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List of U.S. political appointments that crossed party lines: Wikis


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United States presidents typically fill their Cabinets and other appointive positions with people from their own political party. The first Cabinet formed by the first President, George Washington, included some of Washington's political opponents, but later presidents adopted the practice of filling their Cabinets with members of the President's party. [1]

Appointments across party lines are uncommon. Presidents may appoint members of a different party to high-level positions in order to reduce partisanship or improve cooperation between the political parties.[2]

This is a list of people appointed to high-level positions in the United States federal government by a President whose political party affiliation was different from that of the appointee. The list includes executive branch appointees and independent agency appointees. Independent or nonpartisan appointees, nominally apolitical appointments (such as Article III judges and military officers), and members of explicitly bipartisan commissions are not included.

List of appointees

Appointee Position Term ↑ President
Name Party Name Party
James Monroe Anti-Administration Minister to France 1794 – 1796 George Washington Pro-Administration
Joseph Habersham Federalist Postmaster General 1801 – 1801 (reappointment) Thomas Jefferson Democratic-Republican
Rufus King Federalist Minister to Britain 1801 – 1803 (reappointment)
John Quincy Adams Federalist Minister to Berlin 1797 – 1801 (reappointment)
James A. Bayard Federalist Treaty of Ghent peace commissioner 1814 James Madison Democratic-Republican
John Randolph Tertium quids Minister to Russia 1830 Andrew Jackson Democratic
William Hunter Federalist Representative to Brazil 1836 – 1845
Andrew Johnson Democratic Military Governor of Tennessee 1862 – 1865 Abraham Lincoln Republican
John S. Phelps Democratic Military Governor of Arkansas 1862 - ?
Edwin M. Stanton Democratic Secretary of War 1862 – 1868
Daniel Sickles Democratic Special Minister to the South American Republics 1865
David S. Walker Conservative Governor of Florida (appointed) 1865 – 1868 Andrew Johnson National Union
Daniel Sickles Democratic Minister to Spain 1869 – 1873 Ulysses Grant Republican
Caleb Cushing Democratic Minister to Spain 1874 – 1877
David M. Key Democratic Postmaster General 1877 – 1880 Rutherford Hayes Republican
William Rosecrans Democratic Register of the Treasury 1889 – 1893 (reappointment) Benjamin Harrison Republican
Walter Q. Gresham Republican Secretary of State [1] 1893 – 1895 (reappointment) Grover Cleveland Democratic
Theodore Roosevelt Republican Civil Service Commissioner 1893 – 1895 (reappointment)
Edward S. Bragg Democratic Consul General in Havana 1902 Theodore Roosevelt Republican
Consul General in Hong Kong 1903 – 1906
Luke E. Wright Democratic Secretary of War[1] 1908 – 1909
Jacob M. Dickinson Democratic Secretary of War[1] 1909 – 1911 William Howard Taft Republican
Frank Knox Republican Secretary of the Navy 1940 – 1944 Franklin Roosevelt Democratic
Henry Stimson Republican Secretary of War 1940 – 1945
Fiorello La Guardia Republican Office of Civilian Defense 1941
William Donovan Republican Head of the Office of the Coordinator of Information 1941 – 1942
Head of the Office of Strategic Services 1942 – 1945
John Gilbert Winant Republican Ambassador to Britain 1941 – 1946
U.S. representative to UNESCO 1946 Harry Truman Democratic
Warren Austin Republican Ambassador to the United Nations 1947 – 1953
Martin Patrick Durkin Democratic Secretary of Labor 1953 Dwight Eisenhower Republican
James P. Mitchell Democratic Secretary of Labor 1953 – 1961
William McChesney Martin, Jr. Democratic Chairman of the Federal Reserve 1955 – 1970 (reappointment)
Robert McNamara Republican[3] Secretary of Defense 1961 – 1968 John Kennedy Democratic
C. Douglas Dillon Republican Secretary of the Treasury 1961 – 1965
Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. Republican Ambassador to South Vietnam 1963 – 1964
Lyndon Johnson Democratic
1965 – 1967
United States Ambassador at Large 1967 – 1968
Ambassador to West Germany 1968 – 1969
Edward Brooke Republican Kerner Commission 1967
Sargent Shriver Democratic Ambassador to France 1969 – 1970 (reappointment) Richard Nixon Republican
Elizabeth Hanford Democratic[4] Deputy Assistant to President for Consumer Affairs 1969 – 1973
Federal Trade Commission 1973 – 1979
John Connally Democratic[4] Secretary of the Treasury 1971 – 1972
Daniel Patrick Moynihan Democratic Assistant for Urban Affairs 1969 – 1970
Ambassador to India 1973 – 1975
Gerald Ford Republican
Ambassador to the United Nations 1975 – 1976
Robert Casey Democratic Federal Maritime Commission 1976 – 1981
James Schlesinger Republican Secretary of Energy 1977 – 1979 Jimmy Carter Democratic
Lawrence Eagleburger Republican Ambassador to Yugoslavia 1977 – 1981
Mike Mansfield Democratic Ambassador to Japan 1981 – 1988 (reappointment) Ronald Reagan Republican
Paul Volcker Democratic Chairman of the Federal Reserve 1983 – 1987 (reappointment)
Jeane Kirkpatrick Democratic[4] Ambassador to the United Nations 1981 – 1985
William Bennett Democratic[4] National Endowment for the Humanities 1981 – 1985
Secretary of Education 1985 – 1988
R. James Woolsey, Jr. Democratic Delegate at Large to the U.S.-Soviet Strategic Arms Reduction Talks and Nuclear and Space Arms Talks[5] 1983 - 1986
Paul Nitze Democratic Chief Negotiator of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty 1981 - 1984
Max Kampelman Democratic Ambassador to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe 1981 - 1983 (reappointment)
Head of the Delegation to the Negotiations with the Soviet Union on Nuclear and Space Arms in Geneva 1985 – 1989
Counselor to the Department of State 1987 – 1989
Dennis B. Ross Democratic Director of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff 1989 - 1992 George H. W. Bush Republican
Griffin Bell Democratic Commission on Federal Ethics Law Reform 1989
Robert Strauss Democratic Ambassador to Soviet Union/Russia 1991 – 1992
Richard Stone Democratic Ambassador to Denmark 1992 – 1993
Michael Chertoff Republican United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey 1993 – 1994 (reappointment) Bill Clinton Democratic
Roger W. Johnson Republican GSA Administrator 1993 – 1996
John Negroponte Republican Ambassador to the Philippines 1993 – 1996
Julie Belaga Republican Board of Directors of the Export Import Bank 1994 – 1999
Alan Greenspan Republican Chairman of the Federal Reserve 1995 – 2006 (reappointment)
William Cohen Republican[6] Secretary of Defense 1997 – 2001
John DiIulio Democratic[7] Director of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives 2001 George W. Bush Republican
Tom Schieffer Democratic Ambassador to Australia 2001 – 2005
Ambassador to Japan 2005 – 2009
Norman Mineta Democratic Secretary of Transportation 2001 – 2006
Tony P. Hall Democratic Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture 2002 – 2006
Paul F. McHale, Jr. Democratic Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense 2003 – 2009
Timothy Geithner Democratic President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York 2003 – 2009
R. David Paulison Democratic Federal Emergency Management Agency 2005 – 2009
Lanny Davis Democratic Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board 2006 – 2007
Pete Geren Democratic Acting Secretary of the Air Force 2005
Secretary of the Army 2006 – 2009
Zell Miller Democratic American Battle Monuments Commission member[8] 2005 – 2009[8]
Diane Farrell Democratic Board of Directors of the Export Import Bank 2007 – 2011
Robert Gates Independent Republican Secretary of Defense 2009-Present (reappointment) Barack Obama Democratic
Ray LaHood Republican Secretary of Transportation 2009-Present
Dan Rooney Republican Ambassador to Ireland 2009-Present
Jon Huntsman, Jr. Republican Ambassador to China 2009-Present
John M. McHugh Republican Secretary of the Army 2009-Present
Jim Leach Republican Chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities 2009-Present
Douglas Kmiec Republican Ambassador to Malta 2009-Present


  1. ^ a b c d Mr. Wilson's Cabinet; Will Be Sagacious Men, But Not Political Experts, The New York Times, November 7, 1912
  2. ^ William S. Cohen, Across Party Lines, Washington Post, December 17, 2000
  3. ^ SIX FOR THE KENNEDY CABINET, Time, December 26, 1960.
  4. ^ a b c d Appointee was a Democrat at the beginning of this tenure.
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ Dana Priest, An 'Outsider' Set to Take Over Pentagon, Washington Post, Wednesday, January 22, 1997; Page A21. "Although other presidents have crossed party lines to fill the top defense post, Cohen ... would be the first Republican politician to serve a Democratic president in the position."
  7. ^ Tapper, Jake. Losing his religion? Negotiating a bill through Congress, Bush's faith czar expresses frustration with his own White House.], June 5, 2001.
  8. ^ a b  This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress document "MILLER, Zell Bryan". "member, American Battle Monuments Commission, 2005-"


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