Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): History and Overview

Congress established the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) through the National Science and Technology Policy, Organization, and Priorities Act of 1976 (P.L. 94-282). The act states, “The primary function of the OSTP Director is to provide, within the Executive Office of the President [EOP], advice on the scientific, engineering, and technological aspects of issues that require attention at the highest level of Government.” Further, “The Office shall serve as a source of scientific and technological analysis and judgment for the President with respect to major policies, plans, and programs of the Federal Government.”

The President nominates the OSTP Director, who is subject to confirmation by the Senate. In many Administrations, the President has concurrently appointed the OSTP Director to the position of Assistant to the President for Science and Technology (APST), a position which allows for the provision of confidential advice to the President on matters of science and technology. While Congress can require the OSTP Director to testify, the APST may decline requests to testify on the basis of separation of powers or executive privilege. The APST manages the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), an interagency body established by Executive Order 12881 that coordinates science and technology (S&T) policy across the federal government. The APST also co-chairs the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), a council of external advisors established by Executive Order 13539 that provides advice to the President. Executive Order 13708 continued PCAST through September 30, 2017. As of August 2017, President Trump had not named a director of OSTP or an APST.

Several recurrent OSTP issues face Congress: the need for science advice within the EOP; the title, rank, and responsibilities of the OSTP Director; the policy areas for OSTP focus; the funding and staffing for OSTP; the roles and functions of OSTP and NSTC in setting federal science and technology policy; and the status and influence of PCAST. Some in the S&T community support raising the OSTP Director to Cabinet rank, contending that this would imbue the position with greater influence within the EOP. Others have proposed that the OSTP Director play a greater role in federal agency coordination, priority setting, and budget allocation. Both the Administration and Congress have identified areas of policy focus for OSTP staff, raising questions of prioritization and oversight. Some experts say NSTC has insufficient authority over federal agencies engaged in science and technology activities and that PCAST has insufficient influence on S&T policy; they question the overall coordination of federal science and technology activities. Finally, some in the scientific community support increasing the authority of the OSTP Director in the budget process to bring greater science and technology expertise to federal investment decision making.

Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): History and Overview

August 17, 2017 (R43935)
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Contents

Summary

Congress established the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) through the National Science and Technology Policy, Organization, and Priorities Act of 1976 (P.L. 94-282). The act states, "The primary function of the OSTP Director is to provide, within the Executive Office of the President [EOP], advice on the scientific, engineering, and technological aspects of issues that require attention at the highest level of Government." Further, "The Office shall serve as a source of scientific and technological analysis and judgment for the President with respect to major policies, plans, and programs of the Federal Government."

The President nominates the OSTP Director, who is subject to confirmation by the Senate. In many Administrations, the President has concurrently appointed the OSTP Director to the position of Assistant to the President for Science and Technology (APST), a position which allows for the provision of confidential advice to the President on matters of science and technology. While Congress can require the OSTP Director to testify, the APST may decline requests to testify on the basis of separation of powers or executive privilege. The APST manages the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), an interagency body established by Executive Order 12881 that coordinates science and technology (S&T) policy across the federal government. The APST also co-chairs the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), a council of external advisors established by Executive Order 13539 that provides advice to the President. Executive Order 13708 continued PCAST through September 30, 2017. As of August 2017, President Trump had not named a director of OSTP or an APST.

Several recurrent OSTP issues face Congress: the need for science advice within the EOP; the title, rank, and responsibilities of the OSTP Director; the policy areas for OSTP focus; the funding and staffing for OSTP; the roles and functions of OSTP and NSTC in setting federal science and technology policy; and the status and influence of PCAST. Some in the S&T community support raising the OSTP Director to Cabinet rank, contending that this would imbue the position with greater influence within the EOP. Others have proposed that the OSTP Director play a greater role in federal agency coordination, priority setting, and budget allocation. Both the Administration and Congress have identified areas of policy focus for OSTP staff, raising questions of prioritization and oversight. Some experts say NSTC has insufficient authority over federal agencies engaged in science and technology activities and that PCAST has insufficient influence on S&T policy; they question the overall coordination of federal science and technology activities. Finally, some in the scientific community support increasing the authority of the OSTP Director in the budget process to bring greater science and technology expertise to federal investment decision making.


Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): History and Overview

Historically, advice to the President was provided through advisors and boards without statutory authorities. Congress moved in 1976 to codify a formal mechanism for presidential science advice. The National Science and Technology Policy, Organization, and Priorities Act of 1976 (P.L. 94-282) established the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), including the position of its Director, within the Executive Office of the President (EOP) to provide scientific and technological analysis and advice to the President. This act codified and institutionalized a presidential science advice function that previously existed at each President's discretion.

This report provides an overview of the history of science and technology (S&T) advice to the President and discusses selected recurrent issues for Congress regarding OSTP's Director, OSTP management and operations, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), and the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). For a discussion of certain OSTP policy issues, see also CRS Report R43923, The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy: Issues for the 114th Congress, by [author name scrubbed] and [author name scrubbed]

History of Science and Technology Advice to the President

Science and technology policy issues tend to reach the presidential level if they involve multiple agencies; have substantial budgetary, economic, national security, or foreign policy dimensions; are highly controversial (especially when science and technology intersect with values, ethics, and morality); or are highly visible to the public. When these matters reach the Oval Office, Presidents generally seek information and advice from trusted sources as to the options available and their implications.

Throughout U.S. history, Presidents have obtained S&T advice from federal scientists and engineers and informal personal contacts.1 Starting in the early 1930s, Presidents attempted to expand their sources of S&T advice through advisory boards and committees. Lacking a statutory foundation, these boards and committees tended to lack permanency, as subsequent Presidents often disbanded them. When again faced with the need for S&T advice, Presidents would form new advisory boards or committees, sometimes reconstituted from previously disbanded ones.

In the years leading up to World War II, the importance of research and development (R&D) to the nation's economic and military strength became increasingly evident. As a result, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) in 1941.2 The federal R&D enterprise is widely credited with contributing substantially to the Allied victory in World War II, as well as to the development of subsequent U.S. industrial strength.3 In November 1944, President Roosevelt wrote a letter to OSRD Director Vannevar Bush4 seeking recommendations on how research and the research infrastructure established to support America's war effort could be "profitably employed in times of peace."5 Bush's response, Science: The Endless Frontier,6 laid out a framework that asserted the essential role of scientific progress in meeting the nation's economic, national security, and social needs. Experts widely view the Bush report as foundational to today's U.S. science and technology policy.

Subsequent Presidents used a variety of mechanisms to obtain S&T advice within the EOP, to enhance interagency coordination, and to receive counsel from outside advisors. The primary provision of advice to the President on science and technology issues continued through advisors and assistants to the President who continued to perform this function without statutory authorities. Organizations within the EOP included the Office of the Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology (Eisenhower) and the Office of Science and Technology (OST; Kennedy, Johnson). Organizations focused on interagency coordination included the President's Scientific Research Board (Truman), the Federal Council for Science and Technology (FCST; Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon), and the Federal Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology (FCCSET; Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H. W. Bush). External advisory committees included the Science Advisory Committee (Truman, Eisenhower), and the President's Science Advisory Committee (PSAC; Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon).

In 1973, President Nixon abolished the Office of Science and Technology. The National Science Foundation (NSF) assumed its civilian functions and the National Security Council (NSC) its security functions.7 In addition, President Nixon opted not to appoint new members to PSAC after accepting the pro forma resignation of its members.8 With this backdrop, President Ford chose to establish OSTP through legislation, rather than executive order.9 The National Science and Technology Policy, Organization, and Priorities Act of 1976 (P.L. 94-282) established OSTP and the position of OSTP Director. President Ford signed it into law on May 11, 1976.

The creation of OSTP provided a new structure for the provision of science and technology policy advice to the President, but did not end Presidents' authority to appoint advisors in parallel. The OSTP director is a statutory position; the authority to appoint others to assist the President exists solely with the President. Thus, a President may opt to appoint the OSTP director to also serve as an assistant to the President, may concurrently appoint another individual to serve as Assistant to the President for Science and Technology (APST), or may appoint no one to serve as APST. This also raised new and continuing questions with respect to coordination of advice.

Appendix A provides a historical compilation of presidential S&T policy advisors with their titles, EOP S&T agencies/offices, interagency coordination organizations, and advisory committees. As illustrated in Table A-1, the Presidents subsequent to President Ford continued to adapt OSTP and related organizations to suit their needs.

Overview of OSTP, NSTC, and PCAST

The White House contains several science and technology policy entities, including OSTP, the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), and the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). This section describes the structure, roles and responsibilities, current structure, and budget of each entity. The role and influence of OSTP, NSTC, PCAST, and their predecessor organizations have varied among Administrations, depending on the President, the individual serving as OSTP Director, and the rapport between them.10

Office of Science and Technology Policy

Overview

Congress established the Office of Science and Technology Policy as an office within the EOP to, among other things, "serve as a source of scientific and technological analysis and judgment for the President with respect to major policies, plans, and programs of the Federal Government."11 OSTP defines its mission as having three components:

Provide the President and his senior staff with accurate, relevant, and timely scientific and technical advice on all matters of consequence.

Ensure that the policies of the Executive Branch are informed by sound science.

Ensure that the scientific and technical work of the Executive Branch is properly coordinated so as to provide the greatest benefit to society.12

To accomplish this mission, OSTP has established the following strategic goals and objectives:

Ensure that federal investments in science and technology are making the greatest possible contribution to economic prosperity, public health, environmental quality, and national security.

Energize and nurture the processes by which government programs in science and technology are resourced, evaluated, and coordinated.

Sustain the core professional and scientific relationships with government officials, academics, and industry representatives that are required to understand the depth and breadth of the Nation's scientific and technical enterprise, evaluate scientific advances, and identify potential policy proposals.

Generate a core workforce of world-class expertise capable of providing policy-relevant advice, analysis, and judgment for the President and his senior staff regarding the scientific and technical aspects of the major policies, plans, and programs of the Federal government.13

The OSTP also has several roles not articulated in these formal statements. These include serving as a sounding board and conduit of information for agency executives seeking to understand, clarify, and shape science and technology-related policy objectives and priorities; helping agencies coordinate and integrate their S&T strategies and activities; and helping resolve interagency conflicts over areas of S&T responsibility and leadership.

OSTP Structure/Roles of the OSTP Director, APST, and Associate Directors

Past Presidents appointed Assistants to the President for Science and Technology (or their equivalents) to coordinate presidential advice. Congress codified a specific science and technology advisory function when it created OSTP. P.L. 94-282 establishes the position of OSTP Director, whose primary function is

to provide, within the Executive Office of the President, advice on the scientific, engineering, and technological aspects of issues that require attention at the highest level of Government.

In addition, the statute, as amended,14 directs the OSTP Director to

advise the President of scientific and technological considerations involved in areas of national concern including, but not limited to, the economy, national security, homeland security, health, foreign relations, the environment, and the technological recovery and use of resources;

evaluate the scale, quality, and effectiveness of the federal effort in science and technology and advise on appropriate actions;

advise the President on scientific and technological considerations with regard to federal budgets, assist the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) with an annual review and analysis of funding proposed for research and development in budgets of all federal agencies, and aid [OMB] and the agencies throughout the budget development process; and

assist the President in providing general leadership and coordination of the research and development programs of the Federal Government.

By statute, the President appoints the OSTP Director, who is sometimes referred to colloquially as the President's science advisor.15 The OSTP Director is subject to Senate confirmation and receives compensation at the rate provided for level II of the Executive Schedule. The OSTP Director has never been a member of the President's Cabinet or a Cabinet-level official. The statute does not require, nor may Congress compel, that the President appoint the OSTP director to serve as an assistant to the President (or, more specifically, as APST).

In addition to establishing the position of OSTP Director, P.L. 94-282 authorizes the President to appoint not more than four OSTP Associate Directors, subject to Senate confirmation, who are compensated at a rate not to exceed that provided for level III of the Executive Schedule. President Obama established four OSTP Associate Director positions with discrete areas of responsibility: science; technology and innovation; national security and international affairs; and environment and energy. See Figure 1.16 The number of Associate Director positions has varied under different Presidents. For example, under President George W. Bush there were two OSTP Associate Directors—one focused on science and the other on technology—each with a Deputy Director.17 During the Clinton Administration, four Associate Directors focused on science; technology; environment; and national security and international affairs. Under President Obama there were four Associated Directors focused on science; technology and innovation; environment and energy; and national security and international affairs. The section "Number and Policy Foci of OSTP Associate Directors" provides a more detailed discussion of the role of OSTP Associate Directors.

Ted Wackler currectly serves as OSTP's Acting Director and also leads the NSTC.

Presidential Appointment Status and Congress

The formal positions held by a President's science advisor may affect his or her degree of access to the President and other EOP decisionmakers. Although Presidents have differed in their management of EOP staff, Cabinet members and assistants to the President generally have greater access to the President than other White House staff.18 The OSTP Director is not a Cabinet-level official.

Some members of the S&T policy community question the degree of presidential access available to the OSTP Director. Some Presidents have appointed their science advisors not only to the Senate-confirmed position of OSTP Director, but also as Assistant to the President for Science and Technology (APST). The APST position does not require Senate confirmation and may confer additional status and access to the President. Presidents Obama and Clinton appointed their OSTP Directors as APST; President George W. Bush did not appoint an APST.

The relationship between Congress and the individual serving as the President's science advisor depends on whether the individual serves as OSTP Director, APST, or both. Congress can require the OSTP Director to testify before Congress. In contrast, APSTs may assert the right not to testify before Congress in accordance with the principles of separation of powers or executive privilege. Congress's authority to require testimony from an individual who holds both the Director of OSTP and APST title may be ambiguous depending on the capacity in which the individual would testify and the subject matter of the testimony.19

Figure 1. Selected White House Science and Technology Policy Organizations as Organized Under President Obama

Source: Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President, email communication, April 5, 2016.

Note: As of July 2017, OSTP was unable to provide CRS with an update to Figure 1 based on changes implemented or planned by the Trump Administration. OSTP informed CRS that "OSTP's structure is evolving and streamlining to cover ongoing requirements and new priorities for this Administration." Email communication from OSTP to CRS, July 17, 2017.

Roles and Responsibilities

The OSTP Director advises the President on policy formulation; presidential appointments; S&T-related budget issues, including budgets for R&D; the policy significance of scientific and technical developments; and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. OSTP Directors historically have also served as communication conduits between the EOP and the federal and non-federal S&T community. Some OSTP Directors have emphasized communicating the views of the S&T community to the EOP, while others have focused on communicating the views of the EOP to the S&T community.

The APST manages the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), established by Executive Order 12881,20 which is charged with coordinating S&T policy across the federal government, establishing national goals for federal S&T investments, and preparing coordinated R&D strategies. As NSTC manager, the APST can provide federal agency coordination, information, and guidance when special events occur, such as national emergencies, disasters, or S&T-related international negotiations.

In addition, the APST co-chairs the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), established in its current form under President Obama by Executive Order 13539.21 As co-chair of PCAST, the APST can seek to ascertain the consensus of the S&T community on issues of interest to the Administration.

The OSTP Director performs special roles with respect to national security and emergency preparedness (NS/EP) communications policies, programs, and capabilities. Under Executive Order 13618,22 the OSTP Director advises the President on the prioritization of radio spectrum and wired communications that support NS/EP communications functions, and provides selected evaluation of appropriate information related to the test, exercise, evaluation, and readiness of the capabilities of existing and planned NS/EP communications. In addition, the OSTP Director issues priorities annually for NS/EP Executive Committee analyses, studies, research, and development regarding NS/EP communications.23

Relationship with the Office of Management and Budget

The OSTP Director does not have direct authority over federal agencies or the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). OSTP's participation with OMB in the budget process involves four steps: (1) overall priority setting by OSTP and OMB, (2) agency preparation of budget proposals to OMB, (3) agency negotiations with OMB, and (4) final budget decisions by the President and the OMB Director.

  • 1. Priority setting. A key activity in the first step is OSTP's request to federal agencies for their recommendations on R&D priorities. In addition, interagency working groups meet to determine individual agency responsibilities for specific activities when multiple agencies share responsibility for broad issue areas. The OSTP and OMB use this information in their development of a joint memorandum that articulates the Administration's R&D priorities and R&D investment criteria.24 Agencies are encouraged to use this memorandum as an aid in the second step, preparation of their budgets.
  • 2. Agency budget preparation. In the second step, OSTP continually interacts with agencies as they develop their budgets, providing advice and working with them on their priorities. In general, OSTP provides more guidance to agencies with large R&D budgets and to programs that cross agency boundaries. Federal agencies submit their completed budget proposals to OMB. The OSTP does not review proposed agency budgets before they are sent to OMB.
  • 3. Agency negotiations with OMB. In the third step, OSTP works with OMB to review proposed agency budgets to ensure they reflect Administration plans and priorities. The OSTP also participates in OMB budget examiner presentations to the OMB Director and provides advice on priorities at that time. In addition, OSTP provides direct feedback to agencies as they negotiate with OMB over funding levels and the programs on which that funding is to be spent.
  • 4. Final budget decisions. OSTP's primary role in the fourth step of the budget process is to advise on the quality of the agency budget proposals and their alignment with the President's established priorities. The President, the OMB Director, and the Cabinet, however, make the ultimate choices.

Budget and Staffing

OSTP's budget and staffing affect the degree to which OSTP can provide advice to the President and respond to congressional direction and mandates. Figure 2 shows OSTP's budget from FY1990 to FY2018 (request), and Figure 3 shows OSTP's staffing level from FY1990 to FY2018 (request). The President's request for OSTP for FY2017 is $5.544 million, a decrease of $11,000 (0.2%) below the FY2017 level provided by P.L. 115-31, and 33 FTE, equal to the FY2017 level.

In FY2012, Congress reduced funding for OSTP substantially; contemporaneously, the Administration transferred responsibility for funding PCAST to the Department of Energy. Funding for support of PCAST, provided by the Department of Energy (DOE) beginning in FY2012, is included in Figure 2. DOE PCAST funding has ranged from $217,000 in FY2013 to $751,000 in FY2015. Funding in FY2016 was $541,000. In FY2017, funding is estimated to be $230,000. Funding supports PCAST salaries and benefits, committee member travel, meeting planning support, and related expenses, and is provided through the DOE Science account. In its FY2018 budget, there is no specific request for PCAST funding:

The PCAST advisory committee has dissolved and [the DOE Office of Science] is not aware of any plans to reform this committee in FY 2018.25

The OSTP is also supported by a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC), the Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI; see box below), which is staffed and funded through the National Science Foundation appropriation. The President is requesting $4.0 million for STPI for FY2018; funding for FY2017 in the NSF current plan is $4.74 million.26

As illustrated in Figure 2 and Figure 3, OSTP funding and staffing levels have varied considerably over time. In constant dollars, OSTP funding was at its highest at the end of the George H. W. Bush Administration and at its lowest during the Reagan Administration (see Figure B-1, which illustrates OSTP funding since 1977). OSTP's staffing has also fluctuated.

As of July 17, 2017, OSTP had a total of 36 staff members covering OSTP's portfolio of work. This includes three political staff, 14 career staff, one unpaid consultant, 15 detailees, two IPAs, and one fellow.27 Additionally, OSTP reports that it "has been actively recruiting and hiring new staff members who will be arriving on a rolling basis."28 Generally, political staff and career staff are funded by OSTP; detailees are funded by their home agencies; fellows are funded by a variety of organizations; and IPAs may be funded by OSTP, their home agencies/organizations, or a combination of the two.29

OSTP funds its political and career staff, and includes relevant information in its annual budget requests to Congress. Additionally, OSTP has relied on detailees, fellows, and IPAs to support its activities for at least the last three presidential administrations. Detailees, fellows, and IPAs may be funded by OSTP, their home agencies/organizations, or a combination of the two. During the Obama Administration, OSTP began with approximately 30 and ended with approximately 70 detailees, IPAs, and fellows. During the G.W. Bush Administration, OSTP had approximately 30-40 detailees per year. Toward the end of the Clinton Administration, OSTP had approximately 60 detailees and fellows.30




Science and Technology Policy Institute

The Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI) is a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) that provides analytical support to the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Science Board. Congress created STPI through the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1991 (P.L. 101-510). This law established the Critical Technologies Institute (CTI), an FFRDC under the sponsorship of OSTP but supported by appropriations provided to the Department of Defense (DOD). The RAND Corporation initially managed CTI. In 1998, Congress enacted the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-207), which changed CTI's name to the Science and Technology Policy Institute, changed primary sponsorship to the National Science Foundation, and amended the institute's duties.

In 2003, the Institute for Defense Analysis (IDA) was selected to manage STPI. NSF appropriations provides funding for STPI, including $4.7 million in FY2017. The STPI has approximately 40 full-time employees.a The STPI may also contract for expertise as required for a particular project.b In addition, STPI has access to the expertise of IDA's approximately 800 other employees.

The duties of STPI include:

(1) The assembly of timely and authoritative information regarding significant developments and trends in science and technology research and development in the United States and abroad.

(2) Analysis and interpretation of the information referred to in paragraph (1) with particular attention to the scope and content of the federal science and technology research and development portfolio as it affects interagency and national issues.

(3) Initiation of studies and analysis of alternatives available for ensuring the long-term strength of the United States in the development and application of science and technology, including appropriate roles for the federal government, state governments, private industry, and institutions of higher education in the development and application of science and technology.

(4) Provision, upon the request of the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, of technical support and assistance

(A) to the committees and panels of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology that provide advice to the Executive Branch on science and technology policy; and

(B) to the interagency committees and panels of the federal government concerned with science and technology. c

In carrying out these duties, the statute directs STPI to consult widely with representatives from private industry, academia, and nonprofit institutions, and to incorporate their views in STPI's work to the maximum extent practicable. In addition, the statute requires STPI to submit an annual report to the President on its activities, in accordance with requirements prescribed by the President.

In addition to its primary customer, OSTP, and its sponsor, NSF, STPI has conducted work for other federal agencies including: the National Institutes of Health; Department of Transportation; DOD; Department of Health and Human Services; National Science Board; Department of Commerce, including the National Institute of Standards and Technology; Department of Homeland Security; and Department of Energy.

______________________________

a. Full-time employees are defined as those with approximately 80% or more of their work time devoted to STPI work.

b. Email communication from STPI Deputy Director Bill Brykczynski to CRS, February 26, 2016.

c. 42 U.S.C. 6686.

Figure 2. OSTP Funding, FY1990-FY2017 (actual), FY2018 (request)

Sources: Congressional Research Service. Data from OMB Public Budget Database, budget requests, and congressional appropriations acts and committee reports, FY1990-FY2018; PCAST funding data from the Department of Energy, emails from DOE to CRS.

Notes: In FY2008, Congress directed NSF to transfer $2.240 million to OSTP for Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI) (not shown). If the STPI funding were included, FY2008 funding for OSTP would be $7.424 million in current dollars. The data above includes funding for PCAST provided by DOE starting in FY2012.

Figure 3. OSTP Staffing, FY1990-FY2016 Actual, FY2017 (est.), FY2018 (request)

Sources: Congressional Research Service. Data from U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Budget of the United States Government, Appendix, FY1992-FY2018. (Note that actual staffing numbers are provided two years later. For example, to determine actual staffing in FY2007, one must review the FY2009 budget request.) The OMB did not provide this data for FY2001. CRS has estimated the number of FTEs for FY2001 based on information provided by OSTP. FY2017 and FY2018 figures are based on requests.

Notes: Data reported are in full-time equivalents (FTE, the amount of effort from one full-time employee over one year) and may not equal number of staff. Data do not include staff or FTEs funded by agencies other than OSTP, such as detailees, IPAs, and fellows. Historical data includes full-time equivalent of holiday and overtime hours.

National Science and Technology Council

Overview and Structure

On November 23, 1993, President Clinton established the NSTC by Executive Order 12881.31 The NSTC is composed of department and agency heads, as well as selected assistants and advisors to the President. Executive Order 12881 specifies that the APST is a member of the NSTC; the order does not include the OSTP Director in the NSTC membership. The NSTC aims to coordinate science and technology policy across the federal government. According to the executive order, the NSTC has the following principal functions:

  • coordinate the S&T policymaking process;
  • ensure S&T policy decisions and programs are consistent with the President's stated goals;
  • help integrate the President's S&T policy agenda across the federal government;
  • ensure science and technology are considered in development and implementation of federal policies and programs; and
  • further international cooperation in science and technology.

In addition to these principal functions, the NSTC assists the OMB Director by recommending R&D budgets that reflect national goals and advising on agency R&D submissions.

The President chairs the NSTC; in the President's absence, the Vice President or the APST serves as chair. In practice, the NSTC rarely meets with the President or Cabinet-level officials present. Rather, OSTP staff and detailees implement NSTC activities in conjunction with federal agency staff. According to OSTP, Ted Wackler is Acting Director of OST and is leading the NSTC.32

Under President Obama, the NSTC had five committees: Science; Technology; Environment, Natural Resources, and Sustainability; Homeland and National Security; and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education.33 As shown in Table 1, each NSTC committee has subcommittees, interagency working groups, and/or taskforces focused on specialized topics. The members of these committees and subcommittees are generally not Cabinet officials, but instead lower-ranking staff.

In some cases, Congress has charged the NSTC with specific statutory responsibilities. Congress mandated the NSTC to coordinate federal activities on ocean acidification34 and to develop an implementation plan for a coordinated national research program on the role of the oceans in human health and report annually on these activities.35 Congress also directed the NSTC to oversee the planning, management, and coordination of the National Nanotechnology Program and report annually on these activities.36 In addition, Congress directed the OSTP Director to establish an NSTC committee responsible for coordinating federal programs and activities in support of STEM education,37 to establish a committee responsible for planning and coordinating federal programs and activities in advanced manufacturing research and development,38 to establish a working group responsible for coordinating federal science agency research and policies related to the dissemination and long-term stewardship of the results of unclassified research,39 and to use the NSTC to annually identify and prioritize deficiencies in federal research facilities and major instrumentation.40

In other cases, the NSTC may be assigned responsibilities to meet non-specific congressional mandates. For example, the America COMPETES Act (P.L. 110-69) directs the establishment of a President's Council on Innovation and Competitiveness. The act states that the council is to include the Secretary or head of a number of federal agencies, OSTP, and OMB. Congress provided the President with the option of establishing a new organization to serve as the Council on Innovation and Competitiveness or to designate an existing council to carry out the requirement. Rather than establish a new, independent council, President George W. Bush assigned this responsibility to the NSTC Committee on Technology.41

Budget and Staffing

The NSTC receives no direct appropriations. Instead, the participating agencies provide funding that the NSTC uses to coordinate multi-agency programs. The amount provided varies and has ranged from approximately $12 million to $18 million from FY2010 to FY2015; funding was $17.9 million in FY2014 and $18.1 million in FY2015. This amount excludes infrastructure contributions from OSTP and funding for NSTC activities that are solely within a single agency. NSTC staff are assigned by their agencies. The number of NSTC assignees has varied from 5 in prior years up to 21 in FY2015. More current data will be available upon publication of a FY2016 NSTC report which is in the final stages of clearance.42

Table 1. National Science and Technology Council Committees Under President Obama

Source: OSTP, EOP, email communication, April 5, 2016.

Notes: As of July 2017, OSTP was unable to provide CRS with an update to Table 1 based on changes implemented or planned by the Trump Administration. OSTP informed CRS that "The work of the National Science and Technology Council continues." Email communication from OSTP to CRS, July 17, 2017.
A red asterisk indicates a congressionally mandated group or subgroup.
Underlining indicates a group overseeing an initiative that is supported by a National Coordination Office.
SC = subcommittee; IWG = interagency working group; TF = task force.

President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology

Overview and Structure

President George H. W. Bush created the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) in 1990.43 Presidents Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama reestablished slightly different versions of PCAST during their Administrations.44 According to OSTP, President Trump will re-charter PCAST.45 PCAST was last extended by Executive Order 13708 through September 30, 2017.46 PCAST is an advisory board composed of individuals and representatives from sectors outside the federal government with diverse perspectives and expertise. PCAST advises the President, both directly and through the APST, on science, technology, and innovation policy. In addition, PCAST responds to requests for advice from the National Science and Technology Council. PCAST's members include approximately 20-25 distinguished individuals from industry, education and research institutions, and other organizations outside the federal government. The APST co-chairs PCAST along with one or two other council members. PCAST continues to exist by Executive Order, but members have not yet been appointed during the Trump Administration.47

The current executive order gives PCAST a broad remit, stating that its advice "shall include, but not be limited to, policy that affects science, technology, and innovation, as well as scientific and technical information that is needed to inform public policy relating to the economy, energy, environment, public health, national and homeland security, and other topics."48 PCAST also serves as two statutorily created advisory committees: the President's Innovation and Technology Advisory Committee created by the High Performance Computing Act of 1991 (P.L. 102-194 as amended) and the National Nanotechnology Advisory Panel created by the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act (P.L. 108-153).

In 2011, President Obama directed the Department of Energy to provide PCAST with funding and administrative and technical support.49 Though these functions were transferred to DOE, OSTP has asserted that it continues to exercise policy and programmatic oversight of PCAST through the APST and PCAST's staff, whose physical office location remains at OSTP.50

Budget and Staffing

The PCAST receives no direct appropriations. The OSTP provided funding and support for PCAST through FY2011. In FY2012, the DOE Office of Science assumed this responsibility. According to DOE, it provides support for PCAST staff salary and benefits, travel by committee members, meeting planning support, and other related expenses. Annual funding requested by DOE for PCAST has been under $1 million and has supported up to two FTEs. In FY2017, DOE funding for PCAST is $230,000, a decrease of $311,000 (57.5%) from FY2016. In its FY2018 budget, the Department of Energy states

The PCAST advisory committee has dissolved and [the DOE Office of Science] is not aware of any plans to reform this committee in FY 2018.51

For historical information on DOE appropriations for PCAST, see Table 2.

Table 2. Funding for PCAST

($ in millions)

Fiscal Year

Appropriated

2012

0.6

2013

0.2

2014

0.7

2015

0.8

2016

0.5

2017

0.2

Source: Communication between CRS and Department of Energy Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Issues and Options for Congress

Certain recurring issues have raised interest among congressional policymakers regarding science and technology policy within the White House. These issues include the titles, roles, and responsibilities of the President's science advisor; the number and policy foci of OSTP Associate Directors; OSTP funding and staffing levels; the participation of OSTP and NSTC in federal agency coordination, priority-setting, and budget allocation; and the stature and influence of PCAST. The following sections address each of these issues.

Title, Rank, Roles, and Responsibilities

Under President Obama, John Holdren served as both OSTP Director and Assistant to the President for Science and Technology (APST). In contrast, under President George W. Bush, John Marburger was given only the title of OSTP Director.52 Some experts in the S&T community have proposed that the OSTP Director always be given the title of APST or be given Cabinet rank. A related issue is whether the roles and responsibilities of the OSTP Director should be undertaken by several appointees rather than one. To a large extent, the appointment of an advisor to a particular position or title arises from presidential discretion. This presidential discretion may limit the ability of Congress to require greater or lesser degrees of access to the President and other key Administration decisionmakers.

Title and Rank

As shown in Appendix A, presidential science advisors have held a variety of titles since the Franklin D. Roosevelt Administration. Of the 13 Administrations reviewed, the most common title has been some variation of Science Advisor to the President (five Administrations), followed by Special Assistant to the President (four Administrations). The OSTP Director held the title of APST in the Obama, George H. W. Bush, and Clinton Administrations but not in the George W. Bush Administration.53 The difference between an individual being the OSTP Director and the APST is more than semantic. This section outlines some of the policy issues related to whether the OSTP Director is also designated APST or has Cabinet rank.

Congressional Testimony

Some Members of Congress may wish to have the option to require the individual serving as the President's science advisor to give testimony on OSTP or science and technology policy issues. Others may not place great emphasis on overseeing the role of OSTP Director or APST and may have other sources from which they can obtain S&T analysis and information.

Congress expects that an executive branch official who administers a department or agency established by law will testify before it. This contrasts with an individual whose sole responsibility is to advise the President. Some presidential advisors, such as the OSTP Director, are in units of the EOP established by law and are also subject to confirmation by the Senate. Accordingly, Congress often asks OSTP Directors to testify before it, and may, if necessary, compel them to do so. However, an APST may assert the right not to testify before Congress in accordance with the principles of separation of powers or executive privilege.54 Some members of the S&T community contend that Congress should permit an individual serving as APST to discriminate between privileged advice to the President that should not be disclosed to Congress and information appropriate to disclose to Congress.55 If Congress desires to ensure the availability of the APST for testimony, it might opt to establish the position of APST by statute and require Senate confirmation. Some experts have expressed concern regarding confusion that might arise if Congress could require some Administration staff with "Assistant to the President" titles to testify, but not others.56 Others have suggested that this might not be an effective approach since, even if such a position were established by statute, a President might opt not to nominate someone for that position or possibly appoint someone to a similarly titled position that does not exist in statute.

Cabinet Rank

Some members of the S&T community have expressed their desire for the OSTP Director to have a greater role and influence in the development of Administration policy. They assert that statutorily designating the OSTP Director as a Cabinet-level position would provide such an enhanced role and influence. In their view, the President would identify an individual nominated for the Cabinet-level OSTP Director position at the same time as other Cabinet members, shortly after the election of a new Administration. If also appointed to serve as APST, the individual could begin work immediately, though exercise of the duties of OSTP Director, with its enhanced stature, would have to await formal nomination and Senate confirmation.57 If appointed early in a new Administration, some experts in the S&T community contend, the individual filling the APST position could help identify and recruit the best scientists, engineers, health professionals, and other public policy professionals for the S&T policy-related presidential appointments.

Additionally, some contend that an APST/OSTP Director with Cabinet rank would have greater access to the President and other senior Administration staff.58 They assert that Cabinet rank would enhance the OSTP Director's authority and influence in incorporating scientific and technical viewpoints into Administration decision making. Others contend that the issue of Cabinet rank for the APST/OSTP Director status would be unlikely to substantially improve the APST/OSTP Director's role and influence in EOP activities, including Cabinet meetings.59

From a historical perspective, some experts believe that Presidents and their science advisors have unique and idiosyncratic relationships. To these experts, a more important question is how an Administration manages and uses the extensive infrastructure of expert S&T advice that supports all aspects of federal decision making.60 Scientists, engineers, and S&T policy professionals—both within and outside of the federal government—play a substantial role in providing S&T input to federal policy decision making in areas such as R&D, regulation, procurement, and standards development.

Other experts assert that the organization of the White House determines the S&T advisor's status and access. According to this perspective, if the President relies primarily on a group of White House staff members for advice, the advisor should be the APST. Conversely, if the Cabinet is the primary source of advice, then the science advisor should be made a member of the Cabinet. From this perspective, the title itself is less important than the access to the President that it provides.61 Other critics contend that rather than focusing on the title, the S&T community should instead focus on the degree to which an Administration is transparent about its operations.62

Roles and Responsibilities

As discussed above, historically OSTP Directors have advised Presidents on S&T policy formulation, R&D budget issues, the policy significance of scientific and technical developments, and STEM education, among other issues. When holding the APST title, the OSTP Director manages the NSTC and co-chairs PCAST.63 In addition, OSTP Directors can serve as a communication conduit between the EOP and the federal and non-federal S&T community.

One alternative for Congress is to change the current statutory structure and duties of OSTP, separating the various OSTP roles and responsibilities and establishing separate positions and/or organizations for each. For example, the S&T community has debated the utility of having two different individuals serve as APST and OSTP Director. While some believe having two people in these roles might enhance the ability and potential of an APST to be part of the President's inner circle, others believe the potential for conflict between the two is high.64

Similarly, some members of the S&T community have suggested that the President appoint co-equal officials, one responsible for science policy and the other for technology policy. Shortly after assuming office, President Obama created the new title of Chief Technology Officer within the EOP and provided it funding through OSTP.65 The first Chief Technology Officer was also the Associate Director of OSTP for Technology.66 Subsequent Chief Technology Officers have not had an Associate Director position. In March 2014, in oral testimony OSTP Director Holdren stated that the Chief Technology Officer did not report to the OSTP Director.67 Some S&T policy experts have expressed concern that bifurcation of authorities and responsibilities might create conflicts and a lack of integration.68

Splitting the functions of OSTP and assigning them to separate individuals or organizations might be challenging due to the size of OSTP's budget and staff.69 For example, current resources might not effectively support two senior officials and their associated staffs. Congress might opt to increase funding and authorized staffing levels to support such a reorganization.

Number and Policy Foci of OSTP Associate Directors

Current statutory authority provides flexibility to the President with respect to the number of OSTP Associate Directors (up to four) and the scope of their areas of responsibility (entirely at the discretion of the President).70 President Obama established four Associate Directors with responsibility for discrete policy areas: science; technology and innovation; national security and international affairs; and environment and energy. Under President George W. Bush there were two: an Associate Director for Science and an Associate Director for Technology.

Congress could opt to specify a fixed number of Associate Directors, and could assign some or all of them specific policy foci. Some Members of Congress have undertaken efforts in this regard. For example, in its report (S.Rept. 110-124) on the Departments of Commerce and Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2008 (S. 1745, 110th Congress), the Senate Committee on Appropriations recommended that OSTP create the position of Associate Director for Earth Science and Applications to coordinate all federal efforts to better understand and predict changes in the Earth's climate and oceans. Another bill (H.R. 5116, 111th Congress) would have required the OSTP Director to appoint an Associate Director to serve as the Coordinator for Societal Dimensions of Nanotechnology.

In addition, some members of the S&T community have proposed that one or more of the OSTP Associate Director positions should be a joint appointment to the National Economic Council (NEC), National Security Council (NSC), Domestic Policy Council (DPC), or Office of Management and Budget. In this vein, President Obama appointed the OSTP Director and the Chief Technology Officer to the DPC;71 made OSTP Director Holdren a member of the NEC by providing him with the APST title;72 added the Chief Technology Officer as a member of the NEC; and issued Presidential Policy Directive 1 (PPD-1) stating that "When science and technology related issues are on the agenda, the NSC's regular attendees will include the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy."73

OSTP Budget and Staffing

The ability of OSTP to perform its statutory duties depends, in part, on the size of its budget and staff. Figure 2 and Figure 3, above, illustrate OSTP's historical budget and staffing. Between FY1996 and FY2013, the budgets of Presidents Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama included requests for the authorization of 32-40 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions while the actual number of OSTP-funded staff ranged from 23 to 33. The OSTP has used detailees and fellows to supplement its core staffing. During the George W. Bush Administration, detailees and fellows provided approximately half of OSTP's total staff; during the Clinton Administration, detailees and fellows accounted for approximately two-thirds of total OSTP staff; toward the end of the Obama Administration, detailees, fellows, and IPAs account for approximately two-thirds of total OSTP staff.

Some in the S&T community have expressed concerns that OSTP needs to have more career civil service professional staff and a larger budget.74 In their view, additional career staff, who would continue to serve from one presidential Administration to the next, would help maintain institutional knowledge and provide a solid understanding of government operations. More career staff might also enable a new Administration to move more quickly on S&T policy issues and provide enhanced support to political appointees during presidential transitions. Reports expressing these views assert that this change would make OSTP staff similar to other EOP expert staff, such as those employed at OMB.75

Additional funding, these reports assert, would also provide OSTP with sufficient staff to conduct special analyses on emerging issues. Currently, such analyses are generally provided by OSTP's federally funded research and development center (FFRDC), the Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI). (See "Science and Technology Policy Institute" box, above.)

Congress may wish to maintain the current staffing approach. Should Congress wish to enhance the funding and staffing of OSTP, it can do so through the appropriations process. The OSTP received $5.5 million for FY2017. For funding levels in previous years, see Figure 2 and Appendix B. During the Obama Administration, funding ranged from $4.5 million (in FY2012) to $7.0 million (in FY2010).

OSTP and NSTC Participation in Federal Agency Coordination, Priority-Setting, and Budget Allocation

OSTP and the NSTC participate in coordinating, setting priorities for, and allocating the budget for federal S&T activities. S&T policy organizations have suggested enhancing this participation. The following sections address OSTP interactions with other EOP offices and the science community, the role of the Director of OSTP, and the role of the NSTC.

OSTP Interactions with Other EOP Offices and the Science Community

Policy tensions and power struggles between OSTP and other EOP offices and between presidential Administrations and the science community are not new. During the George H. W. Bush Administration, tension existed between OSTP Director D. Allan Bromley and other high-ranking White House officials over the extent of Administration support for federal funding of commercial technology development.76 In July 1981, George Keyworth, Reagan Administration OSTP Director, stirred controversy in the science community on his first speech to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) by asserting that "Nowhere is it indicated that the OSTP or its director is to represent the interests of the scientific community as a constituency."77 Carter Administration OSTP Director Frank Press battled the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), opposing the CEQ-advocated use of federal subsidies to the then-infant solar power industry and instead supporting a balance between market demand and scientific discovery.78

Role of OSTP Director

Some reports from the S&T community suggest that the OSTP Director should take a greater role in coordination, priority-setting, and budget allocation regarding the federal R&D budget;79 energy;80 STEM education;81 international S&T policy;82 and federal-state S&T policy.83 In addition, some members of the S&T policy community have suggested that the OSTP Director play a greater role in EOP policy bodies involved in priority-setting and budget allocation, such as the OMB, NEC, CEQ, DPC, and NSC.84 For example, Congress could require the OSTP Director to play a greater role (e.g., certification of priorities or budgets) in setting priorities at the federal agencies, particularly for multi-agency and inter-agency activities.

Role of NSTC

Another recommendation found in these S&T community reports is to make the NSTC's authority equivalent to that of the NSC.85 The NSTC, they assert, lacks the influence of NSC. The differences in statutory authority, staff, and budget are among the reasons cited for this disparity.

The NSTC has participated in presidential decision-making processes in different ways in different Administrations. For example, during the Clinton Administration, the NSTC issued six Presidential Review Directives (PRDs). The PRDs served as the basis for gathering information and policy options for the President. President Clinton then had this information available as he developed eight Presidential Decision Directives (PDDs) establishing new policy.86 The NSTC has not developed PRDs or their equivalents since the end of the Clinton Administration.

Some experts in the S&T community suggest that the NSTC should issue formal directives rather than contributing input and deliberations into the policy documents of other entities. These experts argue that contributing input to and deliberating on other entity policy documents puts S&T and the NSTC in a supportive role. These experts assert that, in some situations, S&T input and ramifications should have a more prominent influence on public policy.87

In 2012, the Obama Administration asserted that it had undertaken efforts to revitalize and streamline the efforts of the NSTC. The Administration cited its establishment of a fifth NSTC committee—the Committee on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education—to coordinate federal programs and activities in support of STEM education. The Administration stated that under President Obama NSTC committees met two or three times annually and each subcommittee met at least quarterly. The Obama Administration also asserted that it "oversaw the restructuring of the original NSTC committees, with elimination of interagency efforts, where appropriate, and initiation of new efforts, as indicated by Administration priorities and/or Congressional mandates."88

Options for Congress

Congress might choose to leave the roles of the OSTP Director and the NSTC in the budget process unchanged, might choose to increase their authorities, might choose to increase its oversight of their roles, or might do a combination of these.

Congress might mandate that OSTP review the S&T components of agency budgets prior to submission to OMB and empower OSTP to alter the distribution of funding between S&T priorities based on their relative importance. Such authority might increase the ability of OSTP to harmonize and coordinate S&T expenditures among federal agencies. Federal agencies might resist such a change in authority, as it might further complicate the budget development and submission process and create competition between OSTP and OMB directives. In addition, such a mandate might have unintended consequences. For example, agencies might not choose to identify S&T-related programs to evade the mandate.

Congress might require that NSTC or OSTP review the S&T components of agency budgets to assess the correspondence between NSTC multi-agency R&D strategies and proposed federal investments. A hallmark of multi-agency R&D investment is the need to coordinate the magnitude and mission goals of agency investments in order to achieve broader federal R&D goals. Such a review might increase transparency regarding progress towards these broader federal R&D goals, but it might also require increases in expenditures. Identifying cross-cutting funding and efforts might require dedicated program offices and staff to track and report on multi-agency activities.

Congress might choose to formalize the NSTC structure and organization and provide additional funding and personnel to increase the robustness of its process. Providing statutory underpinnings for the NSTC might enable Congress to obtain greater insight into the activities of the NSTC through reporting requirements and oversight of its activities. Alternatively, Congress could mandate that the OSTP Director provide regular reports on the activities of the NSTC.

Stature and Influence of PCAST

As discussed above, PCAST advises the President on science, technology, and innovation-related issues. PCAST's members include individuals from industry, education and research institutions, and other organizations outside the federal government.

Legislative activity has focused less on PCAST than on the NSTC. In a 2008 report, some experts in the S&T policy community asserted that the stature and influence of PCAST had declined as PCAST focused on a narrower set of issues less likely to garner presidential interest.89 These experts noted that although President George H. W. Bush held the first PCAST meeting at Camp David and participated in PCAST meetings, Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush only met occasionally for short periods of time with PCAST chair or committee members.

According to OSTP, PCAST co-chairs met with President Obama and senior EOP officials several times for focused discussions on specific topics that PCAST should undertake for its studies, updates on studies in progress, briefings on completed studies prior to public release, and actions the President could consider in response to PCAST's recommendations.90

As a federal advisory committee, PCAST is unusual in that Executive Order 13539 directs that it is to be co-chaired by the APST and one of its members, as opposed to having an independent chair not directly associated with the Administration. Federal advisory committees generally do not have Administration staff as chairs. Administration staff are more commonly included as ex-officio members.91 The designation of the APST as co-chair may reduce PCAST's ability to provide independent thinking to the White House and may place the APST in an awkward position if PCAST members disagree with White House policy. Alternatively, PCAST recommendations may be more likely to be acted upon if the co-chair role of the APST helps to inform PCAST deliberations of Administration perspectives.

Some S&T policy organizations have suggested strengthening PCAST by broadening its mandate, explicitly including national and homeland security issues within its remit, enhancing its independence, and increasing its staff significantly.92 Other suggestions include selecting the chair of PCAST solely from its non-Administration members; appointing members to staggered, overlapping terms unrelated to presidential and congressional election cycles; and providing all members with security clearances. President Obama authorized the APST to

request that members of the PCAST, its standing subcommittees, or ad hoc groups who do not hold a current clearance for access to classified information, receive security clearance and access determinations pursuant to Executive Order 12968 of August 2, 1995, as amended, or any successor order.93

OSTP asserted that most of the PCAST members had obtained security clearances so that PCAST could undertake studies related to national security.94

Some experts in the S&T community have also suggested increasing the number of presidential advisory committees. For example, they propose advisory committees focused on specific S&T policy issues, such as a Federal-State Science and Technology Council to enhance dialogue with the states, particularly on STEM education.95 The costs of establishing such new advisory committees may pose a challenge to their creation. In addition, requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (P.L. 92-463) regarding justification of any new advisory committee, its membership, and associated ethics rules (including financial disclosure) may complicate the establishment of new committees and the recruitment of committee members. As noted above, PCAST has taken on the responsibilities of several topic-specific advisory committees established in statute.

If Congress wanted the President to establish additional presidential advisory committees—either to address areas not currently covered by PCAST or to address issues currently covered by PCAST but with separate committees focused on a particular area (e.g., nanotechnology, networking and information technology)—it might opt to provide additional funding to OSTP expressly for this purpose.

In 2012, OSTP asserted that President Obama had increased the role and influence of PCAST by considering and taking action on PCAST recommendations, including

  • funding a new influenza vaccine manufacturing improvement initiative to shorten the time frame for production of pandemic influenza vaccines, including dedication of the first U.S. cell-based influenza vaccine plant;
  • proposing preparation of an additional 100,000 K-12 STEM teachers by the end of the decade and establishment of an Advanced Research Projects Agency-Education (ARPA-ED);
  • accelerating adoption of Electronic Health Records and developing standards for health information exchange over the Internet, and metadata for Stages 2 and 3 of the electronic health records meaningful use criteria;
  • establishing the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, including initial funding for new initiatives; and
  • undertaking a Quadrennial Technology Review at the Department of Energy.96

In 2012, OSTP asserted that during the Obama Administration PCAST had met six times per year compared to three or four times per year during the George W. Bush Administration. In addition, OSTP asserted in 2012 that PCAST had "met with every major Administration leader in science and technology, including Cabinet-level Secretaries, to gather their views on the topics most useful for PCAST to address, and to discuss implementation of PCAST's recommendations."97

In addition, OSTP has stated that the Obama Administration provided PCAST with the staff and financial resources necessary to develop reports in a timely fashion for Congress and the Administration. These resources, according to OSTP at the time, increased the ability of PCAST to provide reports and recommendations. PCAST released 18 reports during the eight years of the Bush Administration; through the first six years of the Obama Administration, PCAST had released 26 reports through January 2015.98

Appendix A. President's Science and Technology Policy Advisors

Table A-1. President's Science and Technology Policy Advisors and Predecessor Organizations to OSTP, NSTC, and PCAST, 1941-Present

President

Advisors with Title(s)
(Years in Office)

Executive Office of the President Agency (Year Established)

Interagency Coordination Organizationa
(Year Established)

Advisory Committee
(Year Established)

F.D. Roosevelt

Vannevar Bushb (1941-1945), Director, Office of Scientific Research and Development

Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD; 1941)

 

Science Advisory Board (1933)

Truman

John Steelmanb (1946-1947), Special Assistant to the President (1945-1946); Assistant to the President (1946-1953); Chairman, The President's Scientific Research Board (1946-1947)

Oliver Buckleyb (1951-1952), Chair, Science Advisory Committee (SAC)

Lee DuBridgeb (1952-1953), Chair, SAC

The President's Scientific Research Board (1946-1947);c Interdepartmental Committee for Scientific Research (1947)c

Science Advisory Committee (SAC) of the Office of Defense Mobilization
(1946)c

Eisenhower

Lee DuBridgeb (1953-1956), Chair, SAC; Science Advisor to the President

Isidor I. Rabib (1956-1957), Chair, SAC; Science Advisor to the President

James Killian Jr. (1957-1959), Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology; Chair, President's Science Advisory Committee (PSAC)

George Kistiakowsky (1959-1961), Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology; Chair, PSAC

Office of the Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology (1957)

Federal Council for Science and Technology (FCST) (1959)

SAC (1953-56); President's Science Advisory Committee (PSAC; 1957, replaced SAC).

Kennedy

Jerome Wiesner (1961-1963), Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology; Director, OST; Chair, FCST; Chair, PSAC

Office of Science and Technology (OST; 1962)

FCST

PSAC

Johnson

Jerome Wiesner (1963-1964), Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology; Director, OST; Chair, FCST; Chair, PSAC

Donald Hornig (1964-1969), Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology; Director, OST; Chair, FCST: Chair, PSAC

OST

FCST

PSAC

Nixond

Lee DuBridge (1969-1970), Science Advisor to the President; Director, OST

Edward David Jr. (1970-1973), Science Advisor to the President; Director, OST

H. Guyford Stever (1973-1974), Science Advisor to the President; Chair, FCST

OST (until 1973, when office abolished)d

FCST

PSAC (until 1973, when member resignations were accepted and no new appointments were made).

Ford

H. Guyford Stever (1974-1977); Science Advisor to the President; Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)

Office of Science and Technology Policy (1976)

Federal Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology (FCCSET; 1976, replaced FCST)

Intergovernmental Science, Engineering, and Technology Panel (ISETAP; 1976);e President's Council on Science and Technology (PCST; 1976)

Carter

Frank Press (1977-1981); Science and Technology Advisor to the President; Director, OSTP; Chair, FCCSET

OSTP

FCCSET dissolved as statutory entity and reestablished under an executive order (1978)

PCST (until 1978, abolished with its functions transferred to President by executive order); ISETAP (until 1978, dissolved as statutory entity and reestablished under an executive order)

Reagan

George Keyworth II (1981-1985), Science Advisor to the President; Director, OSTP

William R. Graham (1986-1989), Science Advisor to the President; Director, OSTP

OSTP

FCCSET

White House Science Council (1982; reports to Science Advisor, not President; established by Science Advisor, not executive order)

G.H.W. Bush

D. Allan Bromley (1989-1993), Assistant to the President for Science and Technology; Director, OSTP; Chair, PCAST

OSTP

FCCSET

President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST; 1990)

Clinton

John Gibbons (1993-1998), Assistant to the President for Science and Technology; Director, OSTP; Co-Chair, PCAST

Neal Lane (1998-2001), Assistant to the President for Science and Technology; Director, OSTP; Co-Chair, PCAST

OSTP

National Science and Technology Council (NSTC; 1993)

PCAST (Name changed to President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology; 1993)

G.W. Bush

John Marburger, III (2001-2009), Science Advisor to the President; Director, OSTP; Co-Chair, PCAST

OSTP

NSTC

PCAST (Name changed back to President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology; 2001)

Obama

John P. Holdren (2009-2017), Assistant to the President for Science and Technology; Director, OSTP; Co-Chair, PCAST

OSTP

NSTC

PCAST

Trump

No appointment or nomination had been made as of August 2017.

OSTP

NSTC

PCAST

Sources: Congressional Research Service, based on information from the following sources: Public Papers of the Presidents (Washington, DC: GPO) with the following volumes were used as references: Dwight D. Eisenhower (1957, 1960); Lyndon B. Johnson (1962, 1966, 1967); Richard M. Nixon (1969, 1970, 1973), Gerald Ford (1976-1977), Jimmy Carter (1977, 1978), Ronald Reagan (1981, 1983, 1986), and George H. W. Bush (1989); Jeffrey K. Stine, "A History of Science Policy in the United States, 1940-1985," Report for the House Committee on Science and Technology Task Force on Science Policy, 99th Congress, 2nd session, Committee Print (Washington, DC: GPO, 1986), available at http://ia341018.us.archive.org/2/items/historyofscience00unit/historyofscience00unit.pdf; William T. Golden (ed.), Science Advice to the President (New York: Pergamon Press, 1979); William G. Wells, "Science Advice and the Presidency: 1933-1976," Dissertation, School of Government and Business Administration (Washington, DC: George Washington University, 1977); OSTP, "Previous Science Advisors," website at http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ostp/about/leadershipstaff/previous; Truman Library at http://www.trumanlibrary.org/hstpaper/steelman.htm; "Lee Alvin DuBridge (Part II) (1901-1993), Interviewed by Judith R. Goodstein," Oral History, February 20, 1981, California Institute of Technology Archives at http://oralhistories.library.caltech.edu/68/01/OH_DuBridge_2.pdf; Nixon Presidential Library Archives, Officials of Administration at http://nixon.archives.gov/thelife/apolitician/thepresident/officialsofadministration.php; John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters, The American Presidency Project [online], Santa Barbara, CA: University of California (hosted), Gerhard Peters (database) at http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/; National Archives, "Records of the Office of Science and Technology," web page at http://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/359.html. Other sources include Executive Order 9912, "Establishing the Interdepartmental Committee on Scientific Research and Development," 12 Federal Register 8799, December 27, 1947, at http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=60725; Executive Order 9913, "Terminating the Office of Scientific Research and Development and Providing for the Completion of its Liquidation," 12 Federal Register 8799, December 27, 1947, at http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=78155; Executive Order 10807, "Federal Council for Science and Technology, 24 Federal Register 1897, March 17, 1959; Executive Order 12039, "Relating to the Transfer of Certain Science and Technology Policy Functions," 43 Federal Register 8095; February 28, 1978 at http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=30416; Executive Order 12881, "Establishment of the National Science and Technology Council," 58 Federal Register 226, November 23, 1993, p. 62491, at http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/executive-orders/pdf/12881.pdf; Executive Order 12882, "Executive Order 12882—President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology," 58 Federal Register 226, November 26, 1993, p. 62493, at http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/executive-orders/pdf/12882.pdf; Executive Order 13226, "President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology," 66 Federal Register 192, October 3, 2001, pp. 50523-52524, at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=2001_register&docid=fr03oc01-141.pdf; Executive Order 13539, "President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology," 75 Federal Register 21973-21975, April 27, 2010, http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-9796.pdf; U.S. President (Kennedy), "Special Message to the Congress Transmitting Reorganization Plan 2 of 1962," Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1962, March 29, 1962, at http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=24601&st=Reorganization+Plan+No.+2+of+1962&st1=; U.S. President (Nixon), "Message to the Congress Transmitting Reorganization Plan 1 of 1973 Restructuring the Executive Office of the President," Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Richard M. Nixon, January 26, 1973, at http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=3819&st=Reorganization+Plan+No.+1+of+1973&st1=; U.S. President (Carter), "Executive Office of the President Message to the Congress Transmitting Reorganization Plan No. I of 1977," Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Jimmy Carter, July 15, 1977, at http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=7809&st=Reorganization+Plan+No.+1+of+1977&st1=.

Notes: The science advisors may have additional titles not represented in this table. In recent times, the hierarchy of assistants to the President within the White House Office is as follows, going from high to low: Assistant to the President, Deputy Assistant to the President, Special Assistant to the President. (National Archives and Records Administration, The United States Government Manual 2007-2008 (Washington, DC: GPO, 2007) at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/gmanual/browse-gm-07.html.)

a. Prior to the designation of any individual to serve as the President's science and technology advisor, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed the Committee on the Organization of Scientific Work to assess the central organization of government scientific bureaus (agencies) with a focus on eliminating duplication.

b. Opinions differ on who is the first presidential science advisor. The OSTP website states that Oliver Buckley was the first science advisor; it does not include either Vannevar Bush or John Steelman in its list of presidential science advisors (source: OSTP, "Previous Science Advisors," http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ostp/about/leadershipstaff/previous, accessed February 2, 2015). Others believe the latter two individuals were presidential science advisors as well. As OSRD Director, Vannevar Bush, submitted a report, Science: The Endless Frontier, to the President Franklin Roosevelt Administration that is the foundation for today's federal S&T policy. President Truman asked that John Steelman, as Director of War Mobilization and Reconversion in the EOP, chair a Presidential Scientific Research Board that was to make recommendations on how to enhance coordination and efficiency of federal R&D. Once this report was released, President Truman asked Steelman, a Presidential Assistant, to act as a liaison between the President and the newly formed Interdepartmental Committee on Scientific Research and Development. Buckley, Lee DuBridge, and Isidor Rabi were all Chairs of the Science Advisory Committee and as such, were given the title of Presidential science advisors. For more discussion of this issue, see "Oral History Interview with William T. Golden" at http://www.trumanlibrary.org/oralhist/goldenw.htm.

c. For an understanding of the charges to the different scientific advisory boards and committees, see "Letter to the Chairman, Science Advisory Committee" at http://trumanlibrary.org/publicpapers/viewpapers.php?pid=301; executive order establishing the President's Scientific Research Board, available at http://www.trumanlibrary.org/executiveorders/index.php?pid=467; and the Interdepartmental Committee for Scientific Research, available at http://www.trumanlibrary.org/publicpapers/index.php?pid=1847&st=&st1=.

d. On January 26, 1973, as part of a reorganization plan, the Office of Science and Technology within the Executive Office of the President was abolished. All of its duties, including that of Science Advisor, were transferred to the National Science Foundation (NSF). As a result, the NSF Director became the Science Advisor. For more details, see http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=3819&st=&stl=.

e. ISETAP members included the OSTP Director, NSF Director, and state, local, and regional officials.

Appendix B. Historical OSTP Funding

Figure B-1. OSTP Funding, FY1977-FY2018

Sources: Congressional Research Service. Data from OMB Public Budget Database; budget requests; and congressional appropriations acts and committee reports, FY1977-FY2018; PCAST funding data from the Department of Energy.

Notes: In FY2008, Congress directed NSF to transfer $2.240 million to OSTP for Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI) (not shown). If the STPI funding were included, FY2008 funding for OSTP would be $7.424 million in current dollars. The data above includes in funding for PCAST provided by the Department of Energy starting in FY2012. Funding in FY2013 is post-sequestration.
* = request level

Author Contact Information

[author name scrubbed], Specialist in Science and Technology Policy ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])
[author name scrubbed], Deputy Assistant Director/RSI ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])

Footnotes

1.

For a history of OSTP, see [author name scrubbed], "Science and Technology," Chapter 6 in [author name scrubbed] (ed.), The Executive Office of the President: A Historical, Biographical, and Bibliographical Guide (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1997).

2.

President Roosevelt established OSRD within the Office for Emergency Management of the Executive Office of the President. Executive Order 8807, "Establishing the Office of Scientific Research and Development," June 28, 1941, http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=16137.

3.

See, for example, William A. Blanpied, "Science Policy in the Early New Deal and Its Impacts in the 1940s," Federal History online, January 2009, pp. 9-24, and John Brooks Slaughter, "National Science Foundation," in Encyclopedia of Education Economics and Finance (SAGE Publications, 2014), p. 477.

4.

OSRD Director Bush reported directly to President Roosevelt.

5.

Letter from President Franklin D. Roosevelt to Vannevar Bush, Director, Office of Scientific Research and Development, November 17, 1944, http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/nsf50/vbush1945.htm#letter.

6.

Vannevar Bush, Science The Endless Frontier: A Report to the President by Vannevar Bush, Director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development, Office of Scientific Research and Development, Executive Office of the President, Washington, DC, July 5, 1945, http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/nsf50/vbush1945.htm#ch1.

7.

David Z. Beckler, "The Precarious Life of Science in the White House," Daedalus, vol. 103, no. 3 (Summer 1974), p. 115, http://www.jstor.org/stable/20024223.

8.

Ibid.

9.

Jeffrey K. Stine, A History of Science Policy in the United States, 1940-1985, Report for the House Committee on Science and Technology Task Force on Science Policy, 99th Cong., 2nd sess., Committee Print (Washington, DC: GPO, 1986), http://ia341018.us.archive.org/2/items/historyofscience00unit/historyofscience00unit.pdf. See also Roger Pielke, and Roberta A. Klein (Editors), Presidential Science Advisors Perspectives and Reflections on Science, Policy and Politics, (New York: Springer, 2010).

10.

For a discussion of the varying influence of science advisors, listen to National Public Radio, The Evolving Role of the Presidential Science Advisor, Talk of the Nation, November 16, 2007, http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16343713.

11.

P.L. 94-282.

12.

OSTP, "About OSTP," http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ostp/about.

13.

Ibid.

14.

Section 1712(1) of P.L. 107-296 inserted "homeland security" after "national security" in the list of areas of national concern.

15.

Although there is no statutory EOP title or position of "Science Advisor" or "Presidential Science Advisor," this term is often used to describe the individual serving as the primary advisor to the President on science and technology issues. Executive Order 13539 ("President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology," April 21, 2010) identifies the Assistant to the President for Science and Technology (APST) as the "Science Advisor" and states that the APST shall serve as a co-chair of PCAST; the position of PCAST co-chair is currently vacant.

16.

As of July 2017, OSTP was unable to provide CRS with an update to Figure 1 based on changes implemented or planned by the Trump Administration. OSTP informed CRS that "OSTP's structure is evolving and streamlining to cover ongoing requirements and new priorities for this Administration. Currently, OSTP's work falls into three main work streams: Science, Technology, and National Security. The work of the National Science and Technology Council continues and the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Policy will be re-chartered. Once the new OSTP Director is on board, OSTP will work to implement the Director's vision for how best to structure OSTP." Email communication from OSTP to CRS, July 17, 2017.

17.

CRS discussions with Stanley Sokul, Chief of Staff, Bush Administration OSTP, August 14, 2008.

18.

Information on the President's Cabinet is available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/government/cabinet.html.

19.

For a fuller discussion of this issue, see CRS Report RL31351, Presidential Advisers' Testimony Before Congressional Committees: An Overview, by [author name scrubbed] and [author name scrubbed].

20.

Executive Order 12881, "Establishment of the National Science and Technology Council," November 23, 1993, http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/executive-orders/pdf/12881.pdf.

21.

Executive Order 13539, "President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology," April 21, 2010, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2010-04-27/pdf/2010-9796.pdf.

22.

Executive Order 13618, "Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions," July 11, 2012, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-07-11/pdf/2012-17022.pdf

23.

Email communication from OSTP General Counsel Rachael Leonard to CRS, December 11, 2013.

24.

On July 18, 2014, OMB and OSTP issued a joint memorandum on science and technology priorities for FY2016 (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/m-14-11.pdf).

25.

Department of Energy, FY2018 Department of Energy's Budget Request to Congress, Volume 4, Science, p. 339.

26.

Email communication between NSF and CRS, August 14, 2017.

27.

Email communication from OSTP to CRS, July 27, 2017. A detail is an officially approved temporary assignment of a civil service employee (informally called a "detailee") to a different position in another federal agency; the employee's official title, series, grade, rate of compensation, and permanent employer do not change. The Office of Personnel Management's Intergovernmental Personnel Act Mobility Program provides for the temporary assignment of personnel (IPAs) between the federal government and state and local governments, colleges and universities, Indian tribal governments, federally funded research and development centers, and other eligible organizations. Fellows are scientists and engineers who come to Washington, DC, to gain experience in public policy and provide science and technical advice to policymakers. Most are recent graduates of doctoral programs, but some are more experienced staff from industry or universities. Fellows generally come for one year, but that time can be extended.

28.

Email communication from OSTP to CRS, July 27, 2017.

29.

Office of Science and Technology Policy, personal communication, March 23, 2016. In an earlier email (January 24, 2012) to CRS, OSTP General Counsel Rachael Leonard asserted that OSTP may reimburse agencies for all or part of the personnel costs, but is not required to do so under the terms of 3 U.S.C. 112, the provisions of which apply only to the White House Office, the Executive Residence at the White House, the Office of the Vice President, the Domestic Policy Staff, and the Office of Administration.

30.

Email communication from OSTP to CRS, July 27, 2017.

31.

Executive Order 12881, "Establishment of the National Science and Technology Council," 58 Federal Register 62491-62492, November 23, 1993.

32.

Email from OSTP to CRS, August 15, 2017.

33.

OSTP asserts that "The work of the National Science and Technology Council continues and the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Policy will be re-chartered. Once the new OSTP Director is on board, OSTP will work to implement the Director's vision for how best to structure OSTP." Email from OSTP to CRS, July 27, 2017.

34.

P.L. 111-11, "The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009," §12403.

35.

P.L. 108-447, Division B, Title IX, "Oceans and Human Health Act," §902.

36.

P.L. 108-153, §2, "21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act." The act refers to a National Nanotechnology Program, but the broader effort is generally referred to in the executive branch as the National Nanotechnology Initiative or NNI.

37.

P.L. 111-358, "America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010," §101.

38.

P.L. 111-358, "America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010," §102.

39.

P.L. 111-358, "America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010," §103.

40.

P.L. 110-69, "America COMPETES Act," §1007.

41.

Memorandum of the President of the United States, "Designation of the Committee on Technology of the National Science and Technology Council to Carry Out Certain Requirements of the America COMPETES Act," 73 Federal Register 20523, April 10, 2008.

42.

Email from OSTP to CRS, August 15, 2017.

43.

Executive Order 12700, "President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology," 55 Federal Register 2219, January 23, 1990.

44.

Clinton Administration: Executive Order 12882, "President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology," 58 Federal Register 62492-62493, November 26, 2003; George W. Bush Administration: Executive Order 13226, "President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology," 66 Federal Register 50523-50524, October 3, 2001; Obama Administration: Executive Order 13539, "President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology," 75 Federal Register 21973-21975, April 27, 2010.

45.

Email from OSTP to CRS, July 27, 2017.

46.

Executive Order 13539, "Continuance or Reestablishment of Certain Federal Advisory Committees," 80 Federal Register 60271-60273, October 5, 2015.

47.

Email from OSTP to CRS, August 15, 2017.

48.

Executive Order 13539, "President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology," 75 Federal Register 21973- 21975, April 21, 2010.

49.

Executive Order 13596, "Amendments to Executive Orders 12131 and 13539," 76 Federal Register 80725-80726, December 27, 2011.

50.

Email communication from OSTP General Counsel Rachael Leonard to CRS, January 24, 2012.

51.

Department of Energy, FY2018 Department of Energy's Budget Request to Congress, Volume 4, Science, p. 339.

52.

At no time have the positions of OSTP Director and APST been filled by different people.

53.

Executive Order 13539, signed by President Obama, specifically designates that the Assistant to the President for Science and Technology shall serve as a co-chair of PCAST, along with one or two of the non-federal members of PCAST. Executive Order 13226, signed by President George W. Bush, stated that the President would designate a "Federal Government official" to serve as a member and co-chair of PCAST. President Bush's designated co-chair was John Marburger, his OSTP Director.

54.

[author name scrubbed], "White House Aides Testifying Before Congress," Presidential Studies Quarterly, vol. 27, Winter 1997, pp. 140-141. For further discussion, see CRS Report RL31351, Presidential Advisers' Testimony Before Congressional Committees: An Overview, by [author name scrubbed] and [author name scrubbed].

55.

See, for example, Henry Kelly, Ivan Oelrich, Steven Aftergood, and Benn H. Tannenbaum, Flying Blind: The Rise, Fall and Possible Resurrection of Science Policy Advice in the United States (Washington, DC: Federation of American Scientists, 2004), http://www.fas.org/pubs/_docs/flying_blind.pdf.

56.

In an email from OSTP General Counsel Rachael Leonard to CRS on January 24, 2012, OSTP stated that "As OSTP Director, Dr. Holdren signed a statement to the Senate Commerce committee prior to his confirmation hearing that he would be available to testify. No APST or OSTP Director/APST has declined to testify."

57.

National Academies, Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, Science and Technology for America's Progress: Ensuring the Best Presidential Appointments in a New Administration (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2008), http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12481.

58.

National Academies, Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, Science and Technology for America's Progress: Ensuring the Best Presidential Appointments in a New Administration (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2008), http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12481.

59.

Based on CRS discussions with Stanley Sokul, George W. Bush Administration Chief of Staff, OSTP, August 14, 2008.

60.

Roger Pielke Jr., "Who Has the Ear of the President?," Nature 450:347-348, November 15, 2007, http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v450/n7168/full/450347a.html.

61.

National Academies, Science and Technology Advice in the White House: Recommendations for President-Elect George Bush (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1988).

62.

For a discussion of this issue, see David Goldston, "US Election: Not the Best Advice," Nature, 455:453, September 24, 2008, http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080924/full/455453a.html.

63.

President George W. Bush's OSTP Director managed the NSTC and co-chaired PCAST even in the absence of a joint appointment as APST.

64.

National Academies, Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, Science and Technology in the National Interest: Ensuring the Best Presidential and Federal Advisory Committee Science and Technology Appointments (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2005), http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11152.

65.

For more information on the chief technology officer position, see CRS Report R40150, A Federal Chief Technology Officer in the Obama Administration: Options and Issues for Consideration, by [author name scrubbed]

66.

Aneesh Chopra was the first Chief Technology Officer. Todd Park succeeded him in 2012. Megan Smith succeeded Todd Park in 2014.

67.

Testimony of John Holdren, Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President, The White House, before the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, March 26, 2014.

68.

David Hatch, "Tech Czar Might Rule Policy Under Obama," Congressional Daily, September 10, 2008, http://www.nationaljournal.com/daily/tech-czar-might-rule-policy-under-obama-20080910.

69.

For more information, see "OSTP Budget and Staffing" below.

70.

42 U.S.C. §6612.

71.

White House, Further Amendments to Executive Order 12859, Establishment of the Domestic Policy Council, February 5, 2009. For more information, see http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Executive-OrderFurther-Amendments-To-Executive-Order-12859Establishment-Of-The-Domestic-Policy-Council/.

72.

White House, Further Amendments to Executive Order 12835, Establishment of the National Economic Council, February 5, 2009. For more information, see http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Executive-Order-Further-Amendments-to-Executive-Order-12835-Establishment-of-the-National-Economic-Council/.

73.

Ibid.

74.

Henry Kelly, Ivan Oelrich, Steven Aftergood, and Benn H. Tannenbaum, Flying Blind: The Rise, Fall and Possible Resurrection of Science Policy Advice in the United States (Washington, DC: Federation of American Scientists, 2004), http://www.fas.org/pubs/_docs/flying_blind.pdf; and Jennifer Sue Bond, Mark Schaefer, David Rejeski, Rodney W. Nichols, OSTP 2.0: Critical Upgrade: Enhancing Capacity for White House Science and Technology Policymaking: Recommendations for the Next President (Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, June 2008).

75.

According to the FY2015 budget request, the OMB FY2014 budget was $89.3 million, which supported 470 full time equivalent staff. For more information, see http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2015-eop-budget_03132014.pdf.

76.

Bob Davis, "White House, Reversing Policy Under Pressure, Begins to Pick High-Tech Winners and Losers," Wall Street Journal, May 13, 1991, p. A16; Bob Davis, "White House Tries to Distance Itself from Panel Report," Wall Street Journal, April 26, 1991, p. A16.

77.

Barbara J. Culliton, "Keyworth Gives First Speech," Science, July 7, 1981, pp. 183-184.

78.

David Dickson, The New Politics of Science (NY: Pantheon Books/Random House, Inc., 1984), pp. 37-38.

79.

Henry Kelly, Ivan Oelrich, Steven Aftergood, and Benn H. Tannenbaum, Flying Blind: The Rise, Fall and Possible Resurrection of Science Policy Advice in the United States (Washington, DC: Federation of American Scientists, 2004), http://www.fas.org/pubs/_docs/flying_blind.pdf.

80.

Senator Jeff Bingaman, "The Energy Challenge We Face and the Strategies We Need," The Karl Taylor Compton Lecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, April 25, 2008.

81.

National Science Board, National Action Plan for Addressing the Critical Needs of the U.S. Science, Technology, and Mathematics Education System (Ballston, VA: National Science Foundation, 2007), http://www.nsf.gov/nsb/documents/2007/stem_action.pdf.

82.

National Science Board, International Science and Engineering Partnerships: A Priority for U.S. Foreign Policy and Our Nation's Innovation Enterprise, NSB 08-4 (Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation, 2008), http://www.nsf.gov/nsb/publications/2008/nsb084.pdf. Jennifer Sue Bond, Mark Schaefer, David Rejeski, Rodney W. Nichols, OSTP 2.0: Critical Upgrade: Enhancing Capacity for White House Science and Technology Policymaking: Recommendations for the Next President (Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, June 2008).

83.

Jennifer Sue Bond, Mark Schaefer, David Rejeski, Rodney W. Nichols, OSTP 2.0: Critical Upgrade: Enhancing Capacity for White House Science and Technology Policymaking: Recommendations for the Next President (Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, June 2008).

84.

Ibid.

85.

Henry Kelly, Ivan Oelrich, Steven Aftergood, and Benn H. Tannenbaum, Flying Blind: The Rise, Fall and Possible Resurrection of Science Policy Advice in the United States (Washington, DC: Federation of American Scientists, 2004) at http://www.fas.org/pubs/_docs/flying_blind.pdf.

86.

A list is available at http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/direct.htm.

87.

Henry Kelly, Ivan Oelrich, Steven Aftergood, and Benn H. Tannenbaum, Flying Blind: The Rise, Fall and Possible Resurrection of Science Policy Advice in the United States (Washington, DC: Federation of American Scientists, 2004) at http://www.fas.org/pubs/_docs/flying_blind.pdf.

88.

Email from OSTP General Counsel Rachael Leonard to CRS, January 24, 2012.

89.

Center for the Study of the Presidency, Study Group on Presidential Science and Technology Personnel Advisory Assets, "Presidential Leadership to Ensure Science and Technology in Service of National Needs: A Report to the 2008 Candidates," Summer 2008.

90.

Email communication from OSTP General Counsel Rachael Leonard to CRS, January 24, 2012.

91.

For example, the Director of the National Science Foundation is an ex-officio member of the National Science Board and the charter of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity allows for non-voting ex-officio representatives of the Executive Office of the President and a number of federal agencies and entities. For more information, see CRS Report R40520, Federal Advisory Committees: An Overview, by [author name scrubbed] (out of print; availabe from the author).

92.

See for example, Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government, Science & Technology and the President (New York: Carnegie Corporation of New York, October 1988); Henry Kelly, Ivan Oelrich, Steven Aftergood, and Benn H. Tannenbaum, Flying Blind: The Rise, Fall and Possible Resurrection of Science Policy Advice in the United States (Washington, DC: Federation of American Scientists, 2004); and Center for the Study of the Presidency, Study Group on Presidential Science and Technology Personnel Advisory Assets, Presidential Leadership to Ensure Science and Technology in Service of National Needs: A Report to the 2008 Candidates, Summer 2008.

93.

Executive Order 13539, "President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology," April 21, 2010, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2010-04-27/pdf/2010-9796.pdf.

94.

Email communication from OSTP General Counsel Rachael Leonard to CRS, January 24, 2012.

95.

Jennifer Sue Bond, Mark Schaefer, David Rejeski, Rodney W. Nichols, OSTP 2.0: Critical Upgrade: Enhancing Capacity for White House Science and Technology Policymaking: Recommendations for the Next President (Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, June 2008); and Center for the Study of the Presidency, Study Group on Presidential Science and Technology Personnel Advisory Assets, Presidential Leadership to Ensure Science and Technology in Service of National Needs: A Report to the 2008 Candidates, Summer 2008.

96.

Email communication from OSTP General Counsel Rachael Leonard to CRS, January 24, 2012.

97.

Ibid.

98.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ostp/pcast/docsreports