News Release

Presidential Appointee Initiative Issues Call to Service

June 18, 2003

The Brookings Institution’s Presidential Appointee Initiative releases its final product, a brochure calling on civic leaders to say “yes” when the president calls. The brochure, which is titled “To Make A Difference,” is the final effort in the four-year, $3.9 million project, and is designed to highlight the value of public service.

“The Presidential Appointee Initiative has made a real contribution to the cause of improving the way our government works,” said Strobe Talbott, the president of the Brookings Institution. “We’re proud to have had this project at Brookings and are confident that it has made a lasting difference.”

The brochure is being mailed to 25,000 civic leaders across the country, including corporate executives, college and university presidents, and leaders of the nation’s largest nonprofit agencies.

“Former presidential appointees clearly believe that the value of service far outweighs the frustrations of the process,” said Paul C. Light, senior adviser to The Presidential Appointee Initiative. “This project has worked hard to help the current class of appointees get into office easier, while improving the process for future appointees, and there has been some headway overall. Although the process is still too slow and confusing, potential appointees think it is far worse than it actually is.”

Following remarks by Tom Mann and Paul Light, former presidential adviser David Gergen will discuss why Americans should serve as presidential appointees at a reception on June 19 in the Colonial Room at the Mayflower Hotel from 5:30 to 7:30.

The brochure is co-sponsored by the American Council on Education, the Committee for Economic Development, and the Independent Sector.

This will be the final event of The Presidential Appointee Initiative, which concludes on June 30, 2003. The Initiative was established by the Brookings Institution in 1999 with funding from The Pew Charitable Trusts. Its aim was to encourage talented citizens to seek and accept presidential appointments and to build support for reforms that would simplify and expedite future appointments. To learn more about The Presidential Appointee Initiative, please visit, which will remain accessible through the Brookings Institution’s website. To request an interview with Paul C. Light, senior adviser to The Presidential Appointee Initiative, please call Sherra Merchant at 202-797-6424 or contact her via email at: [email protected].

About Brookings

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to conduct in-depth, nonpartisan research to improve policy and governance at local, national, and global levels.