An Examination of Executive Branch Appointments in the Reagan Administra Tion By Background and Gender

Date01 March 1991
DOI10.1177/106591299104400110
Published date01 March 1991
Subject MatterArticles
AN
EXAMINATION
OF
EXECUTIVE
BRANCH
APPOINTMENTS
IN
THE
REAGAN
ADMINISTRA-
TION
BY
BACKGROUND
AND
GENDER
JANET
M.
MARTIN
Bowdoin
College
s
a
newly
elected
president
takes
office,
an
immense
amount
of
j~~
media
attention
is
given
to
the
formation
of
the
new
govern-
ment.
The
president-elect’s
announcement
of
who
will
serve
in
his
cabinet
warrants
front
page
coverage.
However,
once
cabinet
and
key
subcabinet-level
appointments
are
made,
public
attention
is
diverted
elsewhere:
a
crisis
may
engulf
a
new
administration,
or
the
need
to
move
forward
on
an
agenda
announced
in
the
campaign
may
turn
the
focus
from
the
building
of
an
administration
to
actually
gov-
erning.
Thus,
little
attention
is
paid
to
the
actual
top-to-bottom
build-
ing
of
an
administration;
because
of
the
length
of
time
of
this
building
process,
as
well
as
the
constant
flux
as
people
move
in
and
out
of
posts,
we
know
little
about
the
individuals
who
fill
these
top
appointive
posi-
tions
during
the
course
of
an
administration,
either
individually
or
as
a
collectivity.
Yet,
it
is
these
executive
appointees
who
are
the
essential
compo-
nents
in
how
departments
or
agencies
will
be
run.
More
importantly,
the
policy
agenda
of
an
administration
will
be
driven
by
the
individ-
uals
in
these
key
posts.
In
an
effort
to
assess
presidential
appointments,
two
major
studies
have
longitudinally
examined
the
highest
ranking
Senate-confirmed
presidential
appointees.
The
first
was
done
by
the
Brookings
Institu-
tion
and
covered
the
years
1933
through
April
of
1965,
with
the
results
published
in
Men
Who
Govern
(Stanley
et
al.
1967).
The
second
study,
done
by
the
National
Academy
of
Public
Administration,
continued
from
where
the
Brookings
study
ended,
examining
all
top
Senate-
confirmed
presidential
appointees
from
1964
through
1984,
with
results
RECEIVED:
January
8,
1990
FIRST
REVISION
RECEIVED:
May
23,
1990
SECOND
REVISION
RECEIVED:
July
5,
1990
ACCEPTED
FOR
PUBLICATION:
July
6,
1990
NOTE:
I
would
like
to
thank
John
B.
Winship,
anonymous
reviewers,
and
the
editor
for
their
helpful
comments.

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