SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP IN AMERICAN GOVERNMENT

ENSURING THE BEST PRESIDENTIAL APPOINTMENTS

Panel on Presidentially Appointed Scientists and Engineers

Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy

National Academy of Sciences

National Academy of Engineering

Institute of Medicine

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1992



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Science and Technology Leadership in American Government: Ensuring the Best Presidential Appointments SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP IN AMERICAN GOVERNMENT ENSURING THE BEST PRESIDENTIAL APPOINTMENTS Panel on Presidentially Appointed Scientists and Engineers Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy National Academy of Sciences National Academy of Engineering Institute of Medicine NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1992

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Science and Technology Leadership in American Government: Ensuring the Best Presidential Appointments National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Ave., NW Washington, DC 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. This report is the result of work done by an independent panel appointed by the Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (COSEPUP), which has authorized its release to the public. The members of the panel responsible for this report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by COSEPUP and a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a private, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and their use for the general welfare. Under the authority of its congressional charter of 1863, the Academy has a working mandate that calls upon it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. The Academy carries out this mandate primarily through the National Research Council, which it jointly administers with the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press is President of the NAS. The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) was established in 1964, under the charter of the NAS, as a parallel organization of distinguished engineers, autonomous in its administration and in the selection of members, sharing with the NAS its responsibilities for advising the federal government. Dr. Robert M. White is President of the NAE. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) was chartered in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences, to enlist distinguished members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. In this, the Institute acts under both the Academy’s 1863 congressional charter responsibility to be an adviser to the federal government and its own initiative in identifying issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth Shine is President of the IOM. The Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (COSEPUP) is a joint committee of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. It includes members of the councils of all three bodies. SPONSORS: This study was supported by the Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government and by the National Research Council Fund. Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 92-60301 International Standard Book Number 0-309-04727-7 Additional copies of this report are available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Ave., N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 S 574 Printed in the United States of America

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Science and Technology Leadership in American Government: Ensuring the Best Presidential Appointments PANEL ON PRESIDENTIALLY APPOINTED SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS KENNETH W. DAM (Chair), Vice President, Law and External Relations, IBM Corporation, Armonk, New York, and, on an interim basis, President and Chief Executive Officer, United Way of America, Alexandria, Virginia WILLIAM T. COLEMAN, Jr., Senior Partner, O'Melveny & Myers, Washington, D.C. JOHN M. DEUTCH, Institute Professor of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts JOHN S. FOSTER, Jr., Redondo Beach, California E. PENDLETON JAMES, Chairman, Pendleton James & Associates, New York, New York G. CALVIN MACKENZIE, Professor of Government, Colby College, Waterville, Maine CHARLES SCHULTZE, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C. ROBERT C. SEAMANS, Jr., Senior Lecturer, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts J. JACKSON WALTER, President, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Washington, D.C. ANNE WEXLER, Chairman, Wexler, Reynolds, Harrison, & Schule, Inc., Washington, D.C. R. JAMES WOOLSEY, Partner, Shea & Gardner, Washington, D.C. JAMES B. WYNGAARDEN, Foreign Secretary, National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, Washington, D.C., and Professor of Medicine, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina Study Staff MICHAEL MCGEARY, Study Director JAMES PFIFFNER, Consultant; Professor of Government and Politics, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia ELIZABETH BLOUNT, Project Assistant

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Science and Technology Leadership in American Government: Ensuring the Best Presidential Appointments COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE, ENGINEERING, AND PUBLIC POLICY CORNELIUS J. PINGS (Chairman), Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, University of Southern California LAWRENCE BOGORAD, Maria Moors Cabot Professor of Biology, Biological Laboratories, Harvard University STUART BONDURANT, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Dean, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill ROBERT A. BURT, Southmayd Professor of Law, Yale Law School ALBERT M. CLOGSTON, Member, Center for Materials Sciences, Los Alamos National Laboratory RALPH E. GOMORY, President, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation HARRY B. GRAY, Arnold O. Beckman Professor of Chemistry, California Institute of Technology WILLIAM G. HOWARD, Jr., Scottsdale, Arizona FRANCIS E. LOW, Institute Professor, Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology JOHN L. MCLUCAS, Aerospace Consultant, Alexandria, Virginia BEATRICE MINTZ, Senior Member, Institute for Cancer Research, Fox Chase Cancer Center C. KUMAR N. PATEL, Executive Director of Research, Materials Science, Engineering, and Academic Affairs Division, AT&T Bell Laboratories FRANK PRESS (Ex-Officio), President, National Academy of Sciences KENNETH SHINE (Ex-Officio), President, Institute of Medicine ROBERT M. SOLOW, Institute Professor, Department of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology H. GUYFORD STEVER, Science Advisor, Washington, D.C. ROBERT M. WHITE (Ex-Officio), President, National Academy of Engineering Staff LAWRENCE E. MCCRAY, Executive Director BARBARA A. CANDLAND, Administrative Assistant

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Science and Technology Leadership in American Government: Ensuring the Best Presidential Appointments Preface This report is from a study of the federal government's capacity to recruit highly qualified individuals for the top science and technology (S&T)-related leadership positions in the executive branch. The effort was supported by the Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government and by the National Research Council Fund of the Academies—National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. It was carried out by a panel of the Academies' Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy. The panel was well suited for the task. It was composed of distinguished former presidential appointees who have worked in or interacted with key S&T-related positions, and experts in the presidential appointment process (Appendix A provides brief information on panel members). Among them, the panel members have had many years of experience as presidential appointees in the White House, Executive Office of the President, the Departments of State, Defense (including the Air Force and Navy), Transportation, Health and Human Services, and Energy, and in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. There is little statistical data on the problem. Most of the existing data are indicators of quality problems such as vacancy and turnover rates rather than data that bear directly on causes or consequences. The study therefore primarily drew directly from the collective wisdom and judgment of the panel members, which in turn was based on their depth of experience in and around the policymaking levels of a rich variety of agencies and programs in every administration since Eisenhower. The panel was motivated by the realization that, although a diminishing capacity to recruit first-rate people may be hard to measure quantitatively, its long-term consequences would be very serious for the nation. The study was initiated from a mutual concern of the National Academies and the Carnegie Commission about the federal government's

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Science and Technology Leadership in American Government: Ensuring the Best Presidential Appointments ability to respond to and shape the fast pace of scientific discovery and technological change in the world today. The panel identified a set of 78 presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed (PAS) positions at the subcabinet level that are closely involved in science and technology policymaking and program administration (they are listed in Appendix B). The positions were chosen without regard to whether they have been held by individuals with scientific or engineering backgrounds, because they are the positions that would benefit most from incumbents with such expertise. In fact, at least two-thirds of them are filled by individuals with technical expertise—those who have some degree of training and experience in engineering or the physical, natural, or mathematical sciences (and several more are social scientists). However, since these are political jobs involved in policymaking and administration, other qualifications are important, too. For example, some positions have been filled very successfully by those with business and legal backgrounds. Different kinds of professional expertise are, of course, important in other program areas. Legal and accounting training and experience are essential in banking and securities regulation, for example. The same barriers and disincentives to serving in top S&T-related positions obviously apply more generally to many presidentially appointed positions, especially if they require special or professional qualifications. But the panel was asked to study the problems encountered by administrations in attracting and keeping talented individuals in S&T-related executive positions. Our recommendations are intended to address these problems and put the nation in a better position to use science and technology to improve the public welfare, security, and health. We do not mean to suggest, however, that presidential appointees who happen to be scientists and engineers should be treated differently from other appointees. The recommendations should be applied generally, and if they help in the recruitment of the best federal executives in other areas, so much the better. Also, when the report refers to scientists and engineers as potential candidates for presidentially appointed positions, it should be understood that we are referring to individuals with scientific or engineering backgrounds, whether or not they are currently practicing as such. In most cases, the scientists and engineers with the talent, energy, and experience required for a PAS position have been in managerial positions for some time. Still, their training and experience as a scientist or engineer would be of great help to them in carrying out the critical task of injecting technical expertise into government policymaking and administration. The panel would like to thank the individuals who took the time to meet with us and share their knowledge, experiences, and views. The

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Science and Technology Leadership in American Government: Ensuring the Best Presidential Appointments panel was briefed on the recruiting situation at its first meeting in June 1991 by Chase Untermeyer, then assistant to the President for presidential personnel, and D. Allan Bromley, the assistant to the President for science and technology. Later, Constance Horner met with the panel during her first week as the assistant to the President for presidential personnel. The panel also heard from several staff members of the Office of Presidential Personnel—Jan Naylor, the deputy director, and Martha Goodwin, an associate director. Jane Ley, deputy general counsel, and Leslie Wilcox, attorney-advisor, from the Office of Government Ethics, covered the current and pending conflict-of-interest laws and their administration at several panel meetings. Colleen Preston, general counsel, House Armed Services Committee, and Andrew Effron, chief counsel, Senate Armed Services Committee, came to discuss legislative proposals to extend postemployment restrictions. Elliot Richardson and Lloyd Cutler, who not only have dealt with these issues in government but who continue to follow these issues through service on such bodies as the National Commission on the Public Service and the quadrennial Commission on Executive, Legislative and Judicial Salaries, also met with the panel to share their views and concerns. The staff of the Council for Excellence in Government shared their draft profiles and preliminary data on the "Science 60," which just appeared in The Prune Book: The 60 Toughest Science and Technology Jobs in Washington (Trattner, 1992). The profiles provide a broader understanding of the range of high-level executive positions that have significant S&T content, and can be usefully read in conjunction with our report. The panel benefited greatly from the efforts of staff, who gathered and synthesized the latest information on a variety of topics, particularly the welter of conflict-of-interest rules and the fast-changing executive pay situation. Jim Pfiffner, professor of government and politics at George Mason University, contributed his expertise as a consultant on the policy management roles of the presidency. Last but not least, I would like to thank the panel members for their willingness to devote considerable time, on short notice, over a short period of time, to a difficult and serious set of issues that is not very visible but nevertheless affects us all greatly. Kenneth W. Dam Chairman of the Study Panel

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Science and Technology Leadership in American Government: Ensuring the Best Presidential Appointments Contents     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1 1   INTRODUCTION   19     Science, Technology, and Government   19     Governance of Science and Technology   22     What Are the Jobs?   22     Who Holds These Positions?   24     Problems   25     Consequences   28     Solutions   29 2   REDUCING THE HURDLES AND DISINCENTIVES   31     Toward Reasonable and Effective Ethics Rules   32     Postgovernment Employment Restrictions   33     Consolidation and Periodic Review of Ethics Laws   37     Reasonable Resolution of Substantive Conflicts of Interest   39     Nonprofit Job Tenure   41     Reducing the Costs of Serving   42     Compensation   42     Outside Income Exceptions   46     Using New Pay Flexibilities   46     Administrative Streamlining   47     Standardize Forms and Coordinate Procedures   47     Update Previous FBI Background Investigations   47 3   IMPROVING RECRUITMENT AND EXPANDING THE POOL OF CANDIDATES   49     Recruiting Top Scientists and Engineers   49     Office of Presidential Personnel   51     Greater Reliance on Department and Agency Recruiting   53

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Science and Technology Leadership in American Government: Ensuring the Best Presidential Appointments     Key Personnel Role for the President's Assistant for Science and Technology   54     Specialized Capacity of the Office of Presidential Personnel for S&T Recruitment   55     Cooperation Among the Departments, the President's Assistant for S&T, and the Office of Presidential Personnel   56     Other Recruiting Recommendations   57     Greater Involvement and Support of Nongovernmental Sectors   57     Increasing the Interest of Scientists and Engineers in Government Service   58 4   MAKING THE JOBS THEMSELVES MORE ATTRACTIVE   61     Appropriate Reclassification and Restructuring of Positions   62     Reducing Administrative "Overbrush"   64     APPENDIXES A   Members of the Panel on Presidentially Appointed Scientists and Engineers   67 B   Presidentially Appointed Science and Technology-Related Positions   69 C   Postgovernment Employment Restrictions   75     REFERENCES   89

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Science and Technology Leadership in American Government: Ensuring the Best Presidential Appointments SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP IN AMERICAN GOVERNMENT ENSURING THE BEST PRESIDENTIAL APPOINTMENTS

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