"... We may safely pronounce that the true test of a good government is its aptitude and tendency to produce a good administration." -- Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist, No. 68.

Since the majority of government employees, including the director of the National Institutes of Health, are appointed in some fashion, the establishment of selection criteria is unavoidable. The question is what will the criteria be and how will they be weighed?

The need for a director of NIH is apparent on several levels. The direction of NIH, as well as its review process and funding priorities, have been called into question from a number of different quarters. However, initial screening of candidates for this position generated controversy when it was revealed that some candidates had been questioned concerning their position on induced abortion and on the use of aborted fetal tissue for research purposes. Considerable outcry arose from a number...

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