Science and Technology Action in the First Days

January 21st, 2009

Posted by: admin

As of this evening, the only confirmed appointee in science and technology policy positions is Dr. Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy.  Dr. Bement, the National Science Foundation Director, carries over from the preceding administration, as he has a term appointment until 2010.

The following holes need to be filled, many involving a confirmation hearing.

OSTP: Dr. Holdren needs to be confirmed, and no hearing is currently scheduled with the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.  Action on a new Presidential Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and the senior staff of OSTP must wait until confirmation is completed.

NOAA: Similar situation with Dr. Lubchenko (edited – I had mistakenly typed Holdren).  No confirmation, nor is a confirmation hearing scheduled.

NIST: No director named.

CDC: No director named.

NIH: No director named.

Chief Technology Officer: This is a new position, with no official declaration of job description or portfolio.  Any names connected with this position are strictly speculation.  Presumably this person will serve as the point person for how the federal government uses technology, but that is also speculation at this point based on Obama campaign statements.

Secretary of Commerce: With Governor Richardson’s withdrawal, this is the sole Cabinet position left open.  While the Secretary isn’t necessarily a science or technology person, they do supervise agencies involved in science and technology (NIST, NOAA), as well as programs involved in supporting or regulating the use of technology (such as the Technology Innovation Program, and sometimes the maintenance of export controls).

While there are plenty of holes to fill, on day 2 of an Administration this list is typically much longer.  That said, it would be nice to have more that Dr. Chu officially on board while the economic stimulus and other important bills and dealt with in these first days.

2 Responses to “Science and Technology Action in the First Days”

  1. David Bruggeman Says:

    Forgot the NASA Administrator. No appointment made as yet, and Mike Griffin has apparently left the building.

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  3. David Bruggeman Says:

    Also neglected the Food and Drug Administration Commissioner. Only rumors to pass on, and you can find those elsewhere.

    This goes to show how many appointments are necessary for science and technology agencies.