The Department of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board (DAF SAB) brings together technical experts who are eminent authorities in the fields of science, technology, manufacturing, acquisition process, and other matters of special interest to the DAF. DAF SAB membership is balanced across academia, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, University Affiliated Research Centers, National Labs, and industry to ensure the DAF SAB's advice accounts for perspectives from diverse types of organizations.
The DoD, in evaluation candidates for the DAF SAB, considers the candidates’ educational and professional experience concerning the subject matters anticipated to be tasked to the DAF SAB. The DoD has found that viewing the complex issues facing DoD through a multidisciplinary advisory committee provides DoD, and more importantly, the American public with a broader understanding of the issues on which subsequent policy decisions are based. Membership shall be fairly balanced to provide a variety of background, experience, and thought in support of the DAF SAB’s mission. The DAF SAB’s membership is not static and may change based upon work assigned by the Secretary of the Air Force.
Although not a requirement, the overwhelming majority of DAF SAB members hold a Ph.D. or equivalent degree. Most members currently work in Science and Technology as active researchers, technical division chiefs, technical vice presidents, or equivalent technical leaders. Many actively publish technical work and participate in technical conferences and workshops. A limited number of members are retired General or Flag Officers who bring their vast experience and knowledge of the DAF or other services contributing their operational perspectives to shape the DAF SAB's advice.
DAF SAB members must be U.S. citizens cleared or able to be cleared to at least DoD Secret level. Members shall not be active duty military, employees of the Federal Government, nor functioning as an employee of the Federal Government under the Interagency Personnel Act or any similar mechanism.
The DAF SAB Secretariat annually issues a call for member nominations. Anyone can nominate individuals for DAF SAB membership. A DAF SAB Selection Board prioritizes and recommends new member finalists and alternates subject to approval of the Secretary of the Air Force. DAF SAB members are appointed by the Secretary of Defense under the authority of 5 U.S.C. § 3109, and serve as Special Government Employees.