TOP 150 SCIENCE AND TECHNology ROLES IN GOVERNMENT

The response to our recent open call for contributions helped identify 150 critical S&T roles in the Federal Government and why they matter for the new administration. In continuing our crowdsourced effort, the Day One Project is excited to share our updated list.

We Still Need Your Help  

Following our initial open call for submissions of key S&T roles, we invite the community to continue to support the development of our top 150 list by sharing your feedback on the existing roles, and offering additional positions that we might have missed.

Background: Top 150 S&T Roles

This initial list features key science and technology roles from across the Federal Government. Included are career and noncareer appointments, high-level leadership, and overlooked positions—all designed to ensure we capture and elevate the importance of each individual and role as we look towards the next administration.

OUR TOP 150 FEDERAL S&T ROLES

 

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Department of Agriculture
National Science Foundation

Department of Agriculture

Secretary of Agriculture


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Secretary leads USDA’s policy development and execution for food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, and nutrition. This role is responsible for overseeing the American farming industry, helping farmers with price support subsidies and leading food inspection efforts. As a member of the Cabinet, the Secretary serves as main advisor to the President on issues related to agriculture and food.




Undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation This position is the top scientist at the USDA, overseeing the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), the Economic Research Service and more. ARS conducts research supporting the USDA's mission, while NIFA funds agricultural research at universities. This position is critical to all research conducted and funded by the USDA on food security and sustainability.




Administrator, Agricultural Research Service


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is USDA’s principal in-house research agency and has a portfolio of research and technology transfer programs that deliver scientific solutions to many of the nation’s highest priority agricultural challenges. The ARS Director oversees a $1.3B budget, 1,800 scientists and 90 laboratories throughout the world. The Director provides national leadership, vision, guidance, and direction for the Agricultural Research Service.




Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment is the principal advisor to the Secretary of Agriculture on policy to promote conservation and sustainable use of the country’s natural resources. The person in this role is responsible for all day-to-day operations of the U.S. Forest Service, and shepherding the improvement of forest conditions across the National Forest System and all the nation’s forests.





 

Department of Commerce

Secretary of Agriculture


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Secretary leads USDA’s policy development and execution for food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, and nutrition. This role is responsible for overseeing the American farming industry, helping farmers with price support subsidies and leading food inspection efforts. As a member of the Cabinet, the Secretary serves as main advisor to the President on issues related to agriculture and food.




Undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation This position is the top scientist at the USDA, overseeing the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), the Economic Research Service and more. ARS conducts research supporting the USDA's mission, while NIFA funds agricultural research at universities. This position is critical to all research conducted and funded by the USDA on food security and sustainability.




Administrator, Agricultural Research Service


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is USDA’s principal in-house research agency and has a portfolio of research and technology transfer programs that deliver scientific solutions to many of the nation’s highest priority agricultural challenges. The ARS Director oversees a $1.3B budget, 1,800 scientists and 90 laboratories throughout the world. The Director provides national leadership, vision, guidance, and direction for the Agricultural Research Service.




Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment is the principal advisor to the Secretary of Agriculture on policy to promote conservation and sustainable use of the country’s natural resources. The person in this role is responsible for all day-to-day operations of the U.S. Forest Service, and shepherding the improvement of forest conditions across the National Forest System and all the nation’s forests.





 
 

Department of Defense

Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition & Sustainment


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Under Secretary for Acquisition & Sustainment is in charge of the effective acquisition system—all matters pertaining to contract administration, logistics and materiel readiness, installations and environment, operational energy, chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, the acquisition workforce, and the defense industrial base. Focusing on rapidly responding to Combatant Commands’ needs, modernizing nuclear deterrent, executing acquisition reforms, sustaining critical weapons systems, collaborating with emerging partners, and ensuring the nation’s industrial base is robust, secure, resilient, and innovative. This position is critical to prepare, sustain and ensure the military is operationally modernized.




Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering (R&E)


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation With a focus on R&D and innovation, the requirements of the Under Secretary are to provide technical and research expertise, possess a deep understanding of how to navigate the agency, and serve as a bridge for engaging and inspiring industry to work and support key initiatives and research within the Pentagon. The USD R&E is responsible for research, development, and prototyping activities across the defense enterprise, and charged with ensuring the technological superiority of the DoD. Furthermore, this individual oversees DARPA, Missile Defense Agency, the Defense Innovation Unit, the Space Development Agency, the Department of Defense Laboratory enterprise, and the Under Secretariat staff on advanced technology and capabilities. This position is key for the R&D enterprise.




Principal Director for Biotechnology


Noncareer Appointment The Principle Director for Biotechnology is the key leader in biotechnology strategy, investment, modernization, and implementation across DoD, as the senior biotech role in the Office of Under Secretary of Defense (R&D) and senior leader-advisor for each of the services and unified combatant commands. Because biotechnology is crucial, but not traditionally thought of as a defense technology, the role shapes the perspective of senior leaders and policymakers across an entire Federal S&T domain. They contribute to war game development and scenarios that would enable the risks and opportunities to be observed in the context of mission applications. This position is important for the incoming administration because it provides a service-specific perspective on requirements and priorities in biotechnology development. They are responsible for assessing, developing strategy, and implementing biotechnology modernization across each of the respective mission sets.




Under Secretary of Defense for Policy


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Under Secretary is responsible for consistently providing responsive, forward-thinking, and insightful policy advice to the Secretary of Defense on national security objectives and priorities, oversight of military plans and operations, and in National Security Council deliberations. They assist with the Defense Technology Security Administration.




Director, Office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation


Noncareer Appointment The CAPE Director reports directly to the Secretary of Defense and Deputy to provide analytic advice on all aspects of the defense program, including alternative weapon systems and force structures, the development and evaluation of defense program alternatives, and the cost-effectiveness of defense systems. They develop planning guidance, production of applicable programming guidance, and direction of the annual review program (e.g., Future Years Defense Program—force structure, procurement, manpower, R&D costs). Furthermore, the CAPE Director informs Joint Requirements Oversight Council, and conducts special studies, e.g. military medical care, school systems for military dependents, information technology, and defense economics.




Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy and Director, Office of Small Business Programs


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Deputy DASD of Industrial Policy leads a network of over 700 small business professionals and advises on acquisition. They integrate all DoD small business initiatives and oversee the efficient and effective functioning of the Department’s Small Business Specialists and Acquisition Workforce. They provide guidance and oversight to Military Service and Agencies in creating unity of effort over DoD Small Business Strategy, part of the National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy. Lastly, they are responsible for small business improvements and partnerships within DoD, especially with startups in tech.




Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy


Schedule C Excepted Appointment The Assistant Secretary for Space Policy leads DoD space policy. This individual has full oversight over all space activities of the DoD, from procurement of launch vehicles to launch, licensing, and GPS satellites. The Assistant Secretary also leads interagency coordination on behalf of DoD.




Director, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)


Noncareer Appointment The DARPA Director leads the agency with the mission to "anticipate, explore, and achieve the concepts and technologies on which our Nation's future deterrent and defense must depend." DARPA has contributed numerous breakthroughs for national security and laid the foundation for a series of technology revolutions. Its role is as vital as ever, and it must have strong, experienced, creative leadership within the incoming Administration.




Secretary of the Air Force


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Secretary of the Air Force is responsible for the affairs of the Air Force, including organizing, training, equipping, and providing for the welfare of 685,000 active duty, Guard, Reserve, and civilian Airmen and their families; oversees Air Force’s annual budget of more than $205 billion; directs the development of strategy and policy, risk management, weapons acquisition, tech investments, and human resource management; implements decisions of the President and Congress.





Department of Education

Director, Office of Education Technology


Noncareer Appointment By statute, the Director reports directly to the Secretary, and is authorized to develop and implement the national vision and strategy for educational technology policy both within the Department and across government. This includes promoting awareness of the potential of technology for improving teaching and learning, supporting state and local efforts to increase the effective, research-based use of technology, promoting the effective uses of technology in existing federal education programs, and coordinating educational technology activities among the public and private sectors. The Director develops national educational technology policy and establishes the vision for how technology can be used to transform teaching and learning to make everywhere, all-the-time learning possible for K-12, higher education, and adult education programs. The Director works in collaboration with other ED offices, the White House, and other federal agencies on issues related to the effective use of technology to support teaching and learning. OET is also the primary Department of Education office for outreach to the education technology developer community. With virtually all learning in both public K-12 schools and higher education institutions either fully online or partially online, there is a critical need for a strategic vision of the policies, strategies, capacities, and resources necessary for effective online and hybrid teaching and learning. This role is critical to a successful pandemic response by supporting the effective, efficient use of federal funds at both the state and local levels as well as providing guidance on the equitable, effective use of technology for learning to begin to address the disproportionate learning lost though the pandemic among marginalized youth and our most vulnerable populations. The Director will need to coordinate closely with the senior leadership at ED, WH OSTP, DPC, NEC, HHS, CDC, and others to ensure that the government is properly prioritizing and supporting evidence-based practices to accelerate our recovery and minimize ongoing learning losses, and to ensure that all students are being reached and served.




Deputy Director, Office of Education Technology


Schedule C Excepted Appointment The Deputy Director of OET provides direct support to the mission of the office, and often takes on an additional specialty role based on their background and the priority needs of ED that may include expertise, for example, in higher education or in the more technical side of learning technology (privacy, interoperability, OER, etc), as opposed to the policy side. This position also often serves as an internal consultant to ED offices providing them guidance on the best use of technology for their priorities, impacting the deployment and use of billions of dollars in federal spending. The administration may choose to appoint someone to this role with particular expertise to move forward national policy initiatives. For example, if extending broadband for learning at home is a priority for the administration, this person could be an expert in E-rate and state and school connectivity issues. If helping higher education adapt to fully online or hybrid learning was a priority, this position could be someone with higher ed leadership and learning technology expertise.




Deputy Assistant Secretary for  Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development


Noncareer Appointment The Deputy Assistant Secretary works with Congress, the White House, OMB, Program Offices and Office of the Secretary to structure agency priorities, policy agenda, and influences budget priorities. Historically, the Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development holds the most influence and sets the policy agenda within the Department of Education.




Director, Institute of Education Sciences


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Director leads the statistics, research, and evaluation portfolio of the Department of Education. They oversee a variety of data gathering exercises including surveys and research projects to understand areas and ways to improve student learning. The Director also receives insight directly from members of the National Board of Education Sciences, who are also appointed by the President.




Commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)


Presidential Appointment The Commissioner sets policy and standards for the operation of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) -- the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education. The Commissioner oversees the collection, analysis, and reporting of complete statistics on the condition of American education. In addition, the Commissioner oversees the data gathering and dissemination of reports representing and dissecting educational activities domestically and internationally.




Chief Data Officer (CDO)


Career Appointment The Chief Data Officer (CDO) leads the Department of Education’s Office of the Chief Data Officer, which is responsible for data governance, open data initiatives, and data analytics to improve the agency’s ability to leverage data as a strategic asset. The CDO chairs ED’s Data Governance Board, gathering input from across ED to inform policy and process decisions about the development and use of the ED’s data assets. They serve as ED’s liaison to other agencies and OMB on the best way to use existing agency data for statistical purposes. The CDO coordinates with the ED’s Chief Information Officer to improve infrastructure and reduce barriers that inhibit the accessibility of data, and on implementing and enforcing applicable policies and procedures with respect to records management. The CDO engages agency employees, the public, and contractors in using public data assets, and encourages collaborative approaches on improving data use.





 
 

Department of Energy

Secretary of Transportation


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Secretary of Transportation sets the priorities and direction of the Department; they are the chief representative of the organization to the public, press, Congress; and they manage relationships with the White House, final decision-maker. The Secretary leads the Department's efforts on research and development of new transportation technologies, in addition to working with with Congress, state representatives, and the President to implement transportation-related policies and initiatives.




Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation With direction from the Secretary, The Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology sets a research agenda and manages research along with the operating administrations. There is an opportunity for the Assistant Secretary to lead efforts to push the Operating Administrations to shift from more traditional research areas such as pavement and bridge structure, to more cutting edge research. There is an oppurtunity to leverage their bully pulpit to push the Transportation Research Board in the same direction and could restructure the Bureau of Transportation Statistics to measure areas more connected to current priorities.




Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology


Noncareer Appointment The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology ensures that research, development, and technology activities across DOT and 40 University Transportation Centers (UTC) are fully aligned with DOT’s areas of interest. The Deputy Assistant Secretary manages DOT’s spectrum interests, including GPS and 5.9 GHz band. The Deputy Assistant Secretary guides the administration’s research and technology priorities related to transportation.




Director, Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS)


The BTS Director acts as the senior advisor to the Secretary of Transportation on data and statistics on commercial aviation, multimodal freight activity, and transportation economics. The BTS Director leads the agency’s efforts on statistics of movement including aviation and freight.




Undersecretary For Transportation Policy


The Undersecretary for Transportation Policy helps the Secretary set priorities. The Undersecretary for Transportation Policy oversees the Assistant Secretary for Research & Technology as well as several other key offices, such as the policy office, which coordinate the Secretary’s priorities across the Department including automation, connected vehicles, and data.




Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The FAA Administrator oversees all FAA functions as well as aviation research and development and next generation air traffic control systems. The Administrator also oversees items related to the construction and operation of airports, certification of personnel and aircraft, and the protection of U.S. assets involved in the launch or re-entry of space vehicles.





 

Department of Health and Human Services

Secretary of Transportation


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Secretary of Transportation sets the priorities and direction of the Department; they are the chief representative of the organization to the public, press, Congress; and they manage relationships with the White House, final decision-maker. The Secretary leads the Department's efforts on research and development of new transportation technologies, in addition to working with with Congress, state representatives, and the President to implement transportation-related policies and initiatives.




Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation With direction from the Secretary, The Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology sets a research agenda and manages research along with the operating administrations. There is an opportunity for the Assistant Secretary to lead efforts to push the Operating Administrations to shift from more traditional research areas such as pavement and bridge structure, to more cutting edge research. There is an oppurtunity to leverage their bully pulpit to push the Transportation Research Board in the same direction and could restructure the Bureau of Transportation Statistics to measure areas more connected to current priorities.




Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology


Noncareer Appointment The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology ensures that research, development, and technology activities across DOT and 40 University Transportation Centers (UTC) are fully aligned with DOT’s areas of interest. The Deputy Assistant Secretary manages DOT’s spectrum interests, including GPS and 5.9 GHz band. The Deputy Assistant Secretary guides the administration’s research and technology priorities related to transportation.




Director, Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS)


The BTS Director acts as the senior advisor to the Secretary of Transportation on data and statistics on commercial aviation, multimodal freight activity, and transportation economics. The BTS Director leads the agency’s efforts on statistics of movement including aviation and freight.




Undersecretary For Transportation Policy


The Undersecretary for Transportation Policy helps the Secretary set priorities. The Undersecretary for Transportation Policy oversees the Assistant Secretary for Research & Technology as well as several other key offices, such as the policy office, which coordinate the Secretary’s priorities across the Department including automation, connected vehicles, and data.




Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The FAA Administrator oversees all FAA functions as well as aviation research and development and next generation air traffic control systems. The Administrator also oversees items related to the construction and operation of airports, certification of personnel and aircraft, and the protection of U.S. assets involved in the launch or re-entry of space vehicles.





Department of Homeland Security

Secretary of Agriculture


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Secretary leads USDA’s policy development and execution for food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, and nutrition. This role is responsible for overseeing the American farming industry, helping farmers with price support subsidies and leading food inspection efforts. As a member of the Cabinet, the Secretary serves as main advisor to the President on issues related to agriculture and food.




Undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation This position is the top scientist at the USDA, overseeing the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), the Economic Research Service and more. ARS conducts research supporting the USDA's mission, while NIFA funds agricultural research at universities. This position is critical to all research conducted and funded by the USDA on food security and sustainability.




Administrator, Agricultural Research Service


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is USDA’s principal in-house research agency and has a portfolio of research and technology transfer programs that deliver scientific solutions to many of the nation’s highest priority agricultural challenges. The ARS Director oversees a $1.3B budget, 1,800 scientists and 90 laboratories throughout the world. The Director provides national leadership, vision, guidance, and direction for the Agricultural Research Service.




Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment is the principal advisor to the Secretary of Agriculture on policy to promote conservation and sustainable use of the country’s natural resources. The person in this role is responsible for all day-to-day operations of the U.S. Forest Service, and shepherding the improvement of forest conditions across the National Forest System and all the nation’s forests.





 
 

Department of Interior

Secretary of Transportation


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Secretary of Transportation sets the priorities and direction of the Department; they are the chief representative of the organization to the public, press, Congress; and they manage relationships with the White House, final decision-maker. The Secretary leads the Department's efforts on research and development of new transportation technologies, in addition to working with with Congress, state representatives, and the President to implement transportation-related policies and initiatives.




Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation With direction from the Secretary, The Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology sets a research agenda and manages research along with the operating administrations. There is an opportunity for the Assistant Secretary to lead efforts to push the Operating Administrations to shift from more traditional research areas such as pavement and bridge structure, to more cutting edge research. There is an oppurtunity to leverage their bully pulpit to push the Transportation Research Board in the same direction and could restructure the Bureau of Transportation Statistics to measure areas more connected to current priorities.




Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology


Noncareer Appointment The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology ensures that research, development, and technology activities across DOT and 40 University Transportation Centers (UTC) are fully aligned with DOT’s areas of interest. The Deputy Assistant Secretary manages DOT’s spectrum interests, including GPS and 5.9 GHz band. The Deputy Assistant Secretary guides the administration’s research and technology priorities related to transportation.




Director, Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS)


The BTS Director acts as the senior advisor to the Secretary of Transportation on data and statistics on commercial aviation, multimodal freight activity, and transportation economics. The BTS Director leads the agency’s efforts on statistics of movement including aviation and freight.




Undersecretary For Transportation Policy


The Undersecretary for Transportation Policy helps the Secretary set priorities. The Undersecretary for Transportation Policy oversees the Assistant Secretary for Research & Technology as well as several other key offices, such as the policy office, which coordinate the Secretary’s priorities across the Department including automation, connected vehicles, and data.




Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The FAA Administrator oversees all FAA functions as well as aviation research and development and next generation air traffic control systems. The Administrator also oversees items related to the construction and operation of airports, certification of personnel and aircraft, and the protection of U.S. assets involved in the launch or re-entry of space vehicles.





Department of Justice

Administrator


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The NASA Administrator serves as the senior space science advisor to the President. The Administrator also leads NASA and manages its resources to advance the vision for space exploration. NASA Administrators have a long, storied history in the development of US space policy. The Administrator will need to be a strong leader in order to lead the 17,000 civil servants at NASA.




Deputy Administrator


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Deputy Administrator serves as the agency’s second-in-command and is responsible for providing overall leadership, planning, and policy direction for the agency. The Deputy Administrator performs duties and exercises powers delegated by the Administrator. Additionally, the Deputy acts in the Administrator’s absence to govern NASA operations.




Chief of Staff


Schedule C Excepted Appointment The Chief of Staff is the advisor to the Administrator and responsible for operational management, as well as the communication of the President’s space policy agenda. The Chief of Staff is the primary liaison for day-to-day policy coordination with the White House, Congress, and other agencies.




Chief Scientist


Presidential Appointment The Chief Scientist is the most senior science position at NASA, serving as the principal scientific advisor to the NASA Administrator on science agency science programs, strategic planning, science policy, and the evaluation of related investments. They represent NASA's strategic science objectives and contributions to the national and international science communities. Lastly, they ensure that NASA research programs are scientifically and technologically aligned with policy decisions.




Associate Administrator for Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate


Career Appointment The Associate Administrator guides the strategic direction of NASA’s aeronautical research for applications to commercial, military, and general aviation sectors. The research portfolio includes quiet supersonic flight over land, urban air mobility, and autonomy, among other endeavors.




Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations


Career Appointment The Associate Administrator leads the Agency’s effort on operations related to human exploration in and beyond low-Earth orbit. They are primarily tasked with the management of Commercial Space Transportation, Human Space Flight Capabilities, and other items. The Associate Administrator oversees low-level requirements, development, policy, and programmatic oversight, including engagement at the International Space Station.




Associate Administrator for Science Mission Directorate


Career Appointment The Associate Administrator leads the Agency effort to seek new knowledge and understanding of Earth, the Sun and solar system, and the universe. The Directorate engages external and internal science communities to define and prioritize science questions and seeks to expand the frontiers of five broad scientific pursuits: Earth Science, Planetary Science, Biological and Physical Sciences, Heliophysics, and Astrophysics.




Associate Administrator for Space Technology Mission Directorate


Career Appointment The Associate Administrator provides executive leadership and management of the technology programs with a value of $1.1 billion. They oversee the Agency effort to develop transformative space technologies for future missions, including testing capabilities for the Moon and Mars. The Associate Administrator manages engagement with entrepreneurs, researchers, and innovators.




Associate Administrator for Stem Engagement


Career Appointment The Associate Administrator for Stem Engagement oversees strategic direction and leadership of NASA’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) engagement function, which attracts and supports the involvement of students in the realization of NASA’s unique missions. The Associate Administrator leads work on engaging America’s educators, students and institutions in NASA’s missions, contributing to mission success, as well as the nation’s overall STEM education ecosystem.





 
 

Department of Labor

Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition & Sustainment


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Under Secretary for Acquisition & Sustainment is in charge of the effective acquisition system—all matters pertaining to contract administration, logistics and materiel readiness, installations and environment, operational energy, chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, the acquisition workforce, and the defense industrial base. Focusing on rapidly responding to Combatant Commands’ needs, modernizing nuclear deterrent, executing acquisition reforms, sustaining critical weapons systems, collaborating with emerging partners, and ensuring the nation’s industrial base is robust, secure, resilient, and innovative. This position is critical to prepare, sustain and ensure the military is operationally modernized.




Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering (R&E)


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation With a focus on R&D and innovation, the requirements of the Under Secretary are to provide technical and research expertise, possess a deep understanding of how to navigate the agency, and serve as a bridge for engaging and inspiring industry to work and support key initiatives and research within the Pentagon. The USD R&E is responsible for research, development, and prototyping activities across the defense enterprise, and charged with ensuring the technological superiority of the DoD. Furthermore, this individual oversees DARPA, Missile Defense Agency, the Defense Innovation Unit, the Space Development Agency, the Department of Defense Laboratory enterprise, and the Under Secretariat staff on advanced technology and capabilities. This position is key for the R&D enterprise.




Principal Director for Biotechnology


Noncareer Appointment The Principle Director for Biotechnology is the key leader in biotechnology strategy, investment, modernization, and implementation across DoD, as the senior biotech role in the Office of Under Secretary of Defense (R&D) and senior leader-advisor for each of the services and unified combatant commands. Because biotechnology is crucial, but not traditionally thought of as a defense technology, the role shapes the perspective of senior leaders and policymakers across an entire Federal S&T domain. They contribute to war game development and scenarios that would enable the risks and opportunities to be observed in the context of mission applications. This position is important for the incoming administration because it provides a service-specific perspective on requirements and priorities in biotechnology development. They are responsible for assessing, developing strategy, and implementing biotechnology modernization across each of the respective mission sets.




Under Secretary of Defense for Policy


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Under Secretary is responsible for consistently providing responsive, forward-thinking, and insightful policy advice to the Secretary of Defense on national security objectives and priorities, oversight of military plans and operations, and in National Security Council deliberations. They assist with the Defense Technology Security Administration.




Director, Office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation


Noncareer Appointment The CAPE Director reports directly to the Secretary of Defense and Deputy to provide analytic advice on all aspects of the defense program, including alternative weapon systems and force structures, the development and evaluation of defense program alternatives, and the cost-effectiveness of defense systems. They develop planning guidance, production of applicable programming guidance, and direction of the annual review program (e.g., Future Years Defense Program—force structure, procurement, manpower, R&D costs). Furthermore, the CAPE Director informs Joint Requirements Oversight Council, and conducts special studies, e.g. military medical care, school systems for military dependents, information technology, and defense economics.




Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy and Director, Office of Small Business Programs


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Deputy DASD of Industrial Policy leads a network of over 700 small business professionals and advises on acquisition. They integrate all DoD small business initiatives and oversee the efficient and effective functioning of the Department’s Small Business Specialists and Acquisition Workforce. They provide guidance and oversight to Military Service and Agencies in creating unity of effort over DoD Small Business Strategy, part of the National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy. Lastly, they are responsible for small business improvements and partnerships within DoD, especially with startups in tech.




Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy


Schedule C Excepted Appointment The Assistant Secretary for Space Policy leads DoD space policy. This individual has full oversight over all space activities of the DoD, from procurement of launch vehicles to launch, licensing, and GPS satellites. The Assistant Secretary also leads interagency coordination on behalf of DoD.




Director, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)


Noncareer Appointment The DARPA Director leads the agency with the mission to "anticipate, explore, and achieve the concepts and technologies on which our Nation's future deterrent and defense must depend." DARPA has contributed numerous breakthroughs for national security and laid the foundation for a series of technology revolutions. Its role is as vital as ever, and it must have strong, experienced, creative leadership within the incoming Administration.




Secretary of the Air Force


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Secretary of the Air Force is responsible for the affairs of the Air Force, including organizing, training, equipping, and providing for the welfare of 685,000 active duty, Guard, Reserve, and civilian Airmen and their families; oversees Air Force’s annual budget of more than $205 billion; directs the development of strategy and policy, risk management, weapons acquisition, tech investments, and human resource management; implements decisions of the President and Congress.





Department of State

Chief of Staff


Noncareer Appointment The Chief of Staff directly supports the FCC Chair in managing priorities and plays a major coordinating and strategic role. With the trust of the FCC Chair, the Chief of Staff heavily influences the strategy and policy development of critical S&T issues such as Section 230 reform, spectrum management, 5G rollout, and closing the homework gap.




Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology (OET)


Career Appointment The OET Chief oversees the FCC’s Policy and Rules Division, Electromagnetic Compatibility Division, and Laboratory Division and manages spectrum and leadership for competitive technologies and services. They drive innovation within the FCC through managing the Experimental Licensing program and the Equipment Authorization program, which develops technical regulations for the operation of unlicensed devices. The OET Chief provides the technical knowledge to guide the FCC in decisions about requirements for networks, such as net neutrality. They also play a significant role in convening the Technological Advisory Council for experts’ advice on technology developments.




Deputy Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology (OET)


Career Appointment The Deputy OET Chief supports the OET Chief, providing technical support to the Chairman, Commissioners, FCC Bureaus, and Offices. They advise and participate in proceedings on spectrum management, emerging technologies and technical standards. They influence innovation within the FCC because they manage the Experimental Licensing program and the Equipment Authorization program, which develops technical regulations for the operation of unlicensed devices.




Chief Technology Officer


Career Appointment The CTO serves as the senior technological adviser at the FCC, providing technical support to the Chairman, Commissioners, FCC Bureaus, and Offices. They advise and participate in proceedings on spectrum management, emerging technologies and technical standards. The CTO leads and conducts engineering and technical analysis, testing equipment to determine its interference risks and technical operating parameters, while developing projects to gather theoretical and experimental data on new technologies. The CTO often coordinates with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Past CTOs have spearheaded initiatives on Open Internet, robocalls and public safety issues. The CTO needs to be a technologist with broad research experience, who can effectively promote 5G services, rural network buildouts, and other network enhancements.





 
 

Department of Transportation

Secretary of Transportation


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Secretary of Transportation sets the priorities and direction of the Department; they are the chief representative of the organization to the public, press, Congress; and they manage relationships with the White House, final decision-maker. The Secretary leads the Department's efforts on research and development of new transportation technologies, in addition to working with with Congress, state representatives, and the President to implement transportation-related policies and initiatives.




Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation With direction from the Secretary, The Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology sets a research agenda and manages research along with the operating administrations. There is an opportunity for the Assistant Secretary to lead efforts to push the Operating Administrations to shift from more traditional research areas such as pavement and bridge structure, to more cutting edge research. There is an oppurtunity to leverage their bully pulpit to push the Transportation Research Board in the same direction and could restructure the Bureau of Transportation Statistics to measure areas more connected to current priorities.




Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology


Noncareer Appointment The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology ensures that research, development, and technology activities across DOT and 40 University Transportation Centers (UTC) are fully aligned with DOT’s areas of interest. The Deputy Assistant Secretary manages DOT’s spectrum interests, including GPS and 5.9 GHz band. The Deputy Assistant Secretary guides the administration’s research and technology priorities related to transportation.




Director, Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS)


The BTS Director acts as the senior advisor to the Secretary of Transportation on data and statistics on commercial aviation, multimodal freight activity, and transportation economics. The BTS Director leads the agency’s efforts on statistics of movement including aviation and freight.




Undersecretary For Transportation Policy


The Undersecretary for Transportation Policy helps the Secretary set priorities. The Undersecretary for Transportation Policy oversees the Assistant Secretary for Research & Technology as well as several other key offices, such as the policy office, which coordinate the Secretary’s priorities across the Department including automation, connected vehicles, and data.




Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The FAA Administrator oversees all FAA functions as well as aviation research and development and next generation air traffic control systems. The Administrator also oversees items related to the construction and operation of airports, certification of personnel and aircraft, and the protection of U.S. assets involved in the launch or re-entry of space vehicles.





Environmental Protection Agency

Secretary of Transportation


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Secretary of Transportation sets the priorities and direction of the Department; they are the chief representative of the organization to the public, press, Congress; and they manage relationships with the White House, final decision-maker. The Secretary leads the Department's efforts on research and development of new transportation technologies, in addition to working with with Congress, state representatives, and the President to implement transportation-related policies and initiatives.




Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation With direction from the Secretary, The Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology sets a research agenda and manages research along with the operating administrations. There is an opportunity for the Assistant Secretary to lead efforts to push the Operating Administrations to shift from more traditional research areas such as pavement and bridge structure, to more cutting edge research. There is an oppurtunity to leverage their bully pulpit to push the Transportation Research Board in the same direction and could restructure the Bureau of Transportation Statistics to measure areas more connected to current priorities.




Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology


Noncareer Appointment The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology ensures that research, development, and technology activities across DOT and 40 University Transportation Centers (UTC) are fully aligned with DOT’s areas of interest. The Deputy Assistant Secretary manages DOT’s spectrum interests, including GPS and 5.9 GHz band. The Deputy Assistant Secretary guides the administration’s research and technology priorities related to transportation.




Director, Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS)


The BTS Director acts as the senior advisor to the Secretary of Transportation on data and statistics on commercial aviation, multimodal freight activity, and transportation economics. The BTS Director leads the agency’s efforts on statistics of movement including aviation and freight.




Undersecretary For Transportation Policy


The Undersecretary for Transportation Policy helps the Secretary set priorities. The Undersecretary for Transportation Policy oversees the Assistant Secretary for Research & Technology as well as several other key offices, such as the policy office, which coordinate the Secretary’s priorities across the Department including automation, connected vehicles, and data.




Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The FAA Administrator oversees all FAA functions as well as aviation research and development and next generation air traffic control systems. The Administrator also oversees items related to the construction and operation of airports, certification of personnel and aircraft, and the protection of U.S. assets involved in the launch or re-entry of space vehicles.





 
 

Federal Communications Commission

Chief of Staff


Noncareer Appointment The Chief of Staff directly supports the FCC Chair in managing priorities and plays a major coordinating and strategic role. With the trust of the FCC Chair, the Chief of Staff heavily influences the strategy and policy development of critical S&T issues such as Section 230 reform, spectrum management, 5G rollout, and closing the homework gap.




Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology (OET)


Career Appointment The OET Chief oversees the FCC’s Policy and Rules Division, Electromagnetic Compatibility Division, and Laboratory Division and manages spectrum and leadership for competitive technologies and services. They drive innovation within the FCC through managing the Experimental Licensing program and the Equipment Authorization program, which develops technical regulations for the operation of unlicensed devices. The OET Chief provides the technical knowledge to guide the FCC in decisions about requirements for networks, such as net neutrality. They also play a significant role in convening the Technological Advisory Council for experts’ advice on technology developments.




Deputy Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology (OET)


Career Appointment The Deputy OET Chief supports the OET Chief, providing technical support to the Chairman, Commissioners, FCC Bureaus, and Offices. They advise and participate in proceedings on spectrum management, emerging technologies and technical standards. They influence innovation within the FCC because they manage the Experimental Licensing program and the Equipment Authorization program, which develops technical regulations for the operation of unlicensed devices.




Chief Technology Officer


Career Appointment The CTO serves as the senior technological adviser at the FCC, providing technical support to the Chairman, Commissioners, FCC Bureaus, and Offices. They advise and participate in proceedings on spectrum management, emerging technologies and technical standards. The CTO leads and conducts engineering and technical analysis, testing equipment to determine its interference risks and technical operating parameters, while developing projects to gather theoretical and experimental data on new technologies. The CTO often coordinates with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Past CTOs have spearheaded initiatives on Open Internet, robocalls and public safety issues. The CTO needs to be a technologist with broad research experience, who can effectively promote 5G services, rural network buildouts, and other network enhancements.





Federal Trade Commission

Chief of Staff


Noncareer Appointment The Chief of Staff directly supports the FCC Chair in managing priorities and plays a major coordinating and strategic role. With the trust of the FCC Chair, the Chief of Staff heavily influences the strategy and policy development of critical S&T issues such as Section 230 reform, spectrum management, 5G rollout, and closing the homework gap.




Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology (OET)


Career Appointment The OET Chief oversees the FCC’s Policy and Rules Division, Electromagnetic Compatibility Division, and Laboratory Division and manages spectrum and leadership for competitive technologies and services. They drive innovation within the FCC through managing the Experimental Licensing program and the Equipment Authorization program, which develops technical regulations for the operation of unlicensed devices. The OET Chief provides the technical knowledge to guide the FCC in decisions about requirements for networks, such as net neutrality. They also play a significant role in convening the Technological Advisory Council for experts’ advice on technology developments.




Deputy Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology (OET)


Career Appointment The Deputy OET Chief supports the OET Chief, providing technical support to the Chairman, Commissioners, FCC Bureaus, and Offices. They advise and participate in proceedings on spectrum management, emerging technologies and technical standards. They influence innovation within the FCC because they manage the Experimental Licensing program and the Equipment Authorization program, which develops technical regulations for the operation of unlicensed devices.




Chief Technology Officer


Career Appointment The CTO serves as the senior technological adviser at the FCC, providing technical support to the Chairman, Commissioners, FCC Bureaus, and Offices. They advise and participate in proceedings on spectrum management, emerging technologies and technical standards. The CTO leads and conducts engineering and technical analysis, testing equipment to determine its interference risks and technical operating parameters, while developing projects to gather theoretical and experimental data on new technologies. The CTO often coordinates with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Past CTOs have spearheaded initiatives on Open Internet, robocalls and public safety issues. The CTO needs to be a technologist with broad research experience, who can effectively promote 5G services, rural network buildouts, and other network enhancements.





 

National Aeronautics and Aerospace Administration

Secretary of Labor


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Secretary of Labor oversees the enforcement and administration of more than 180 federal employment laws (OSHA, Mine Safety and Health Administration, WIOA) covering 150 million workers and 10 million workplaces. The Secretary serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Fund. The Secretary guides the Labor Department in executing White House initiatives in federal programming for workforce development and international trade agreements, among other labor issues. The Secretary will be a key player in coordinating COVID-19 response on rebuilding S&T workforce, expanding S&T employment opportunities for domestic workforce, introducing new federal programming on labor issues, and implementing international trade agreements.




Chief of Staff


Noncareer Appointment The Chief of Staff plans, directs, and coordinates operational activities and high-level labor strategy to aid the Secretary of Labor. The Chief of Staff heavily influences the strategy and policy guidance for DOL on S&T issues.




White House Liaison and Counselor to the Secretary


Schedule C Excepted Appointment The White House Liaison builds the relationship between the DOL and White House and develops and directs human resource functions and operations for appointees within DOL. The Liaison serves as a critical bridge between White House and DOL in developing an S&T labor agenda that is executable by DOL.




Assistant Secretary for Policy


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Assistant Secretary for Policy advises the Secretary of Labor, Deputy Secretary of Labor, and Department leadership on policy development, program evaluation, regulations, program implementation, data governance, compliance strategies, research, and legislation. The Assistant Secretary will guide DOL strategy on labor policy, including new initiatives on S&T workforce development and innovation policy.




Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs liaises with federal, state, and local policymakers to promote DOL’s programs and federal labor issues. They assist DOL agency staff in developing effective programs and strategies to meet Department legislative goals and objectives. The Assistant Secretary coordinates federal labor S&T issues with stakeholders from all three legislative levels of government federal, state, and local and serves as a key contact in developing S&T labor agenda that is executable by DOL.




Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training administers core programming under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), such as federal job training and worker dislocation programs, federal grants to states for public employment service programs, and unemployment insurance benefits. The Assistant Secretary serves as a key resource in upskilling the U.S domestic workforce for technical jobs.




Commissioner of Labor Statistics


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Commissioner of Labor Statistics disseminates U.S labor statistics to American public, U.S Congress, federal agencies, state and local governments, businesses, and labor representatives. The Commissioner coordinates with OMB on major data releases. The Commissioner plays a principal fact-finding role on U.S labor statistics, which can inform the administration's innovation policies.




Administrator, Office of Workforce Investment


Career Appointment The Administrator for the Office of Workforce Investment oversees and guides policy on workforce investment systems authorized under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The Administrator collaborates with other federal agencies, partners, and stakeholders to build a prepared and competitive workforce. The Administrator manages investments strategically to ensure high performance, greater public accountability, and service quality. The Administrator is a critical partner in developing a robust, high-skilled workforce, particularly in STEM fields.





 
 

National Science Foundation

Secretary of Transportation


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Secretary of Transportation sets the priorities and direction of the Department; they are the chief representative of the organization to the public, press, Congress; and they manage relationships with the White House, final decision-maker. The Secretary leads the Department's efforts on research and development of new transportation technologies, in addition to working with with Congress, state representatives, and the President to implement transportation-related policies and initiatives.




Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation With direction from the Secretary, The Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology sets a research agenda and manages research along with the operating administrations. There is an opportunity for the Assistant Secretary to lead efforts to push the Operating Administrations to shift from more traditional research areas such as pavement and bridge structure, to more cutting edge research. There is an oppurtunity to leverage their bully pulpit to push the Transportation Research Board in the same direction and could restructure the Bureau of Transportation Statistics to measure areas more connected to current priorities.




Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology


Noncareer Appointment The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology ensures that research, development, and technology activities across DOT and 40 University Transportation Centers (UTC) are fully aligned with DOT’s areas of interest. The Deputy Assistant Secretary manages DOT’s spectrum interests, including GPS and 5.9 GHz band. The Deputy Assistant Secretary guides the administration’s research and technology priorities related to transportation.




Director, Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS)


The BTS Director acts as the senior advisor to the Secretary of Transportation on data and statistics on commercial aviation, multimodal freight activity, and transportation economics. The BTS Director leads the agency’s efforts on statistics of movement including aviation and freight.




Undersecretary For Transportation Policy


The Undersecretary for Transportation Policy helps the Secretary set priorities. The Undersecretary for Transportation Policy oversees the Assistant Secretary for Research & Technology as well as several other key offices, such as the policy office, which coordinate the Secretary’s priorities across the Department including automation, connected vehicles, and data.




Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The FAA Administrator oversees all FAA functions as well as aviation research and development and next generation air traffic control systems. The Administrator also oversees items related to the construction and operation of airports, certification of personnel and aircraft, and the protection of U.S. assets involved in the launch or re-entry of space vehicles.





Office of Management and Budget

Secretary of Agriculture


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Secretary leads USDA’s policy development and execution for food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, and nutrition. This role is responsible for overseeing the American farming industry, helping farmers with price support subsidies and leading food inspection efforts. As a member of the Cabinet, the Secretary serves as main advisor to the President on issues related to agriculture and food.




Undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation This position is the top scientist at the USDA, overseeing the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), the Economic Research Service and more. ARS conducts research supporting the USDA's mission, while NIFA funds agricultural research at universities. This position is critical to all research conducted and funded by the USDA on food security and sustainability.




Administrator, Agricultural Research Service


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is USDA’s principal in-house research agency and has a portfolio of research and technology transfer programs that deliver scientific solutions to many of the nation’s highest priority agricultural challenges. The ARS Director oversees a $1.3B budget, 1,800 scientists and 90 laboratories throughout the world. The Director provides national leadership, vision, guidance, and direction for the Agricultural Research Service.




Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment is the principal advisor to the Secretary of Agriculture on policy to promote conservation and sustainable use of the country’s natural resources. The person in this role is responsible for all day-to-day operations of the U.S. Forest Service, and shepherding the improvement of forest conditions across the National Forest System and all the nation’s forests.





 

Office of Science and Technology Policy

Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition & Sustainment


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Under Secretary for Acquisition & Sustainment is in charge of the effective acquisition system—all matters pertaining to contract administration, logistics and materiel readiness, installations and environment, operational energy, chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, the acquisition workforce, and the defense industrial base. Focusing on rapidly responding to Combatant Commands’ needs, modernizing nuclear deterrent, executing acquisition reforms, sustaining critical weapons systems, collaborating with emerging partners, and ensuring the nation’s industrial base is robust, secure, resilient, and innovative. This position is critical to prepare, sustain and ensure the military is operationally modernized.




Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering (R&E)


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation With a focus on R&D and innovation, the requirements of the Under Secretary are to provide technical and research expertise, possess a deep understanding of how to navigate the agency, and serve as a bridge for engaging and inspiring industry to work and support key initiatives and research within the Pentagon. The USD R&E is responsible for research, development, and prototyping activities across the defense enterprise, and charged with ensuring the technological superiority of the DoD. Furthermore, this individual oversees DARPA, Missile Defense Agency, the Defense Innovation Unit, the Space Development Agency, the Department of Defense Laboratory enterprise, and the Under Secretariat staff on advanced technology and capabilities. This position is key for the R&D enterprise.




Principal Director for Biotechnology


Noncareer Appointment The Principle Director for Biotechnology is the key leader in biotechnology strategy, investment, modernization, and implementation across DoD, as the senior biotech role in the Office of Under Secretary of Defense (R&D) and senior leader-advisor for each of the services and unified combatant commands. Because biotechnology is crucial, but not traditionally thought of as a defense technology, the role shapes the perspective of senior leaders and policymakers across an entire Federal S&T domain. They contribute to war game development and scenarios that would enable the risks and opportunities to be observed in the context of mission applications. This position is important for the incoming administration because it provides a service-specific perspective on requirements and priorities in biotechnology development. They are responsible for assessing, developing strategy, and implementing biotechnology modernization across each of the respective mission sets.




Under Secretary of Defense for Policy


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Under Secretary is responsible for consistently providing responsive, forward-thinking, and insightful policy advice to the Secretary of Defense on national security objectives and priorities, oversight of military plans and operations, and in National Security Council deliberations. They assist with the Defense Technology Security Administration.




Director, Office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation


Noncareer Appointment The CAPE Director reports directly to the Secretary of Defense and Deputy to provide analytic advice on all aspects of the defense program, including alternative weapon systems and force structures, the development and evaluation of defense program alternatives, and the cost-effectiveness of defense systems. They develop planning guidance, production of applicable programming guidance, and direction of the annual review program (e.g., Future Years Defense Program—force structure, procurement, manpower, R&D costs). Furthermore, the CAPE Director informs Joint Requirements Oversight Council, and conducts special studies, e.g. military medical care, school systems for military dependents, information technology, and defense economics.




Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy and Director, Office of Small Business Programs


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Deputy DASD of Industrial Policy leads a network of over 700 small business professionals and advises on acquisition. They integrate all DoD small business initiatives and oversee the efficient and effective functioning of the Department’s Small Business Specialists and Acquisition Workforce. They provide guidance and oversight to Military Service and Agencies in creating unity of effort over DoD Small Business Strategy, part of the National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy. Lastly, they are responsible for small business improvements and partnerships within DoD, especially with startups in tech.




Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy


Schedule C Excepted Appointment The Assistant Secretary for Space Policy leads DoD space policy. This individual has full oversight over all space activities of the DoD, from procurement of launch vehicles to launch, licensing, and GPS satellites. The Assistant Secretary also leads interagency coordination on behalf of DoD.




Director, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)


Noncareer Appointment The DARPA Director leads the agency with the mission to "anticipate, explore, and achieve the concepts and technologies on which our Nation's future deterrent and defense must depend." DARPA has contributed numerous breakthroughs for national security and laid the foundation for a series of technology revolutions. Its role is as vital as ever, and it must have strong, experienced, creative leadership within the incoming Administration.




Secretary of the Air Force


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Secretary of the Air Force is responsible for the affairs of the Air Force, including organizing, training, equipping, and providing for the welfare of 685,000 active duty, Guard, Reserve, and civilian Airmen and their families; oversees Air Force’s annual budget of more than $205 billion; directs the development of strategy and policy, risk management, weapons acquisition, tech investments, and human resource management; implements decisions of the President and Congress.





 

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The USPTO Director acts as the principal advisor to the President on all intellectual property (IP) policy matters, serves as chief executive of USPTO and guides PTO’s strategic and management goals. This USPTO Director is crucial to S&T in the next administration because they steer the PTO’s direction on IP priorities—a healthy patent and trademark system is necessary for competitive innovation in technology. Director will play a critical role in aiding and supporting the implementation of administration’s policies on innovation, industrialization, research and development, food and drug, and trade.




Deputy Under Secretary and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office


Appointment Excepted by Statute The Deputy Director acts as an advisor to the PTO Director and responsible for the operations of 4 USPTO Regional Offices, including 13,000 employees, and the management of the $3.5 Billion budget. They divide policy leadership duties with the PTO Director. They aid in steering PTO’s direction on iP priorities. Similarly, they can focus the legislative, regulatory, and international initiatives needed to support the next administration’s S&T agenda.




Chief of Staff


Noncareer Appointment The Chief of Staff acts as an advisor to the PTO Director and responsible for operational management, as well as the communication of the President’s IP agenda. Primary liaison for day-to-day policy coordination with the White House, Department of Commerce, and other agencies. They are the key bridge between administration and PTO in shaping and executing an IP agenda that values S&T. During the Obama administration, the Chief of Staff was a source of substantive counsel to the Under Secretary on S&T policy matters.




Commissioner of Patents


Career Appointment The Commissioner of Patents is the operational lead of the patents division of USPTO. Manages and directs administration of patent operations, examination policy, patent quality management, international patent cooperation, resources and planning, and budget administration. Although typically an operational role for PTO, previous Commissioners have played a substantial role in S&T policy discussions and decision making.




Deputy Commissioner for Patent Operations


Career Appointment The Deputy Commissioner for Patent Operations proves oversight to nine Patent Technology Centers including biotech and organic fields, chemical and materials engineering, computer architecture software and information security, computer networks, multiplex, cable, and cryptography, communications, semiconductor, etc. Lastly, they have oversight over priority areas of emerging technology, especially considering plans of SME reshoring and AI development.




Chief Policy Officer and Director for International Affairs


Career Appointment The Chief Policy Officer (CPO) acts as a policy advisor to the USPTO Director. The CPO manages USPTO’s domestic and international intellectual property (IP) policy activities, legislative engagement through the Office of Governmental Affairs, education and training through the through the Global Intellectual Property Academy (GIPA), global advocacy through the IP Attache Program, and economic analysis of the Office of the Chief Economist. Intellectual property can become more collaborative or more combative internationally, and thus the CPO plays a crucial role in advancing USPTO’s leadership and participation in both domestic and international innovation policy, especially with the increased focus on global technological competition.




General Counsel


Career Appointment The General Counsel acts as the legal advisor to the PTO Director. They oversee the Office of General Counsel, which includes the Office of the Solicitor, the Office of General Law, and the Office of Enrollment and Discipline. Represents the agency before the Federal Circuits and works with the Solicitor General and Dept. of Justice to formulate USG positions on Supreme Court litigations. They shape U.S innovation policy by intervening on behalf of the Federal Government in appellate cases that bear on substantive patent, trade secrecy, and copyright law.




Chief Information Officer


Career Appointment The Chief Information Officer (CIO) is the principal advisor to USPTO on the design, development, and management of its information systems and technology. Hackers and legacy software hinder reliable processing of USPTO’s patent applications, slowing down innovation. The CIO has the opportunity to undertake a fundamental stabilization and modernization effort to transition USPTO to modern technology, which would make USPTO more agile and would enable more American innovation.




Chief Judge of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)


Career Appointment The Chief Judge of the PTAB leads the PTAB as it conducts post-grant trials, including inter partes reviews, post-grant reviews, covered business method patent reviews and derivation proceedings, and as it hears appeals from adverse examiner decisions in patent applications and reexamination proceedings. PTAB administrative adjudication is becoming increasingly important to patent policy, which heavily influences American innovation. Over the last few years the patent board has received numerous challenges, including a few Supreme Court cases.





 

Share Your Ideas

Crowdsourced input generated this initial list, but we need your help refining it. Over the coming weeks, we will continue to add additional positions and update the descriptions for our initial list.


Using the form below, we want your feedback on the positions and existing descriptions—if there is something we missed, let us know!  We are looking for any additional insights into why these roles matter and will continue to take ideas on other key positions that did not make our initial list.