In a series of six webinars, LCWINS will demystify the political appointments process. Through our diverse array of speakers, we will prepare women interested in Senate-confirmed roles to put their names forward, support their candidacy effectively, and successfully navigate Senate confirmation. All who are interested are welcome to attend, but the sessions will focus on women's preparation for political appointment in senior roles.
See below for more information about our six sessions. We hope you will join us!
Webinar information will be updated as we confirm speakers and dates.
Before attending these webinars, we strongly recommend you read through everything available on the Partnership for Public Service Center for Presidential Transition’s Ready to Serve website.
Each of the amazing women featured on this panel has served at the highest level of our government, each in multiple Presidentially-appointed positions. During this kick-off to our webinar series, we will hear advice from each of them about how to navigate the political appointments process. This overarching and high-level view of the political appointments process will provide the foundation and inspiration for those who seek to learn more. Please don't forget to sign up to ask a question below - this is an incredible opportunity to hear from some truly impressive women and we are so grateful for their support of our webinar series!
Dina Powell McCormick
Ambassador Wendy Sherman
Ambassador Eileen Donahoe
This session is an overview of the political appointments process from former officials responsible for Presidential appointments. This session will answer all of your basic questions. We will cover the Transition personnel process and Presidential Personnel process and how they differ. We will also discuss which jobs are Senate-confirmed and what special considerations go into filling those positions. The entire timeline will be discussed, including: indicating your interest, how to improve your chances of nomination, the vetting process, the Senate confirmation process, and what happens after you are confirmed.
During this session, we were not able to get to all of the important questions raised in the Q&A. After you finish watching the webinar below, please check out our webpage of follow-up Notes and Q&A.
In this session we will learn from former Ambassadors about the process of being appointed to an Ambassadorship and how to be successful upon confirmation. The role of Ambassadors is special and unique. Many are selected from the foreign service, but each Administration will also select some political appointees from outside the State Department to fill these roles. The session will address the entire timeline of the appointments process, including how to be selected, special considerations for vetting and Senate confirmation, and what happens upon confirmation.
During the webinar, Ambassador Kennedy provided a this amazing list of resources for women who are interested in learning more!
Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins
Ambassador Laura Kennedy
Ambassador Susan Page
Beth Van Schaack
This session will focus on the vetting process and information that must be disclosed during the process. We will discuss the SF-86 (security clearance form) and the security clearance process as well as the OGE 278 (financial disclosure form) and financial vetting. In addition, we will cover standard vetting questions, including tax history, criminal history, and employment history and other questions such as how social media and publication history come into play. The aim of this session is to provide participants now with the information and tips they need to prepare early, so the vetting process can be as efficient as possible. Before this session, please take a look at the forms linked above and the Ready to Serve website.
This session was not recorded, but we have drafted a page with Notes and Q&A from the session.
The political appointments process does not end with nomination - that is only the beginning! In this session we will focus on how to successfully navigate the Senate confirmation process. Our speakers will provide advice on filling out questions for the record (QFRs) and about testifying in front of Congress during a confirmation hearing. They will also discuss the process and timeline in depth, and describe ways that political appointments can be jeopardized in the Senate and what can be done to prevent it.
Ann Elise Sauer
Jamie Jones Miller
Historically, political appointees have been disproportionately white and male as compared with the U.S. population. Our entire webinar series will address gender, and we hope to address intersectional issues throughout the series as well. However, we wanted to create a specific space to inform future political appointees about the important considerations of race and intersectionality in the political appointments process. We encourage allies and people interested in expanding their understanding of these issues to attend this webinar. Anyone who ascends to national security leadership will need to be culturally competent to address these issues.
This session will not be recorded. Outcomes or recommendations from the session will be reported out without attribution under Chatham House Rules.
M. Tia Johnson