About the Political Appointee Project


Since its inception in 2012, the Political Appointee Project has served as a valuable resource to those with a vested interest in the Presidential appointment process. With regards to the Political Appointee website, NAPA aims to identify the most important politically appointed positions in government, retain up to date information about the most recent political appointees, serve as a repository of profiles of key management positions in government, and provide insights to new political executives on the challenge of managing in government. This website is a byproduct of NAPA’s longstanding relationship with the Ernst and Young Initiative on Leadership and is also a component of NAPA’s larger Presidential Transition 2016 initiative.

Appointment Process in the News

Appointment Process in the News

This page provides readers a source for recent news regarding the Appointments Process, whether it be newspaper articles, events, or interviews. Please glance through the listings to find a piece you are interested in.

WHY TRUMP STILL HASN'T NAMED A LEADER FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS With confirmation hearings for Donald Trump’s Cabinet set to start this week, the president-elect still has not chosen a leader for the Department of Veterans Affairs, an agency he vowed on the campaign trail to significantly shake up.

It is not for lack of trying.

Trump has met with or considered about a dozen candidates to run the second-largest federal department. But none seems to have made the cut.

Of all the day-to-day operations of government that Trump railed against during his campaign, VA, an agency reeling from scandal, came under special scrutiny. Its management challenges are vast, and the president-elect’s promises to veterans to remake it daunting. Click here for the full article from the Washington Post.

THE CABINET WAS THE EASY PART. STAFFING (AND STEERING) THE BUREAUCRACY TAKES MUCH MORE WORK. With confirmation hearings starting, much of Washington’s focus will be on President-elect Donald Trump’s top-level appointments. But take note of reports that James Mattis, nominated to be the defense secretary, is feuding with Trump Tower over other jobs in the Pentagon. That’s a clue to the fact that Cabinet offices represent just the tip of the executive branch iceberg.

Brookings senior fellow Elaine Kamarck has broken down the astonishing 4,115 posts that need to be filled by the president. Many are on part-time commissions and the like. But about 800 are executive-level positions, some requiring Senate confirmation and some not. (These figures are from the Partnership for Public Service.) Click here for the full article from the Washington Post (1/10/17). 

Survivor's Guide for Pres. Nominees


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By Joseph Gurney, Paul R. Lawrence, and Mark Abramson We are now nearing Inauguration Day and the arrival of the next generation of political appointees to...
By Joseph Gurney, Paul R. Lawrence, and Mark A. Abramson The first round of the Trump Administration cabinet nominations is now nearly complete.  In the weeks...