Job Announcement: Help Run America

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Want to run the U.S. Administration for Children and Families? Ever dream of being associate commissioner of the Children’s Bureau? Juvenile justice administrator? Head Start director? Head of the Corporation for National and Community Service?

These are just some of the more than 7,000 “plum” federal civil service leadership and support positions that could be filled next year by the incoming Obama administration.

The United States Government Policy and Supporting Positions – known as the “Plum Book” – is an inventory of open, non-career (read: political) positions published after every presidential election, when appointees from one administration move out to make way for appointees of the next.

The jobs include more than three dozen in the Administration for Children and Families, including several associate commissioner slots and at least two for those who like to be in-the-know but know how to be discreet: “confidential assistants” to the deputy director of Child Support Enforcement and to the director of the Office of Public Affairs. Looking at other agencies, maybe you can be the next director of the Family and Children’s Health Programs Group, or the Seattle regional administrator for the Consortium for Medicaid and Children’s Health Operations.

The 209-page Plum Book sells for $38 through the U.S. Government Printing Office. Or view it free at

But take note: These jobs are typically awarded to party and campaign insiders. Those who can hand their résumés to the right person – and can survive the Obama vetting process as well as Senate confirmation, for certain high-level jobs – will be most successful.

The technology-centric Obama transition team set up a Web page to accept political employment applications: A more obscure career civil service position – supposedly immune from the quadrennial political upheavals – might be a desirable alternative. Those listings are at