National Science and Technology Council

Summary

National Science and Technology Council
US-OfficeOfScienceAndTechnologyPolicy-Seal.svg
Agency overview
FormedNovember 23, 1993
Headquarters725 17th Street, Washington, D.C.
Agency executive
Parent agencyExecutive Office of the President
Websitehttps://www.whitehouse.gov/ostp/nstc/

The National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) is a council in the Executive Branch of the United States. It is designed to coordinate science and technology policy across the branches of federal government.

History

The National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) was established by President Bill Clinton through Executive Order 12881 on November 23, 1993.[1] Each presidential administration has utilized the NSTC in varying fashions. During the Clinton administration, the NSTC wrote 6 Presidential Review Directives, used for President Clinton's own future directives. The council has not issued any of these since.[2] Instead, the council's recommendations often serve as advice for other committees as policy is drafted. Members of the science and technology community have debated whether the NSTC should play a more direct role in policymaking by issuing formal directives and having increased authority.[3]

The structure of the NSTC has changed multiple times in the last few decades. Under the Obama Administration, the Council's subcommittees were restructured and a new committee for directing STEM education was added. A committee focused on science and technology enterprise was added under the Trump Administration, as well as special committees on artificial intelligence and research environments.

Mission

The primary functions of the NSTC are:

  1. to coordinate the science and technology policy-making process;
  2. to ensure science and technology policy decisions and programs are consistent with the President's stated goals;
  3. to help integrate the President's science and technology policy agenda across the Federal Government;
  4. to ensure science and technology are considered in development and implementation of Federal policies and programs; and
  5. to further international cooperation in science and technology.[4]

Another objective of the NSTC is the establishment of clear national goals for federal science and technology investments in virtually all the mission areas of the executive branch. The Council prepares research and development strategies that are coordinated across federal agencies to form investment packages aimed at accomplishing multiple national goals.[1] While a fundamental mission of the NSTC is to further the President's scientific policies, it also has been directly and indirectly charged by Congress to coordinate activities in a number of federal projects. These include combating ocean acidification,[5] overseeing the National Nanotechnology Program,[6] and supporting STEM education.[7]

Committees

At present, the work of the NSTC is organized under six primary committees and two special committees. Each committee oversees theme-specific subcommittees and working groups.

List of Committees

Primary Committees:

  • Science & Technology Enterprise
  • Environment
  • Homeland & National Security
  • Science
  • STEM Education
  • Technology

Special Committees:

  • Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence
  • Joint Committee on Research Environment
  • Committee Membership

    The NSTC is chaired by the President. The rest of the NSTC membership is made up of Cabinet Secretaries and Agency Heads with significant science and technology responsibilities, and other White House officials and advisors where necessary. The APST is responsible for managing the NSTC. The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Director Kelvin Droegemeier managed the NSTC under the Trump administration even though Executive Order 12881 does not include the OSTP Director in the NSTC. The president and cabinet-level officials are rarely present at meetings of the NSTC. Therefore, NSTC activities are carried out by OSTP and NSTC staff in collaboration with federal agency staff. Federal agencies assign staff to the NSTC and their numbers have ranged from 5 to 21 members in previous years.[2]

    Member Agencies

    Agencies represented in the NSTC include:

    • Department of Agriculture
    • DARPA
    • Department of Commerce, NIST
    • Department of Commerce, NOAA
    • Department of Commerce, U.S. Patent and Trade Office
    • Department of Defense
    • Department of Education
    • Department of Health and Human Services, NIH
    • Department of Homeland Security
    • Department of the Interior
    • Department of Labor
    • Department of State
    • Department of Transportation
    • Environmental Protection Agency
    • U.S. Food and Drug Administration
    • National Security Agency
    • National Science Foundation
    • NASA
    • Director of National Intelligence, Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity
    • Office of Management and Budget
    • Smithsonian Institution

    Funding

    As the NSTC does not receive direct appropriations, member agencies contribute funding to the projects that the NSTC oversees. From FY2010 to FY2018, their contributions ranged from $12 million to $18 million per year and funding was $17.1 million in FY2018.[2] These funds go towards multi-agency projects. The rest of the funding comes from agency contributions to their own internal NSTC projects or the OSTP infrastructure contributions.

    Key Staff

    Primary Committees:

    Committee on Science & Technology Enterprise

    • Co-Chair: Kelvin Droegemeier, Director of OSTP
    • Co-Chair: Walter Copan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and Director of the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST)
    • Co-Chair: Sethuraman Panchanathan, Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF)
    • Co-Chair: Paul Dabbar, Under Secretary for Science at the Department of Energy (DOE)

    Committee on Environment

    • Co-Chair: Deerin Babb-Brott, OSTP
    • Co-Chair: Neil Jacobs, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction at the NOAA
    • Co-Chair: David Ross, Assistant Administrator for Water (EPA)
    • Co-Chair: Tim Petty, Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at the Department of Interior (DOI)

    Committee on Homeland and National Security (CHNS)

    • Co-Chair: Aaron Miles, OSTP
    • Co-Chair: Jih-Fen Lei, Director of Defense Research and Engineering for Research and Technology at the Department of Defense
    • Co-Chair: Bill Bryan, Undersecretary for Science and Technology at the Department of Homeland Security

    Committee on Science (CoS)

    Committee on STEM Education (CoSTEM)

    Committee on Technology (CoT)

    • Co-Chair: Michael Kratsios, U.S. Chief Technology Officer
    • Co-Chair: Walter Copan, NIST
    • Co-Chair: Paul Dabbar, DOE

    Special Committees:

    Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence

    • Co-Chair: Michael Kratsios, U.S. Chief Technology Officer
    • Co-Chair: Sethuraman Panchanathan, Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF)
    • Co-Chair: Peter Highnam, Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

    Joint Committee on Research Environment

    • Co-Chair: Kelvin Droegemeier, Director of OSTP
    • Co-Chair: Walter Copan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and Director of the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST)
    • Co-Chair: Sethuraman Panchanathan, Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF)
    • Co-Chair: Paul Dabbar, Under Secretary for Science at the Department of Energy (DOE)
    • Co-Chair: Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health

    See also

    References

    1. ^ a b "NSTC". The White House. Retrieved 2020-10-17.
    2. ^ a b c Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): History and Overview (Report). Congressional Research Service. 2020-03-03.
    3. ^ Kelly, Henry; Oelrich, Ivan; Aftergood, Steven; Tannenbaum, Benn H. (2004-12-01). "Flying Blind: The Rise, Fall, and Possible Resurrection of Science Policy Advice in the United States". Fort Belvoir, VA. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
    4. ^ Executive Order 12881, “Establishment of the National Science and Technology Council,” 58 Federal Register 62491-62492, November 23, 1993.
    5. ^ P.L. 111-11, “The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009,” §12403.
    6. ^ P.L. 108-153, §2, “21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act.”
    7. ^ P.L. 111-358, “America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010,” §101

    External links

    • National Science and Technology Council