The selection of U.S. cabinet officers and other political executives

Dean E. Mann, Zachary A. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Cabinet officers and other political executives in the United States are chosen from a pool of potential candidates from various sectors of society: business, the professions, and government, as well as others. At the cabinet level those selected are clearly the president's choice but other political executives may be the product of cabinet officer and White House recruitment efforts. There are distinct patterns of recruitment from department to department with differing emphases on economic sectors, geography, and prior political experience. The process and the pool of candidates are distinctive during the middle of an administration, with greater emphasis on persons already in government. This selection system reflects basic American values, political experience, and institutional capabilities. The system has significant implications, both for governance and for the legitimacy of government.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-234
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Political Science Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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