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Science and Technology for America’s Progress: Ensuring the Best Presidential Appointments in the New Administration
fied as a “special government employee,” a “regular government employee,” a “consultant,” or a “representative” since there can be great variance in conflict-of-interest procedures.
Staff who process advisory committee membership nominations and who manage advisory committee operations should be properly trained senior employees familiar with the importance and nuances of the advisory committee process, including a clear understanding of the appropriateness of the questions that candidates should and should not be asked.
The nation needs exceptionally able scientists, engineers, and health professionals to serve in executive positions in the federal government and on federal advisory committees. Such persons, when serving as presidential appointees, make key programmatic and policy decisions that will affect our lives and those of our children. Similarly, skilled scientists and engineers are needed for advisory committees to provide advice on the myriad issues with complex technological dimensions that confront government decision makers. Our nation has been well served by its ability to draw qualified S&T candidates to government service because of the opportunities for intellectually challenging work that affects the world in which we live and that encourages and protects the scientific process. We must continue to enlist the best candidates for these important positions and ensure that unreasonable obstacles to their service are minimized.