List of United States political appointments across party lines

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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] Also presidents often appoint members of a different party because they need Senate confirmation for many of these positions, and at the time of appointment the Senate was controlled by the opposition party of the president.[2] Many of the cross-partisan nominees are often moderates within their own 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[edit]

Appointee Position Term ↑ President
Name Party Name Party
Thomas Jefferson Anti-Administration Secretary of State 1790–1793 George Washington Pro-Administration
James Monroe Anti-Administration Minister to France 1794–1796
Edmund J. Randolph Federalist Secretary of State 1794–1795
Timothy Pickering Federalist Secretary of State 1795–1797
Joseph Habersham Federalist Postmaster General 1801 Ɨ Thomas Jefferson Democratic-Republican
Rufus King Federalist Minister to Britain 1801–1803 Ɨ
James Bayard Federalist Treaty of Ghent peace commissioner 1814 James Madison Democratic-Republican
Richard Rush Federalist Comptroller of the Treasury 1811–1814
Attorney General 1814–1817
Lewis Cass Democratic Ambassador to France 1841–1842 Ɨ William Henry Harrison Whig
Joseph Holt Republican Commissioner of Patents 1857–1859 James Buchanan Democratic
Postmaster General 1859–1860
Secretary of War 1861
Andrew Johnson[3] Democratic Military Governor of Tennessee 1862–1865 Abraham Lincoln Republican
George B. McClellan Democratic Commanding General of the United States Army 1861–1862
Henry Connelly Democratic Governor of the Territory of New Mexico 1861–1865
George Foster Shepley Democratic Military Governor of Louisiana 1862–1864
John S. Phelps Democratic Military Governor of Arkansas 1862
Edwin M. Stanton Democratic Secretary of War 1862–1865
Daniel Sickles Democratic Special Minister to the South American Republics 1865
James Harlan Republican Secretary of the Interior 1865–1866 Andrew Johnson Democratic/Unionist
Henry Stanbery Republican Attorney General 1866–1868
Alexander W. Randall Republican Postmaster General 1866–1869
Orville H. Browning Republican Secretary of the Interior 1866–1869
John M. Schofield Republican Secretary of War 1868–1869
William M. Evarts Republican Attorney General 1868–1869
Daniel Sickles Democratic Minister to Spain 1869–1873 Ulysses S. Grant Republican
George Bancroft Democratic Minister to Germany 1869-1874Ɨ
James Lawrence Orr Democratic Minister to Russia 1872–1873
Caleb Cushing Democratic Minister to Spain 1874–1877
David M. Key Democratic Postmaster General 1877–1880 Rutherford B. Hayes Republican
Allen G. Thurman Democratic Paris international monetary conference 1881 James A. Garfield Republican
William Rosecrans Democratic Register of the Treasury 1889–1893 Ɨ Benjamin Harrison Republican
Walter Q. Gresham Republican Secretary of State[1] 1893–1895 Ɨ Grover Cleveland Democratic
Theodore Roosevelt Republican Civil Service Commissioner 1893–1895 Ɨ
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] 1905–1910
Francis Cockrell Democratic Interstate Commerce Commission 1908–1909
Jacob M. Dickinson Democratic Secretary of War[1] 1909–1911 William Howard Taft Republican
Herbert Hoover Republican Administrator of the United States Food Administration 1917–1919 Woodrow Wilson Democratic
Elihu Root Republican Ambassador extraordinary, mission to Russia 1917
Theodore Roosevelt Jr. Republican Governor-General of the Philippines 1933 Ɨ Franklin Roosevelt Democratic
Hugh R. Wilson[4] Republican[5] Ambassador to Switzerland 1933–1937 Ɨ
Assistant Secretary of State 1937–1938
Ambassador to Germany 1938
William M. Jardine Republican Ambassador to Egypt 1933 Ɨ
William H. Woodin Republican Secretary of the Treasury 1933
Marriner Stoddard Eccles Republican[6] Chairman of the Federal Reserve 1933–1948
Henry Stimson Republican Secretary of War 1940–1945
Frank Knox Republican Secretary of the Navy 1940–1944
Nelson Rockefeller Republican Coordinator of the Office of Inter-American Affairs 1940–1944
Assistant Secretary of State for American Republic Affairs 1944–1945
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
Patrick J. Hurley Republican Minister to New Zealand 1942
Ambassador to China 1945
John Gilbert Winant Republican Ambassador to Britain 1941–1946
U.S. Representative to UNESCO 1946 Harry S. Truman Democratic
Herbert Hoover Republican Chairman of the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government (Hoover Commission) 1947
Warren Austin Republican Ambassador to the United Nations 1947–1953
Robert A. Lovett Republican Secretary of Defense 1951–1953
Martin Patrick Durkin Democratic Secretary of Labor 1953 Dwight Eisenhower Republican
Walter F. George Democratic Special Ambassador to NATO 1957
William McChesney Martin, Jr. Democratic Chairman of the Federal Reserve 1955–1961 Ɨ
Robert Bernard Anderson Democratic Secretary of Navy 1953–1954
Deputy Secretary of Defense 1954–1957
Secretary of the Treasury 1957–1961
Robert McNamara Republican[7] Secretary of Defense 1961–1968 John F. Kennedy Democratic
C. Douglas Dillon Republican Secretary of the Treasury 1961–1965
John McCone Republican Director of Central Intelligence 1961–1965
McGeorge Bundy Republican[8][9] National Security Advisor 1961–1966
Christian Herter Republican U.S. Trade Representative 1962–1966
Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. Republican Ambassador to South Vietnam 1963–1964
Lyndon B. Johnson Democratic
United States Ambassador at Large 1967–1968
Ambassador to West Germany 1968–1969
John W. Gardner Republican Secretary of Health and Human Services 1965-1968
Jack Vaughn Republican Director of the Peace Corps 1966-1969
Edward Brooke Republican Member of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (Kerner Commission) 1967
John Lindsay Republican Vice Chairman of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (Kerner Commission) 1967
William McCulloch Republican Member of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (Kerner Commission) 1967
Erwin Griswold Republican Solicitor General 1967–1969
William H. Brown III Republican Commissioner, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 1968–1969
Sargent Shriver Democratic Ambassador to France 1969–1970 Ɨ Richard Nixon Republican
Elizabeth Hanford Democratic[a] Deputy Assistant to President for Consumer Affairs 1969–1973
Federal Trade Commission 1973–1977
Paul Volcker Democratic Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Monetary Affairs 1969-1974
John Connally Democratic[a] 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
Togo D. West Jr. Democratic Associate Deputy Attorney General 1975-1976
Robert Casey Democratic Federal Maritime Commission 1976–1977
James Schlesinger Republican Secretary of Energy 1977–1979 Jimmy Carter Democratic
Lawrence Eagleburger Republican Ambassador to Yugoslavia 1977–1981
Kingman Brewster Jr. Republican Ambassador to the United Kingdom 1977–1981
William H. Webster Republican Director of the FBI 1978-1981
Frank Carlucci Republican Deputy Director of the CIA 1978-1981
Mike Mansfield Democratic Ambassador to Japan 1981–1988 Ɨ Ronald Reagan Republican
Paul Volcker Democratic Chairman of the Federal Reserve 1983–1987 Ɨ
Jeane Kirkpatrick Democratic[a] Ambassador to the United Nations 1981–1985
William Bennett Democratic[a] 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 1983–1986
Delegate to the Nuclear and Space Arms Talks[10] 1986–1987
Paul Nitze Democratic Chief Negotiator of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty 1981–1984
Eric J. Fygi Democratic Deputy General Counsel of the Department of Energy 1981-1989Ɨ
Max Kampelman Democratic Ambassador to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe 1981–1983 Ɨ
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
Richard Stone Democratic United States Ambassador at Large and Special Envoy to Central America 1983–1984
Preston Robert Tisch Democratic Postmaster General 1986–1988
Lauro Cavazos Democratic Secretary of Education 1988–1990
George H. W. Bush Republican
Dennis B. Ross Democratic Director of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff 1989–1992
Eric J. Fygi Democratic Deputy General Counsel of the Department of Energy 1989-1993Ɨ
Griffin Bell Democratic Commission on Federal Ethics Law Reform 1989
Robert Strauss Democratic Ambassador to Soviet Union/Russia 1991–1992
Diane Ravitch Democratic Assistant Secretary of Education 1991–1993
Richard Stone Democratic Ambassador to Denmark 1992–1993
Michael Chertoff Republican Attorney for the District of New Jersey 1993–1994 Ɨ Bill Clinton Democratic
William S. Sessions Republican Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation 1993 Ɨ
David Gergen Republican Counselor to the President 1993–1993
Sheila Bair Republican Chairperson of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Acting 1993
Roger W. Johnson Republican GSA Administrator 1993–1996
Louis Freeh Republican Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation 1993–2001
John Negroponte Republican Ambassador to the Philippines 1993–1996
William J. Crowe Republican Chair of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board 1993–1994
Ambassador to the United Kingdom 1994–1997
Julie Belaga Republican Board of Directors of the Export Import Bank 1994–1999
Marc L. Marks Republican Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission 1994–2000
John Hamre Republican Comptroller of the Department of Defense 1994–1997
Deputy Secretary of Defense 1997–2000
Alan Greenspan Republican Chairman of the Federal Reserve 1995–2001 Ɨ
William Cohen Republican[11] Secretary of Defense 1997–2001
Robert Mueller Republican Attorney for the Northern District of California 1998–2001
David M. Walker Republican Comptroller General of the United States 1998–2001
John DiIulio Democratic[12] Director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives 2001 George W. Bush Republican
George McGovern Democratic United States Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture 2001Ɨ[13]
Richard Swett Democratic Ambassador to Denmark 2001Ɨ
John Marburger Democratic Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy 2001–2009
Tom Schieffer Democratic Ambassador to Australia 2001–2005
Ambassador to Japan 2005–2009
Eric J. Fygi Democratic Deputy General Counsel of the Department of Energy 2001-2009Ɨ
Norman Mineta Democratic Secretary of Transportation 2001–2006
Paul McHale Democratic Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense 2002–2006
Richard Carmona Democratic Surgeon General 2002–2006
Tony P. Hall Democratic United States Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture 2002–2006
Gracia Hillman Democratic Commissioner for the Election Assistance Commission 2003–2009
Pam Iovino Democratic Assistant VA Secretary for Congressional and Legislative Affairs 2004–2005
R. David Paulison Democratic Federal Emergency Management Agency 2005–2009
Pete Geren Democratic Acting Secretary of the Air Force 2005
Secretary of the Army 2006–2009
Zell Miller Democratic American Battle Monuments Commission member[14] 2005–2009[14]
Lanny Davis Democratic Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board 2006–2007
Diane Farrell Democratic Board of Directors of the Export Import Bank 2007–2009
Lois Lerner Democratic Director Exempt Organizations 2006–2009
Neel Kashkari Republican Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Stability 2009 Ɨ Barack Obama Democratic
Michael B. Donley Republican Secretary of the Air Force 2009–2013 Ɨ
Ray LaHood Republican Secretary of Transportation 2009–2013
Robert Gates Republican Secretary of Defense 2009–2011 Ɨ
Jon Huntsman Jr. Republican Ambassador to China 2009–2011
Dan Rooney Republican Ambassador to Ireland 2009–2012
Douglas Kmiec Republican Ambassador to Malta 2009–2011
John M. McHugh Republican Secretary of the Army 2009–2015
Jim Leach Republican Chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities 2009–2013
Chuck Hagel Republican Co-Chair of President's Intelligence Advisory Board 2009–2013
Secretary of Defense 2013–2015
Larry Pressler Republican U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad 2009–2014
Ben Bernanke Republican Chairman of the Federal Reserve 2009–2014 Ɨ
Connie Morella Republican American Battle Monuments Commission 2010-2017
Jeff Immelt Republican Chairperson of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness 2011–2013
Jerome Powell Republican Federal Reserve Board of Governors 2012–2017
James Comey Republican Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation 2013–2017
Sloan D. Gibson Republican United States Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs 2014–2017
Robert A. McDonald Republican Secretary of Veterans Affairs 2014–2017
Michael Flynn Democratic[15] National Security Advisor 2017 Donald Trump Republican
Gary Cohn Democratic Director of the National Economic Council 2017–2018
Jared Kushner Democratic[a] Senior Advisor to the President of the United States and Director of the Office of American Innovation 2017–2018
Peter Navarro Democratic Director of the National Trade Council 2017
Director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy 2017–present
Robert O. Work Democratic Deputy Secretary of Defense 2017 Ɨ
Eric J. Fygi Democratic Deputy General Counsel of the Department of Energy 2017 – present Ɨ

Ɨ Person was an appointee of the previous administration and was reappointed or retained by the President.

Other notable appointments that crossed party lines[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Appointee was a Democrat at the beginning of this tenure.


  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. ^ a b c William S. Cohen, Across Party Lines, Washington Post, December 17, 2000
  3. ^ 1864 Vice Presidential Running Mate, 16th Vice President Of The United States of America, Successor and 17th President of the United States of America (1865) With the exception of Gerald Ford and Nelson Rockefeller, vice presidents are elected and not appointed. Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson ran as members of the National Union Party and not as a Republican and a Democrat.
  4. ^ Hugh Robert Wilson (1885–1946): Foreign Service officer
  5. ^ Wilson, Hugh R.,
  6. ^
  7. ^ SIX FOR THE KENNEDY CABINET, Time, December 26, 1960.
  8. ^ Hodgson, Godfrey. Obituary: McGeorge Bundy., September 18, 1996.
  9. ^ McGeorge Bundy.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-12-12. Retrieved 2009-12-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ 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."
  12. ^ Tapper, Jake. Losing his religion? Negotiating a bill through Congress, Bush's faith czar expresses frustration with his own White House Archived 2008-03-07 at the Wayback Machine., June 5, 2001.
  13. ^ Becker, Elizabeth. PUBLIC LIVES; A McGovern Liberal Who's Content to Stick to the Label., July 23, 2001.
  14. ^ 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–"
  15. ^ Rosenberg, Matthew; Haberman, Maggie (2016-11-17). "Michael Flynn, Anti-Islamist Ex-General, Offered Security Post, Trump Aide Says". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-01-21.
  16. ^ Philip Martinez


Key to party colors and abbreviations for members of the U.S. Congress
American (Know Nothing) (K-N)
Anti-Jacksonian (Anti-J),
National Republican (NR)
Anti-Administration (Anti-Admin)
Anti-Masonic (Anti-M)
Conservative (Con)
Democratic (D)
Dixiecrat (Dix),
States' rights (SR)
Democratic-Republican (D-R)
Farmer–Labor (FL)
Federalist (F)
Free Soil (FS)
Free Silver (FSv)
Fusion (FU)
Greenback (GB)
Jacksonian (J)
Nonpartisan League (NPL)
Nullifier (N)
Opposition Northern (O)
Opposition Southern (O)
Populist (Pop)
Pro-Administration (Pro-Admin)
Progressive (Prog)
Prohibition (Proh)
Readjuster (Rea)
Republican (R)
Socialist (Soc)
Unionist (U)
Whig (W)
or Unaffiliated