Date: Sept. 17, 2008
Contacts: Sara Frueh, Media Relations Officer
Alison Burnette, Media Relations Assistant
Office of News and Public Information
202-334-2138; e-mail <email@example.com>
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Report Advises Presidential Candidates on Filling Key Science and Technology Posts
"The new administration and the nation will need exceptionally able scientists, engineers, and health professionals to serve in the federal government," said John Edward Porter, chair of the committee that wrote the report, a former congressman from
Immediately after the election, the president-elect's highest S&T priority should be to select a confidential adviser on science and technology, who will help identify and recruit the best candidates for key appointments, participate in budget decisions for fiscal years 2009 and 2010, and provide guidance in the event of a crisis, the report says. This adviser should be appointed the assistant to the president for science and technology promptly after the inauguration, and nominated as the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The director should be included in cabinet discussions about the scientific and technological aspects of broader policy decisions.
The report recommends that the president and Senate accelerate the appointment process for S&T leadership to reduce the personal and financial burdens on nominees and to allow important positions to be filled swiftly. Congress and the Office of Government Ethics should simplify procedures aimed at avoiding conflicts of interest in appointees, which have become unduly complex over the years. And scientific and professional societies should more actively reach out to the president's science adviser and other senior administration leaders to provide input that broadens the pool of candidates for appointments.
In addition, the report urges the incoming president to ensure that his administration makes the process for appointing people to federal advisory committees explicit and transparent, and stresses that those chosen to provide S&T expertise should be selected solely for their knowledge, credentials, and professional and personal integrity.
The report is the latest in a series of reports issued by the Academies on the presidential appointment process, each delivered during a presidential election year.
The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering,
Copies of the summary of Science and Technology for America's Progress: Ensuring the Best Presidential Appointments in the New Administration are available from the National Academies Press; tel. 202-334-3313 or 1-800-624-6242 or on the Internet at http://www.nap.edu. Reporters may obtain a copy from the Office of News and Public Information (contacts listed above).
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[ This news release and report are available at http://national-academies.org ]
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy
Committee on Science and Technology in the National Interest:
Ensuring the Best Presidential Appointments
John E. Porter1 (chair)
Hogan and Hartson, LLP
Richard F. Celeste
Mary E. Clutter
Former Assistant Director
National Science Foundation
James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy
Richard A. Meserve2
Carnegie Institution of
Anne C. Petersen1
Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and
Professor of Psychology
Maxine L. Savitz2
General Manager for Technology Partnerships
Honeywell Inc. (retired)
Deborah L. Wince-Smith
Council on Competitiveness
Richard E. Bissell