03.22.18

Peters, Warner Call on Trump Administration to Appoint Chief Science and Technology Advisor

White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has been without a Director for more than a year

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Gary Peters (D-MI), co-chairs of the bipartisan Senate Science Forum, called on the White House to appoint a Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), a position that has been vacant for more than a year. In a letter addressed to President Trump, the Senators highlighted the important role this individual plays in advising presidents on science and technology issues.

“As co-chairs of the Senate Science Forum, we know legislators from both parties are eager to work with an OSTP Director who has the administrative and legal authority to lead broad-based federal science and technology efforts and the credibility and stature to bring partners in industry and academia to the table. We need such a partner to maintain America’s position at the forefront of science and technology innovation,” said the Senators.

Established by Congress in 1976, OSTP, under its Director, has provided advice to seven presidents on the scientific and technological aspects of important national issues. The Director coordinates federal efforts in science and technology and analyzes major policies, plans, and programs across government agencies.

“The Director position has been vacant for over a year, and we believe it is critical to appoint a well-qualified individual, with a background in science or engineering, to this role as soon as possible,” added the Senators.

The full text of the letter follows. A PDF can be found here.

 

President Donald J. Trump

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We write today to urge the appointment of a Director for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The Director position has been vacant for over a year, and we believe it is critical to appoint a well-qualified individual, with a background in science or engineering, to this role as soon as possible.

Established by Congress in 1976, OSTP, under its Director, has provided advice to seven presidents on the scientific and technological aspects of important national issues. The Director coordinates federal efforts in science and technology and analyzes major policies, plans, and programs across government agencies. Past OSTP Directors’ initiatives have included:

• Ensuring the latest scientific knowledge and technology tools are available to federal first responders for disasters

• Creating an interagency Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) technology user group to identify next steps in UAS development

• Developing a system for assessing the risks of disruption, scarcity, and cost escalation for critical minerals with national security applications

• Establishing a National Nanotechnology Initiative to ensure the United States remains the world leader in nanotechnology science and technologies.

The Director also serves as an important partner for Congress when we engage with the Administration on science and technology issues. As co-chairs of the Senate Science Forum, we know legislators from both parties are eager to work with an OSTP Director who has the administrative and legal authority to lead broad-based federal science and technology efforts and the credibility and stature to bring partners in industry and academia to the table. We need such a partner to maintain America’s position at the forefront of science and technology innovation.

An OSTP Director could immediately make an impact in our nation’s approach to present science and technology challenges through his or her leadership. We appreciate your attention to this critical issue and look forward to working with a future OSTP Director.