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Executive Order 13704—Presidential Innovation Fellows Program

August 17, 2015

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. It is in the national interest for the Federal Government to attract the brightest minds skilled in technology or innovative practices to serve in the Federal Government to work on some of the Nation's biggest and most pressing challenges. This order establishes a program to encourage successful entrepreneurs, executives, and innovators to join the Federal Government and work in close cooperation with Federal Government leaders, to create meaningful solutions that can help save lives and taxpayer money, fuel job creation, and significantly improve how the Federal Government serves the American people.

Sec. 2. Establishment and Administration. (a) The Administrator of General Services (Administrator) shall establish the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program (Program) to enable exceptional individuals with proven track records to serve time-limited appointments in executive branch departments and agencies (agencies) to address some of the Nation's most significant challenges and improve existing Government efforts that would particularly benefit from expertise using innovative techniques and technology. Individuals selected for the Program shall be known as Presidential Innovation Fellows (Fellows).

(b) The Program shall be administered by a Director, appointed by the Administrator under authorities of the General Services Administration (GSA). GSA shall provide necessary staff, resources and administrative support for the Program to the extent permitted by law and within existing appropriations.

(c) GSA shall appoint the Fellows and, in cooperation with agencies, shall facilitate placement of the Fellows to participate in projects that have the potential for significant positive effects and are consistent with the President's goals.

Sec. 3. Advisory Board. (a) The Administrator shall establish an Advisory Board to advise the Director by recommending such priorities and standards as may be beneficial to fulfill the mission of the Program and assist in identifying potential projects and placements for Fellows. The Advisory Board will not participate in the Fellows' selection process.

(b) The Administrator will designate a representative to serve as the Chair of the Advisory Board. In addition to the Chair, the membership of the Advisory Board shall include the Deputy Director for Management of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, the Office of Management and Budget's Administrator of the Office of Electronic Government, and the Assistant to the President and Chief Technology Officer, or their designees and such other persons as may be designated by the Administrator. Consistent with law, the Advisory Board may consult with industry, academia, or non-profits to ensure the Program is continually identifying opportunities to apply advanced skillsets and innovative practices in effective ways to address the Nation's most significant challenges.

Sec. 4. Application Process. (a) The Director, in accordance with applicable law, shall prescribe the process for applications and nominations of individuals to the Program. (b) Following publication of these processes, the Director may accept for consideration applications from individuals. The Director shall establish, administer, review, and revise, if appropriate, a Government-wide cap on the number of Fellows.

The Director shall establish and publish salary ranges, benefits, and standards for the Program.

Sec. 5. Selection, Appointment, and Assignment of Fellows. (a) The Director, in accordance with applicable law, shall prescribe appropriate procedures for the selection, appointment, and assignment of Fellows.

(b) Prior to the selection of Fellows, the Director will consult with agencies and executive branch departments, regarding potential projects and how best to meet those needs. Following such consultation, the Director shall select and appoint individuals to serve as Fellows.

(c) The Fellows shall serve under short-term, time-limited appointments. As a general matter, they shall be appointed for no less than 6 months and no longer than 2 years in the Program. The Director shall facilitate the process of placing Fellows at requesting agencies and executive branch departments.

Sec. 6. Responsibilities of Agencies. Each executive branch department or agency, as defined in section 105 of title 5, United States Code, is encouraged to work with the Director and Advisory Board to attempt to maximize the Program's benefits to the department or agency and the Federal Government, including by identifying initiatives that will have a meaningful effect on the people served and that will benefit from involvement by one or more Fellows. Departments and agencies also are encouraged to ensure that each Fellow will work closely with responsible senior officials for the duration of the assignment.

Sec. 7. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to a department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.


The White House,

August 17, 2015.

NOTE: This Executive order was published in the Federal Register on August 20.

Barack Obama, Executive Order 13704—Presidential Innovation Fellows Program Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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