Center Blog

Tracking Presidential Appointments in Real Time


December 05, 2016

Max Stier, CEO, Partnership for Public Service



During the past week, President-elect Donald Trump announced several key appointments to his administration. These are just a handful of the 4,000 political positions , including about 1,100 requiring Senate confirmation that he will need to make. It will be impossible for the president-elect to effectively govern our country and prepare for the unexpected if these top leadership jobs remain unfilled by highly-qualified individuals.

That’s why I am excited to announce today our partnership with The Washington Post on a new appointments tracker. This first-of-its-kind tracker will follow the progress of more than 650 of President-elect Trump’s Senate-confirmed political appointments. These positions include Cabinet secretaries, deputy and assistant secretaries, chief financial officers, general counsels, heads of agencies, ambassadors and other critical leadership jobs. The tracker will provide data on both number of appointments filled and the progress of candidates as they go through the nomination and confirmation process.

In administrations past, the road to identifying and nominating leaders for critical positions and then getting them confirmed has had its share of potholes. This appointments tracker will play a key role in holding both the president-elect and the Senate accountable for ensuring the top leaders are in place to effectively manage the federal workforce and move forward on the administration’s policies.

The Partnership’s Center for Presidential Transition believes that the president-elect should have the top 100 department and agency leaders confirmed immediately after Inauguration Day, with 300 more key political positions filled by the August 2017 congressional recess. While the rate of cabinet picks and White House staff during past transitions is a useful metric, it shouldn’t be the measure of success. The benchmark should be whether or not President-elect Trump will be ready to govern on day one, not that he meets outdated standards. We look forward to following the progress toward these goals through the tracker.

You can start tracking President-elect Trump’s appointments right now. I also hope you will take a look at the other resources that the Center offers including information about the appointments process, including position descriptions for many of these leadership positions and critical information about federal agencies, including the health of the workforce, technology issues and more.


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