U.S. Government

Presidential Appointments

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) talks with the U.S. ambassador to Germany, Philip Murphy, as he visits the CDU party board meeting at the CDU headquarters in Berlin (REUTERS/Thomas Peter).


Politics Can Make for Fitting Envoys

March 16, 2014, Daniel Benjamin

After three Obama administration political nominees for ambassadorship posts recently acquitted themselves poorly in Senate hearings, some argue that political appointees are almost by definition inferior to Foreign Service ambassadors, explains Daniel Benjamin. But in recent years, we’ve had a batch of unusually talented political appointees, ones who added skills and insights to their jobs that few, if any, career diplomats could match, Benjamin argues.

View All Research on Presidential Appointments ›Show 10 More