The LCWINS Tracker is built upon a list of positions across the federal government that we identified as of senior leadership rank and with an impact on U.S. national security. People in these roles regularly find themselves in decision-making settings; therefore, it is here that gender parity has the greatest opportunity to strengthen the security and position of the U.S. in the world.
what we track:
We define “senior leadership” as positions with a hierarchical rank of Deputy Assistant Secretary and above, as well as equivalent roles with variations of related titles. The specific positions included meet that rank and have titles that fall within nine hierarchical groups:
- Secretary, Agency Head
- Deputy Secretary
- Under Secretary
- Assistant Secretary
- Deputy Assistant Secretary, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Deputy Under Secretary
- Chief of Staff
- Envoy, Representative, Coordinator
- Director, Senior Director
- Other (e.g. Deputy Inspector General, Chief Operating Officer, etc.)
Note that we track American ambassadors serving in U.S. overseas embassies, but we do not include those positions in the overall numbers for the Tracker, Diplomacy field generally, or State Department specifically. These positions are important for the implementation of American foreign policy, but those roles within the central State Department in Washington, DC have greater influence on policy debate and adoption. We also monitor National Security Council membership. Instead of including this group collectively, those positions are tracked within their respective departments, agencies, and offices.
We define six broad categories of responsibility into which all tracked positions fall:
- Defense & Security – Military department leadership, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
- Diplomacy – The State Department, U.S. Representatives to the United Nations, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), and Peace Corps.
- The Intelligence Community – The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA), National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).
- The National Security Council – The National Security Council (NSC) Staff at the White House.
- Finance & Banking – The Departments of Commerce and Treasury, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, U.S. Export-Import Bank, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), and U.S. representatives to international development banks.
- Other – This group includes agencies not traditionally considered to be directly responsible for national security but which house positions of impact at the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, and Energy. In addition, it includes the Offices of Management and Budget (OMB), National Cyber Director (ONCD), and Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).
The data presented and analyzed here is current as of September 30, 2023. To view the numbers represented in a chart or graph, click “Get the Data” on the bottom of each.
As of publication, the complete list of 500 positions includes 27 roles that are vacant or unknown and 36 roles currently performed by public servants in an acting capacity. Each chart demonstrates the number of filled, acting, and vacant or unknown positions if applicable and their respective gender representation overall. Senate-confirmed and nominated positions identify active, confirmed public servants and those awaiting confirmation.
To populate the LCWINS Tracker, our research team identified and verified each position’s incumbent by referencing department, agency, and office websites, Congress.gov, LinkedIn, a third-party proprietary database, and Wikipedia. We also vetted the final data with current and former members of each department, agency, and office.
The 2023 LCWINS Tracker is a snapshot of one moment in a four-year administration. It does not include appointees whose tenure began and ended before September 30, 2023, nor data from prior administrations. We encourage caution in drawing comparisons to other years or administrations.
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