Posted by: admin
A quick check to see how appointments to scientific and technical positions are proceeding:
OSTP: The full Senate vote on Dr. Holdren has not happened yet. No particular reason outside of the budget focus of both houses of Congress. As the House just passed the omnibus, and the continuing resolution expires on next Saturday, I don’t expect a confirmation until after this is resolved. As the science adviser position does not require Senate confirmation, Dr. Holdren can work in that capacity while the OSTP confirmation is pending.
NOAA: No full Senate vote yet. See above.
Organizations without an appointment for the top dog: NASA, Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control, NIH (and its parent Department, Health and Human Services), NIST. The NIST and NIH openings have been there for a few months, but the NIH Director might be the most critical of the pending nominations. You could make a case for most of the list, but with the NIH handling a huge amount of stimulus funding, it would be nice to have a Director in place who will be in the position for a while.
I also note the absence of a Chief Technology Officer, a new position President Obama promised to create. The job also lacks a clear job description, which I would prefer to see prior to someone named to the post. But action on this front of any kind is welcome, given the movements in many areas to increase the government’s use of technology in both functions and services.