TOP 150 SCIENCE AND TECHNology ROLES IN GOVERNMENT

The response to our recent open call for contributions helped identify 150 critical S&T roles across the Federal Government and why they matter for the Biden-Harris Administration. The Day One Project is excited to share our crowdsourced list.

Background: Top 150 S&T Roles

 

This 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 the Administration seeks to implement an ambitious science and technology agenda.

OUR TOP 150 FEDERAL S&T ROLES

 

Department of Agriculture

OSTP Director and Assistant to the President for Science and Technology


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The OSTP Director covers two science and technology issue areas where they influence decision making on key policies, such as national security, environment, and energy policy. First, the OSTP Director provides advice to the President and key administration officials on S&T priorities and serves a significant coordinating role on agenda-setting across the Federal R&D enterprise (NASA, DOE, NSF, etc.), including the R&D budget, management, and oversight. Second, the OSTP Director manages the NSTC and co-chairs PCAST. Third, the OSTP Director coordinates communication activities during disasters, and represents the U.S. at international S&T policy-related meetings. Lastly, the OSTP Director serves as a two-way communication conduit between the EOP and the federal and non-federal S&T community. The OSTP Director can use their role as a “bully pulpit” to encourage federal agencies, universities, nongovernmental organizations, and others in the S&T community to align with the Executive Branch’s S&T agenda.




Chief Technology Officer


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Chief Technology Officer is a policy role defined by the individual that assumes it. Distinct from OMB’s Chief Information Officer, the CTO position has been seen primarily as an outward-reaching position whose priority responsibilities are leveraging not only information technology, but technological innovation to bridge the digital divide and address the major societal challenges that the country faces, such as job creation, health care, and national security. Furthermore, the CTO works closely with others both across and outside government to upgrade government technological capability. The CTO needs to be someone who is a technologist and can draw on their unique perspective to inform the policy priorities of the next administration.




Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Data Policy and Chief Data Scientist


Noncareer Appointment The Chief Data Scientist provides a vision on how to provide a maximum social return on federal data and create nationwide data policies that enable shared services and forward-leaning practices to advance our nation's leadership in the data age. The Chief Data Scientist works with federal agencies to establish best practices for data management and ensure the long-term sustainability of databases. They are also responsible for recruiting and retaining talent in data science for public service, who can tackle data science objectives and act as conduits among the government, academia, and industry. As part of the CTO team, the Chief Data Scientist also works closely with colleagues across government, including the Chief Information Officer and the U.S. Digital Service.




Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation


Noncareer Appointment The Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation leads a team of policy entrepreneurs who work to identify, design, launch, and sustain science, technology, and innovation initiatives. The Deputy Director generates or identifies new ideas, evaluates policy options, ensures implementation of initiatives, and monitors the effectiveness of the President’s policies and initiatives in technology and innovation. In this role, the Deputy Director needs to be a coalition-builder in order to carry forward initiatives as well as a serial policy entrepreneur, who can balance new ventures against the dynamics of the White House.




Associate Director, Science


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Associate Director for Science helps to advise the President and the OSTP Director on the implications of scientific developments on public policy and on federal efforts in support of scientific research. The Associate Director’s responsibilities include overseeing national and international science and education policy development and federal agency program coordination for physical sciences, life sciences, environmental science, behavioral and social sciences, and education.




Associate Director for National Security and International Affairs


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Associate Director for National Security and International Affairs ensures that credible science advice informs the national security policy apparatus of the Federal Government, covering intersecting S&T priorities such as R&D, cybersecurity, space, and biosecurity. The Associate Director is also co-chair of the National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on Homeland and National Security (CHNS). In order to be effective in this role, the Associate Director needs to be knowledgeable in a wide range of scientific enterprises.




Associate Director for Environment


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Associate Director for Environment is well-positioned to coordinate the Federal Government’s activities in order to address the impacts of climate change, to promote sustainable development, to foster new and cleaner sources of energy, to enable Earth and space sciences, and to build the nation’s disaster resilience. They manage the environment, natural resources, and Earth and space science research and development portfolio across the Federal Government, while integrating their activities with non-governmental, academic, private sector, and international partners. Past directors have overseen the National Ocean Council, U.S. Global Change Research Program, and interagency committees on earth observation, air and water quality, disaster risk reduction, space weather, ecological services, toxins, the Arctic, ocean science, and technology.




Chief of Staff


Noncareer Appointment The Chief of Staff supports the OSTP Director in articulating, implementing and executing on their strategic priorities. They manage the organization’s staff and participate in a wide range of policy making functions in support of the director. To be effective, the Chief of Staff needs to have management and operational experience, be familiar with the science and technology policy ecosystem, and be well-networked across the science community.




Assistant Director for Social and Behavioral Sciences


Noncareer Appointment The Assistant Director for Social and Behavioral Sciences leads a range of executive branch activities and interagency policy initiatives relating to the social, behavioral, and neurological sciences. For example, past Assistant Directors identified policy options for improving clinical treatments for brain injuries, applying new insights into cognition and learning to the domains of education and learning, and lastly accelerating the development of therapies for neurological diseases.




Communications Director


Noncareer Appointment The person in this role has two main responsibilities: (1) directs communications, public affairs and strategy for White House S&T priorities and initiatives; (2) oversees media relations, helps shape policy priorities, and leads the development of presidential and executive briefing materials for the Director and CTO. There is an opportunity for Communications Director to significantly advance science engagement and the science community to underscore scientific evidence and scientific decision-making to build trust around the Federal Government's S&T agenda.




Director, U.S. Group on Earth Observations Program


Noncareer Appointment The Earth Observations Director supports the OSTP Director on all aspects of civil Earth observation policy and planning, and advanced related national goals and objectives. The Director oversees the activities of multiple interagency coordination groups supporting systems assessment, data management, satellite data needs, and international collaboration.





 

Department of Commerce

Chief Information Officer


Career Appointment The CIO leads the FTC’s Data Governance Board as the Chief Data Officer. Furthermore, the CIO manages policies related to information technology (IT) investments that comply with federal laws, secure integrated end-to-end agency IT, and implement modernization efforts via internet-based technologies. Data governance standards at the FTC are likely to serve as a model for other, less-technically inclined agencies, especially considering the volume of data processed through FTC.




Chief Technologist


Schedule C Appointment The Chief Technologist serves as the Chairman’s principal source of evolving technology, privacy, and data security issues. The Chief Technologist seeks to innovate the FTC’s use of technology, examine the technical aspects of law enforcement actions, and make technology policy recommendations to the FTC.




Director, Technology and Enforcement Division


Career Appointment The Director oversees the Technology and Enforcement Division’s efforts to monitor competition and investigate potentially anticompetitive digital technology markets, such as online platforms, digital advertising, social networking, software, operating systems, and streaming services. The Director ensures that companies are operating pursuant to antitrust laws. Lastly, the Director works with other Commission staff, including technologists, to develop a deep understanding of some unique features of complex, dynamic digital markets.





 
 

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. The Under Secretary focuses 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.




Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering


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 Under Secretary is responsible for research, development, and prototyping activities across the defense enterprise, and charged with ensuring the technological superiority of the DOD. Furthermore, the Under Secretary 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 critical 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. The Principle Director contributes 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 Administration because the position provides a service-specific perspective on requirements and priorities in biotechnology development. The Principle 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. The Under Secretary assists with the Defense Technology Security Administration.




Director, Office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE)


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. The CAPE Director develops 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 Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy (DASD) 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. The DASD provides 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, the DASD is 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 ithus the DARPA Director musy be a experienced and creative leader.




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. The Secretary 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.





 

Department of Education

Director, Office of Policy and Strategic Planning


Noncareer Appointment The Director of the Office of Policy and Strategic Planning oversees the development and implementation of policy throughout the department. Given the vast sweep of the Commerce Department's portfolio, its Policy Director can have substantial influence over a wide array of issues that affect science and technology, including: allocation of spectrum (NTIA), standards development (NIST), export control (BIS), and environmental policy (NOAA), among others.




NIST Director and Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is the federal hub for advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. The NIST Director provides high-level oversight and direction for NIST and will play a key role in setting standards related to AI, QIS and other emerging technologies of the coming years. The NIST Director should be someone with a broad background in science and technology, a history of working effectively with U.S. federal labs, and significant cross-sector and industry leadership experience.




NOAA Administrator and Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrator manages the day-to-day functions and the strategic and operational future of NOAA—the nation’s top science agency for climate, oceans, and the atmosphere. The Administrator is integral to executing a coherent federal climate-change policy. The Administrator oversees a $5.6B budget and monitors programmatic functions such as the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service, National Ocean Service, and the National Weather Service. The Administrator needs to have solid scientific rigor, team-building skills, and strategic sensibility to successfully run NOAA.




Deputy NOAA Administrator and Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Deputy NOAA Administrator leads a variety of efforts aimed at advancing marine transportation, sustainable seafood, and ocean exploration and mapping. The Deputy Administrator leads NOAA’s support on Indo-Pacific Strategy, Arctic research, operations, and engagement, and the execution of science and technology strategies for AI, unmanned systems, genomics, cloud tech, and citizen science. The Deputy Administrator chairs or co-chairs a variety of interagency bodies including the Coordinating Board for the Committee on the Marine Transportation System and the US Coral Reef Task Force. The Deputy Administrator is a member of the National Science and Technology Council’s Select Committee on AI, the National Security Council’s Policy Coordination Committees on Pacific Island Countries, the Arctic, and Maritime Security, and the Executive Steering Group of the National Space Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing.




Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction, NOAA


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction is responsible for guiding key investments that advance weather modeling and prediction, space innovation, unmanned systems research, and public-private partnerships for a blue economy. The Assistant Secretary is responsible for strategic oversight over spending related to weather modeling and prediction, space innovation, streamlining unmanned systems research for mission areas, and partnership potential for the nation's oceans.




Chief of Staff, NOAA


Noncareer Appointment The Chief of Staff provides direct support to the NOAA Administrator. The Chief of Staff provides the complete range of management functions to the Administrator’s immediate staff of professionals and secretarial employees. They develop plans and oversee policies. major programs of joint effort. Lastly, they direct the functions, hiring, training, and disciplinary actions.




Chief Scientist, NOAA


Presidential Appointment The Chief Scientist is responsible for driving policy and programming for NOAA’s science and technology priorities. This includes a broad research and technology portfolio, ranging from fisheries and marine biology to climate change and satellite instrumentation. The Chief Scientist is also responsible for ensuring that policy decisions are aligned with scientific evidence.




Assistant Administrator, Ocean and Atmospheric Research (OAR), NOAA


Career Appointment The Assistant Administrator oversees OAR, the research and development arm of NOAA and the driving force behind environmental products aimed at protecting life and promoting sustainable economic growth. The Assistant Administrator is responsible for a variety of research enterprises, including a network of laboratories and programs like the Climate Program, Weather Research, and Ocean Exploration.




Associate Director for Innovation and Industry Services, NIST


Career Appointment The Associate Director for Innovation and Industry Services serves as NIST’s principal executive responsible for partnerships with industry, providing oversight for the key extramural and technology transfer programs of the institute, including the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program; the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership; the Office of Advanced Manufacturing, which coordinates the interagency Manufacturing USA program; and the Technology Partnerships Office, which includes NIST’s Small Business Innovation Research Program. The Associate Director is responsible for enhancing the successful transfer of new technologies from NIST’s research laboratories to commercial markets and for reporting on behalf of the Federal Government impacts from the nation’s more than $150 billion federal investment in research. Lastly, the Associate Director is responsible for coordinating technology transfer policy development and implementation through a network of U.S. federal interagency technology transfer bodies.




Associate Director for Laboratory Programs, NIST


Career Appointment Reporting directly to the NIST Director, the Associate Director for Laboratory Programs manages U.S. measurement infrastructure—all of NIST’s scientific and technology lab programs. They oversee national advanced spectrum and communications test networks (Comms Tech lab), cyber-physical systems like Smart Grid Program Office (Engineering Lab), cybersecurity framework (IT Lab), neutron research and nanoscale science and technology (crucial for SME fabrication methods).





 

Department of Energy

Chief Information Officer


Career Appointment The CIO leads the FTC’s Data Governance Board as the Chief Data Officer. Furthermore, the CIO manages policies related to information technology (IT) investments that comply with federal laws, secure integrated end-to-end agency IT, and implement modernization efforts via internet-based technologies. Data governance standards at the FTC are likely to serve as a model for other, less-technically inclined agencies, especially considering the volume of data processed through FTC.




Chief Technologist


Schedule C Appointment The Chief Technologist serves as the Chairman’s principal source of evolving technology, privacy, and data security issues. The Chief Technologist seeks to innovate the FTC’s use of technology, examine the technical aspects of law enforcement actions, and make technology policy recommendations to the FTC.




Director, Technology and Enforcement Division


Career Appointment The Director oversees the Technology and Enforcement Division’s efforts to monitor competition and investigate potentially anticompetitive digital technology markets, such as online platforms, digital advertising, social networking, software, operating systems, and streaming services. The Director ensures that companies are operating pursuant to antitrust laws. Lastly, the Director works with other Commission staff, including technologists, to develop a deep understanding of some unique features of complex, dynamic digital markets.





 

Department of Health and Human Services

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. The OET Chief drives 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. The OET Chief also plays 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. The OET Deputy Chief advises and participates in proceedings on spectrum management, emerging technologies and technical standards. The OET Deputy Chief influences 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 Homeland Security

Under Secretary for Science and Technology


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Under Secretary manages the science and technology (S&T) mission capabilities at DHS including borders and maritime security, chemical and biological defense, critical infrastructure and resilience, cybersecurity, explosives, and expanding first responder capabilities. The Under Secretary oversees all science and technology research and development throughout the entire department. This position reports directly to the Secretary of DHS and engages with all DHS Components to ensure that technical advances are integrated into all its mission areas. The S&T Directorate provides support to all national First Responders, engagement with international partners involved in non-military homeland security, and coordination with U.S national intelligence agencies. The Under Secretary oversees all S&T for the entire Department and is responsible for support to acquisition of advanced technology to all non-military national security across the federal government. The Under Secretary is also responsible for ensuring local and state first responders have access to the latest scientific and technical advances. The Undersecretary serves as the Chief Technology Advisor to the Secretary of DHS, and routinely participates in the DHS advisory council consisting of the heads of all DHS Components. The Director of the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency also reports to this role.




Director, Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA)


Noncareer Appointment This Director runs an organization generally consisting of four or five divisions, each led by senior executive service members and containing several scientific and technical senior experts (S&T positions) as well as program managers, staff, and contractor support personnel. This agency in the past has had a budget up to $1B, but it has been significantly reduced over the past decade. The divisions within the agencies are responsible for evaluation of scientific advances and direct contractual support to organizations developing technology in DHS priority areas such as chemical and biological defense, explosives/hazards detection, cybersecurity, and more. Selected by the Undersecretary for S&T and appointed by the Secretary of DHS, this position should be filled by a senior scientific or technical expert, with considerable experience running organizations composed of scientific/technical program managers, with a sizable R&D budget. This position requires a rare deep understanding of a broad range of scientific/technical areas, from chemistry and physics, to cyber systems and national defense. This position routinely testifies before Congress, engages with OMB, and coordinates with the intelligence community. The position also involves significant policy experience and routinely engages with OSTP, DOD, DOE, and FBI. A successful HSARPA Director must be both a leader and a good manager of high-level teams, responsible for hiring expert program managers, capable of understanding complex scientific and technical information across an exceptionally broad range of areas, and an effective manager of the federal budget process. The Director must lead a "team of teams'', encouraging and facilitating coordination and cooperation across diverse technical teams, and lead by encouragement of the best outcome rather than dictating specific tasks. It is likely that the best qualified candidate would be a Ph.D. scientist with extensive experience in running large organizations, managing a multi-million dollar budget, and routine, effective engagement with multiple outside entities, including similar international organizations.




Director, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Director oversees the strategic direction of 20,000 people in 10 regional offices dedicated to ensuring effective disaster management. They are responsible for effective responses to Presidential and state governor’s requests for assistance, providing on-the-ground recovery assistance and coordinating with the Small Business Administration.




Assistant Secretary and Chief Medical Officer


Noncareer Appointment The Assistant Secretary and Chief Medical Officer leads efforts to help communities nationwide prepare for a chemical or biological attack, and build their capacity to respond and recover. The responsibilities include anticipating the public health impact of biological attacks, chemical releases, pandemics and infectious disease threats, and disasters to prepare the nation to respond and rebound. They also play an important role in informing federal, state, and local decision making about high consequence biological threats with biosurveillance programs that provide early warnings for a rapid response to contain and limit the impact. The Chief Medical Officer plays a key role in combating the COVID-19 pandemic and preparing for future outbreaks. This role should be filled with a person with deep expertise in both medical and chemical and biological defense areas.




Chief Scientist


Noncareer Appointment The Chief Scientist acts as a department-wide asset in providing scientific advice in policy development and policy implementation. The Chief Scientist acts as the “Scientific Integrity Officer” across DHS. They are also DHS’s liaison to the Advisory Board, which reported to the Secretary on the impacts of emerging technology on homeland security. The Chief Scientist position is selected by the Undersecretary for Science and Technology and is confirmed by the Secretary of DHS. To be effective in the position, the Chief Scientist possesses both broad and deep scientific and technical experience, and can engage with high-level scientific and technical personnel within DHS and throughout the Federal Government. The Chief Scientist typically serves on National Science & Technology Council Committees and sub-committees, and routinely engages with scientific leadership from NSF, DOE, NIH, and DOD.





 

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. The Secretary leads the Department's efforts on research and development of new transportation technologies, in addition to working 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 opportunity to leverage their bully pulpit to push the Transportation Research Board to also shift to focusing on frontier R&D. The Assistant Secretary could also restructure the Bureau of Transportation Statistics to measure areas more relevant to DOT 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

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. The OET Chief drives 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. The OET Chief also plays 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. The OET Deputy Chief advises and participates in proceedings on spectrum management, emerging technologies and technical standards. The OET Deputy Chief influences 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 Labor

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.





 

Department of State

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. The Secretary leads the Department's efforts on research and development of new transportation technologies, in addition to working 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 opportunity to leverage their bully pulpit to push the Transportation Research Board to also shift to focusing on frontier R&D. The Assistant Secretary could also restructure the Bureau of Transportation Statistics to measure areas more relevant to DOT 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 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. The Secretary leads the Department's efforts on research and development of new transportation technologies, in addition to working 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 opportunity to leverage their bully pulpit to push the Transportation Research Board to also shift to focusing on frontier R&D. The Assistant Secretary could also restructure the Bureau of Transportation Statistics to measure areas more relevant to DOT 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

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. The OET Chief drives 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. The OET Chief also plays 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. The OET Deputy Chief advises and participates in proceedings on spectrum management, emerging technologies and technical standards. The OET Deputy Chief influences 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 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. The OET Chief drives 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. The OET Chief also plays 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. The OET Deputy Chief advises and participates in proceedings on spectrum management, emerging technologies and technical standards. The OET Deputy Chief influences 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 Information Officer


Career Appointment The CIO leads the FTC’s Data Governance Board as the Chief Data Officer. Furthermore, the CIO manages policies related to information technology (IT) investments that comply with federal laws, secure integrated end-to-end agency IT, and implement modernization efforts via internet-based technologies. Data governance standards at the FTC are likely to serve as a model for other, less-technically inclined agencies, especially considering the volume of data processed through FTC.




Chief Technologist


Schedule C Appointment The Chief Technologist serves as the Chairman’s principal source of evolving technology, privacy, and data security issues. The Chief Technologist seeks to innovate the FTC’s use of technology, examine the technical aspects of law enforcement actions, and make technology policy recommendations to the FTC.




Director, Technology and Enforcement Division


Career Appointment The Director oversees the Technology and Enforcement Division’s efforts to monitor competition and investigate potentially anticompetitive digital technology markets, such as online platforms, digital advertising, social networking, software, operating systems, and streaming services. The Director ensures that companies are operating pursuant to antitrust laws. Lastly, the Director works with other Commission staff, including technologists, to develop a deep understanding of some unique features of complex, dynamic digital markets.





 

National Aeronautics and Aerospace Administration

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. The Associate Administrator is 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.





 

National Science Foundation

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Office of Management and Budget

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. The Under Secretary focuses 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.




Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering


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 Under Secretary is responsible for research, development, and prototyping activities across the defense enterprise, and charged with ensuring the technological superiority of the DOD. Furthermore, the Under Secretary 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 critical 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. The Principle Director contributes 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 Administration because the position provides a service-specific perspective on requirements and priorities in biotechnology development. The Principle 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. The Under Secretary assists with the Defense Technology Security Administration.




Director, Office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE)


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. The CAPE Director develops 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 Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy (DASD) 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. The DASD provides 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, the DASD is 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 ithus the DARPA Director musy be a experienced and creative leader.




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. The Secretary 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.





 

Office of Science and Technology Policy

OSTP Director and Assistant to the President for Science and Technology


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The OSTP Director covers two science and technology issue areas where they influence decision making on key policies, such as national security, environment, and energy policy. First, the OSTP Director provides advice to the President and key administration officials on S&T priorities and serves a significant coordinating role on agenda-setting across the Federal R&D enterprise (NASA, DOE, NSF, etc.), including the R&D budget, management, and oversight. Second, the OSTP Director manages the NSTC and co-chairs PCAST. Third, the OSTP Director coordinates communication activities during disasters, and represents the U.S. at international S&T policy-related meetings. Lastly, the OSTP Director serves as a two-way communication conduit between the EOP and the federal and non-federal S&T community. The OSTP Director can use their role as a “bully pulpit” to encourage federal agencies, universities, nongovernmental organizations, and others in the S&T community to align with the Executive Branch’s S&T agenda.




Chief Technology Officer


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Chief Technology Officer is a policy role defined by the individual that assumes it. Distinct from OMB’s Chief Information Officer, the CTO position has been seen primarily as an outward-reaching position whose priority responsibilities are leveraging not only information technology, but technological innovation to bridge the digital divide and address the major societal challenges that the country faces, such as job creation, health care, and national security. Furthermore, the CTO works closely with others both across and outside government to upgrade government technological capability. The CTO needs to be someone who is a technologist and can draw on their unique perspective to inform the policy priorities of the next administration.




Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Data Policy and Chief Data Scientist


Noncareer Appointment The Chief Data Scientist provides a vision on how to provide a maximum social return on federal data and create nationwide data policies that enable shared services and forward-leaning practices to advance our nation's leadership in the data age. The Chief Data Scientist works with federal agencies to establish best practices for data management and ensure the long-term sustainability of databases. They are also responsible for recruiting and retaining talent in data science for public service, who can tackle data science objectives and act as conduits among the government, academia, and industry. As part of the CTO team, the Chief Data Scientist also works closely with colleagues across government, including the Chief Information Officer and the U.S. Digital Service.




Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation


Noncareer Appointment The Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation leads a team of policy entrepreneurs who work to identify, design, launch, and sustain science, technology, and innovation initiatives. The Deputy Director generates or identifies new ideas, evaluates policy options, ensures implementation of initiatives, and monitors the effectiveness of the President’s policies and initiatives in technology and innovation. In this role, the Deputy Director needs to be a coalition-builder in order to carry forward initiatives as well as a serial policy entrepreneur, who can balance new ventures against the dynamics of the White House.




Associate Director, Science


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Associate Director for Science helps to advise the President and the OSTP Director on the implications of scientific developments on public policy and on federal efforts in support of scientific research. The Associate Director’s responsibilities include overseeing national and international science and education policy development and federal agency program coordination for physical sciences, life sciences, environmental science, behavioral and social sciences, and education.




Associate Director for National Security and International Affairs


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Associate Director for National Security and International Affairs ensures that credible science advice informs the national security policy apparatus of the Federal Government, covering intersecting S&T priorities such as R&D, cybersecurity, space, and biosecurity. The Associate Director is also co-chair of the National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on Homeland and National Security (CHNS). In order to be effective in this role, the Associate Director needs to be knowledgeable in a wide range of scientific enterprises.




Associate Director for Environment


Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation The Associate Director for Environment is well-positioned to coordinate the Federal Government’s activities in order to address the impacts of climate change, to promote sustainable development, to foster new and cleaner sources of energy, to enable Earth and space sciences, and to build the nation’s disaster resilience. They manage the environment, natural resources, and Earth and space science research and development portfolio across the Federal Government, while integrating their activities with non-governmental, academic, private sector, and international partners. Past directors have overseen the National Ocean Council, U.S. Global Change Research Program, and interagency committees on earth observation, air and water quality, disaster risk reduction, space weather, ecological services, toxins, the Arctic, ocean science, and technology.




Chief of Staff


Noncareer Appointment The Chief of Staff supports the OSTP Director in articulating, implementing and executing on their strategic priorities. They manage the organization’s staff and participate in a wide range of policy making functions in support of the director. To be effective, the Chief of Staff needs to have management and operational experience, be familiar with the science and technology policy ecosystem, and be well-networked across the science community.




Assistant Director for Social and Behavioral Sciences


Noncareer Appointment The Assistant Director for Social and Behavioral Sciences leads a range of executive branch activities and interagency policy initiatives relating to the social, behavioral, and neurological sciences. For example, past Assistant Directors identified policy options for improving clinical treatments for brain injuries, applying new insights into cognition and learning to the domains of education and learning, and lastly accelerating the development of therapies for neurological diseases.




Communications Director


Noncareer Appointment The person in this role has two main responsibilities: (1) directs communications, public affairs and strategy for White House S&T priorities and initiatives; (2) oversees media relations, helps shape policy priorities, and leads the development of presidential and executive briefing materials for the Director and CTO. There is an opportunity for Communications Director to significantly advance science engagement and the science community to underscore scientific evidence and scientific decision-making to build trust around the Federal Government's S&T agenda.




Director, U.S. Group on Earth Observations Program


Noncareer Appointment The Earth Observations Director supports the OSTP Director on all aspects of civil Earth observation policy and planning, and advanced related national goals and objectives. The Director oversees the activities of multiple interagency coordination groups supporting systems assessment, data management, satellite data needs, and international collaboration.





 

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

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. The Under Secretary focuses 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.




Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering


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 Under Secretary is responsible for research, development, and prototyping activities across the defense enterprise, and charged with ensuring the technological superiority of the DOD. Furthermore, the Under Secretary 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 critical 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. The Principle Director contributes 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 Administration because the position provides a service-specific perspective on requirements and priorities in biotechnology development. The Principle 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. The Under Secretary assists with the Defense Technology Security Administration.




Director, Office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE)


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. The CAPE Director develops 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 Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy (DASD) 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. The DASD provides 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, the DASD is 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 ithus the DARPA Director musy be a experienced and creative leader.




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. The Secretary 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.





 

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