The value of deep scientific and tech expertise in government can be significant, but many Federal positions where technical experts can have the greatest impact are overlooked and unknown to the scientific community.


We are on a mission to identify the 100 most important federal S&T roles by December 1st and share why they matter.

TOP 100


How To Share Your Idea

  1. Check out our FAQ

  2. See examples below

  3. Preview the questions in the submission form below and submit your contribution

Deadline: December 1st

A Call For Contributions

Help us identify key leadership roles across the Federal Government where scientific and tech expertise is most critical.


And stay tuned to this page into the next presidential term, as we track the next Administration’s progress on filling these vital leadership roles.


Share your ideas via the webform below. For inspiration and additional context, check out the examples and FAQ.

Why Contribute?

The role for science and technology in policy and government has never been more important, and thus science leadership in government matters more than ever. Over the duration of the next few months—with support from the community—our goal is to ensure that all the critical science and tech leadership roles across the Federal are identified, tracked and filled as quickly as possible during the next administration. We want to identify the roles that matter, and why they are important for the next presidential term. 

Sample S&T Positions

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director

Department of Health and Human Services, NIH

The Director sets and delivers on all of NIH's priorities. They drive biomedical science and the policy of science funding at the NIH. The Director offers input on and/or directly oversees every major decision made across the agency's 27 institute directors.

Director, U.S. Group on Earth Observations Program

Office of Science and Technology Policy

Supports the President’s Science Advisor on all aspects of civil Earth observation policy and planning, and advanced related national goals and objectives. Oversees the activities of multiple interagency coordination groups supporting systems assessment, data management, satellite data needs, and international collaboration.

Under Secretary for Research and Engineering

Department of Defense

With a focus on R&D and Innovation at DoD, the requirements of this role are to provide technical and research expertise; possess a deep understanding of how to get things done at DoD; and serving as a bridge for engaging and inspiring industry to work and support key initiatives and research within the Pentagon. 


Frequently Asked Questions

What information should I contribute?

Utilizing our form on the right, anyone can share and recommend an existing position that should be considered for our top 100 S&T Roles. We ask you to answer a series of questions to identify the title of the role, basic information on the functions of the position, and where it sits within the Federal Government. The positions we are looking to identify are the key roles within any Federal agency that is critical to that agency science and technology policy agenda. This includes well-known politically appointed leadership roles such as the Director of the NIH, the White House Science Advisor, and the Director of DARPA (to name a few) as well as lesser known, but important, roles like the Associate Director for Natural Resource Programs at OMB, or the Deputy Director of STEM Initiatives at ED. We will also take recommendations for less senior roles if they are critical for advancing a S&T policy agenda within the agency.

Can you say more about the positions and roles you are looking for?

While we are interested in politically appointed roles, we are also looking to uncover any key but overlooked positions related to science, technology and innovation in government. This includes roles beyond political appointments and Schedule C appointees. We hope to identify roles that could make an outsized difference in supporting science in a given agency.

What types of information are you looking for in the position descriptions?

At a minimum, we would like to gather what expertise and qualifications a person entering a position would require to succeed in the role. We would like to hear thoughts on relevant technical experience for the position as well as other expertise and skills that would help someone succeed. While a technical background may qualify a candidate, other key factors are often critical for success. Some examples might include specific managerial experience leading large teams, a deep understanding of procurement processes within a given agency, and/or an effective bridge-builder to engage a broad community of stakeholders. In addition, you might include key characteristics that would support a policy agenda relevant for the next administration as well as any non-starters or things to guard against in recruiting for the position.

Has this been done before?

Never. The Day One Project recognizes that leadership from the U.S. government is needed to help leverage the science and technology community and work towards ideas that can shape our nation’s future for the better. The spirit of the Top 100 S&T Roles is to track the science and technology capacity in executive-branch departments and elevate the role of science and technology in the federal policymaking process.

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