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:

FT = fixed term appointment, with length of appointment indicated.

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