of “holds” by all Senators to a total of no more than 14 days on any single nominee. 5. The Senate should adopt a rule that mandates a confirmation vote on every nominee no later than the 45th day after receipt of a nomination. The rule should permit any Senator, at the end of 45 days, to make a point of order calling for a vote on a nomi- nation. A majority of the Senate may postpone the confirmation vote until a subsequent date. 6. The Senate should adopt a rule that permits nominations to be reported out of a com- mittee without a hearing, upon the written concurrence of a majority of committee members of each part. SOURCE: Excerpts from The Presidential Appointee Initiative Advisory Board. 2001. To Form A Govern- ment: A Bipartisan Plan to Improve the Presidential Appointments Process. Available at http://www. appointee.brookings.edu/events/reformag.pdf. 

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SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR AMERICA’S PROGRESS • Ensure collaboration with the President to develop common forms for presidential nominees, so Senate and White House forms can be identical. The burden on nominees could be reduced if the Senate and the executive branch could agree on a common set of forms on which both would rely in the nomination and confirmation process. A reduction of the time burden could also be achieved by greater civility in the appointment process on the part of both the White House and the Senate. The introduction of extraneous issues into the confirmation process—which serves only to delay the ability of qualified nominees to take up their positions—has increased in recent years and needs to be reversed. 3. Congress and the Office of Government Ethics should consolidate and simplify appointment policies and procedures to reduce the financial and vocational obstacles to government service. Congress and OGE should increase the attractiveness of government service to scientists and engineers by simplifying the requirements and restrictions aimed at avoiding conflicts of interest by appointees. These policies and procedures have built up over the years for good reason, but in time have also become unduly complex. Each administration also needs to review the postemploy- ment restrictions in place to ensure they have the right balance between maintaining the integrity of government decision making and encouraging our most experienced and expert citizens to fill policy-making positions. Previous Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (COSEPUP) reports, the Brookings Institution Presidential Appointee Initiative, and other analyses have recommended that the appointment process be streamlined by simplifying finan- cial disclosure reporting requirements, requiring OGE to review 

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Presidential Science and Technology Appointments conflict-of-interest laws, and allowing OPM to provide a full list of appointed positions to each presidential candidate after each politi- cal party’s convention.7 The intended goal of the recommendations is to accelerate the appointment process. The committee favors greater transparency for nominees from all fields. Some concerns may be better addressed by open- ness in potential conflicts of interest than establishing uniform rules for people whose situations can vary widely. A tailored approach to meet the situations in different agencies, and reflecting the realities of different incumbents, could be handled if transparency created trust in the process. Some efforts have been made to streamline and harmonize the administrative requirements since 2001,8 follow- ing on the Presidential Transition Act of 2000.9 There was also an attempt to pass a Presidential Appointments Improvement Act in 200110 and 2003.11 The White House could play a key role in bringing together the executive and legislative branches to consider these broadly accepted reforms on an urgent basis. Some mechanisms for consolidating and simplifying the process are: (1) standardizing and clarifying pre-employment requirements and postemployment restrictions, (2) simplifying financial disclosure reporting require- ments (for example, evaluating a de minimis rule), and (3) eliminat- ing many of the restrictions associated with the use of blind trusts. 7Presidential Appointee Initiative, 2003. 8U.S. Office of Government Ethics. 2001. Report on Improvements to the Financial Disclosure Process for Presidential Nominees. Washington: DC. 9P.L. 106-293, Sec. 3(b)(1). 10See also U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs. 2002. Presidential Appointments Act of 2002, report to accompany S. 1811, 107th Cong., 2nd sess., S.Rept. 107-152. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. 11S. 765, introduced by Senator Voinovich on April 2, 2003, and H.R. 1603, intro- duced by Representative Davis, introduced on April 3, 2003, were both titled the Presidential Appointments Improvement Act of 2003. 

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SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR AMERICA’S PROGRESS Broaden the Pool of Potential Candidates Creating a larger pool of potential candidates for key S&T positions is likely to improve the choices made. Thus, presiden- tial administrations should ensure that they have mechanisms in place to expand the search to include input from the scientific and engineering communities on potential nominees and to continue an active campaign to increase the numbers of women and minority group members appointed to top-level posts. Representation of women and underrepresented minori- ties is improving in many professions, but progress has been slower in the scientific and engineering workforce. For example, in 2005, women made up 38 percent and underrepresented groups 5 per- cent of science and engineering doctoral recipients.12 The pool of qualified candidates for S&T appointments is insufficiently broad and diverse, and women and some minorities are often underrep- resented in the highest ranks of S&T leadership. This is due in part to less-than-optimal representation in the S&T community in general and the fact that many women and members of underrepre- sented groups are early in their careers. 4. Scientific and professional societies should more actively reach out to the APST and other senior administration leadership to provide input that broadens the pool of potential candidates for S&T appointments. To improve the search for qualified S&T appointees and to build a strong pool of candidates with policy experience now and in the future, professional science, engineering, and health societies should suggest emerging leaders in their fields to serve in govern- ment positions, including federal advisory committees, and should 12National Science Foundation. 2006. Survey of Doctorate Recipients. Washington, DC. 0

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Presidential Science and Technology Appointments expand junior and senior internship and fellowship programs that provide their members with government and policy experience. Leaders in the community with knowledge of management skills of nominees should be consulted in order to ensure that appointees will be effective in government. Greater attention should be paid to the pool of highly qualified individuals from industry, with the emergence of chief technology officers in recent years as an identifi- able professional leadership level. 

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