President Barack Obama’s Cabinet diversity- Only one African American

January 7, 2013

Government/Politics

President Barack Obama’s Cabinet diversity in danger with new picks

By Emily Heil
The Washington Post

The White House is poised this week to announce a handful of Cabinet nominees, most of whom have a few things in common: they all seem like perfectly qualified, distinguished folks. . . and they’re all white men.
President Obama’s picks, including Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) for secretary of state, former senator Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) for secretary of defense and John Brennan for CIA director, mean that the number of positions that could be filled by women or minorities is dwindling. That’s causing some concern among those who’d hoped to see diversity in the cabinet remain at its historic levels or even increase.

“It’s evident that he’s going to have a less diverse cabinet this term, possibly even less diverse than the George W. Bush cabinet,” says NYU professor Paul Light, who studies political appointments .

Of course, there’s still time for the picture to change. There’s only been one official nomination and the game of second-term musical chairs is barely underway.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/in-the-loop/post/obamas-cabinet-diversity-in-danger-with-new-picks/2013/01/07/15b8a3ce-58dd-11e2-beee-6e38f5215402_blog.html

Obama Cabinet may not meet his own diversity standards
With Susan Rice out of the running for secretary of State, all of the president’s second-term appointees to date have been white males. Just wait, his spokesman says.

By Christi Parsons and Michael A. Memoli, Washington Bureau
The Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON — Wednesday’s “photo of the day” on the White House website showed an unusual sight in Oval Office history — the president surrounded by top advisors, only half of whom are white men.

The picture seemed calculated to counter criticism that President Obama’s new set of Cabinet appointees so far all are white and male. Obama is expected to name his chief of staff, Jacob Lew, to lead the Treasury Department. Further compounding the diversity problem, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to leave the administration soon, and Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis announced Wednesday that she was resigning.

“This president is committed to diversity,” said Jay Carney, Obama’s press secretary. “Look at the record. It is a vast improvement” from previous administrations.

Still, Obama’s first round of appointments has been striking in its homogeneity. This week he nominated former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel to serve as secretary of Defense and anti-terrorism advisor John Brennan to lead the CIA. Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) is slated to succeed Clinton at the State Department.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-obama-administration-20130110,0,4200106.story

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The Cabinet

Click image to enlarge
US Cabinet
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden pose with the full Cabinet for an official group photo in the Grand Foyer of the White House, July 26, 2012.

The White House

The Cabinet is an advisory body made up of the heads of the 15 executive departments. Appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, the members of the Cabinet are often the President’s closest confidants. In addition to running major federal agencies, they play an important role in the Presidential line of succession — after the Vice President, Speaker of the House, and Senate President pro tempore, the line of succession continues with the Cabinet offices in the order in which the departments were created. All the members of the Cabinet take the title Secretary, excepting the head of the Justice Department, who is styled Attorney General.

The tradition of the Cabinet dates back to the beginnings of the Presidency itself. Established in Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, the Cabinet’s role is to advise the President on any subject he may require relating to the duties of each member’s respective office.

The Cabinet includes:
Vice President and the heads of 15 executive department Secretaries
Secretary of Agriculture
Secretary of Commerce
Secretary of Defense
Secretary of Education
Secretary of Energy
Secretary of Health and Human Services
Secretary of Homeland Security
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Secretary of the Interior
Secretary of Labor
Secretary of State
Secretary of Transportation
Secretary of Treasury
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Attorney General

The following positions have the status of Cabinet-rank
White House Chief of Staff
Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Management & Budget
United States Trade Representative
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
Council of Economic Advisers
Small Business Administration
______________________________________________________________
United States presidential line of succession
Vice President of the United States
Speaker of the House
President pro tempore of the Senate
Secretary of State
Secretary of the Treasury
Secretary of Defense
Attorney General
Secretary of the Interior
Secretary of Agriculture
Secretary of Commerce
Secretary of Labor
Secretary of Health and Human Services
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Secretary of Transportation
Secretary of Energy
Secretary of Education
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Secretary of Homeland Security

____________________________________________

African Americans who have headed Cabinet offices
Secretary Position Year appointed Party Administration
1 Robert C. Weaver Secretary of Housing and Urban Development 1966 Democratic Lyndon B. Johnson
2 Patricia Roberts Harris Secretary of Housing and Urban Development 1977 Democratic Jimmy Carter
2 Patricia Roberts Harris Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare 1979 Democratic Jimmy Carter
3 Samuel Pierce Secretary of Housing and Urban Development 1981 Republican Ronald Reagan
4 Louis Wade Sullivan Secretary of Health and Human Services 1989 Republican George H. W. Bush
5 Mike Espy Secretary of Agriculture 1993 Democratic Bill Clinton
6 Ron Brown Secretary of Commerce 1993 Democratic Bill Clinton
7 Hazel R. O’Leary Secretary of Energy 1993 Democratic Bill Clinton
8 Jesse Brown Secretary of Veterans Affairs 1993 Democratic Bill Clinton
9 Alexis Herman Secretary of Labor 1997 Democratic Bill Clinton
10 Rodney E. Slater Secretary of Transportation 1997 Democratic Bill Clinton
11 Togo D. West Secretary of Veterans Affairs 1998 Democratic Bill Clinton
12 Colin Powell Secretary of State 2001 Republican George W. Bush
13 Rod Paige Secretary of Education 2001 Republican George W. Bush
14 Eric Holder* Attorney General (acting) 2001 Republican George W. Bush
15 Alphonso Jackson Secretary of Housing and Urban Development 2004 Republican George W. Bush
16 Condoleezza Rice Secretary of State 2005 Republican George W. Bush
17 Eric Holder Attorney General 2009 Democratic Barack Obama
No African Americans Secretary of the Treasury
No African Americans Secretary of Defense
No African Americans Secretary of the Interior
No African Americans Secretary of Homeland Security
The following positions have the status of Cabinet-rank
No African Americans White House Chief of Staff
Lisa P. Jackson Environmental Protection Agency 2009 Democratic Barack Obama
Franklin Raines Office of Management & Budget 1996 Democratic Bill Clinton
Ronald Kirk United States Trade Representative 2009 Democratic Barack Obama
Andrew Young U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations 1977 Democratic Jimmy Carter
Donald McHenry U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations 1979 Democratic Jimmy Carter
Edward J. Perkins U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations 1992 Republican George H. W. Bush
Susan Rice U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations 2009 Democratic Barack Obama
No African Americans Council of Economic Advisers
No African Americans Small Business Administration
Senior official in the Executive Office of the President
Colin L. Powell National Security Advisor 1987 Republican Ronald Reagan
Condoleezza Rice National Security Advisor 2001 Republican George W. Bush
Highest-ranking military   officer in the United States Armed Forces,
 the principal military advisor to the President of the United States,
 the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council and the Secretary of Defense
General Colin Powell Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff 1989 Republican George H. W. Bush

____________________________________________
*Eric Holder served as acting Attorney General for George W. Bush after President Bill Clinton left office Holder would hold this position from January 20, 2001 to February 2, 2001. John Ashcroft took office and thanked Holder, who was previously Bill Clinton’s Deputy Attorney General , on his last day at the Justice Department.
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Video: Charlie Rangel- Obama record apointing women, minorities “Embarrassing as hell”

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Video: Young Barack Obama protesting at Harvard University in 1991 on diversity

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Video: Interview of Robert C. Weaver, the first US Secretary for Housing and Urban Development
the first African American to hold a cabinet-level position in the United States

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