White House leadership in science and technology requires three steps. Immediately after the election, the President-elect should identify his candidate for the position of Assistant to the President for Science and Technology (APST). This individual will provide advice, identify, and recruit 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 (OSTP). The director of OSTP should be a cabinet-level position, with an office in the Old Executive Office Building.
Selection of a confidential adviser 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 and to provide advice in the event of a crisis or for early implementation of the President’s agenda. As a second step, that person should be named APST immediately after the inauguration so that he or she will have the stature that the S&T portfolio warrants.
The APST should have credibility and the respect of the S&T community; an understanding of large research and 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, health and the environment, and international affairs; and the ability to work and communicate with others, including policy makers.
Because the position, by itself, does not require Senate confirmation, the APST should be formally appointed immediately after the presidential inauguration. However, because the APST cannot undertake the duties of OSTP director without Senate con-