In 1941 the Office of Scientific Research and Development was created under the leadership of Vannevar Bush, the first Presidential Science Advisor and one of the founders of the National Science Foundation. Since that time, scientists and engineers both inside and outside the government have guided federal investments in science and technology research and development, and have advised the government on the use of science and technology to address issues of national importance. As computing has become ever more central to the fabric of our lives, it has become increasingly important that our community participate in providing that guidance and advice. In sharing my own experience, I hope to convince you that government participation is not only important but also educational, satisfying, and enjoyable.

Susan L. Graham is the Pehong Chen Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Emerita at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research spans many aspects of programming language implementation, software tools, software development environments, and high-performance computing. Professor Graham received an A.B. in mathematics from Harvard University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from Stanford University. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was the founding editor-in-chief of the ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems.  Among her awards are the ACM SIGPLAN Career Programming Language Achievement Award, the ACM Distinguished Service Award, the Harvard Medal, the IEEE von Neumann Medal, the Berkeley Citation, and the ACM/IEEE Ken Kennedy Award.