The new Obama administration and the 110th Congress elected in November 2008 will face immediate challenges. Events will not permit a leisurely leadership transition. The prompt appointment of a Presidential science adviser and the nomination of top officials in the new administration with the knowledge and experience to address complex problems will be essential. The concerns of the nation regarding jobs and economic growth, health care, national security, energy, and the environment demand informed action. Each of these concerns-from national security, economic development, health care, and the environment, to education, energy, and natural resources-is touched in essential ways by the nation's science and technology enterprise. This is the fourth in a series of books from the National Academies on the presidential appointment process, each delivered during a presidential election year with the goal of providing recommendations to the President-elect about appointing his senior science and technology leadership and pursuing sustained improvements in the appointments process.