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List of United States political appointments that crossed party lines

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Title: List of United States political appointments that crossed party lines  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: James Monroe, Cabinet of the United States, Mike Mansfield, Robert McNamara, Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., Alan Greenspan, Rufus King, John Randolph of Roanoke, Tony P. Hall, Griffin Bell
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List of United States political appointments that crossed party lines

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]

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

Appointee Position Term ↑ President
Name Party Name Party
James Monroe Anti-Administration Minister to France 1794–1796 George Washington Pro-Administration/Independent
Thomas Jefferson Democratic-Republican Secretary of State 1790-1793
Edmund J. Randolph Federalist Secretary of State 1794-1795
Timothy Pickering Federalist Secretary of State 1795-1797
Joseph Habersham Federalist Postmaster General 1801 (reappointment) Thomas Jefferson Democratic-Republican
Rufus King Federalist Minister to Britain 1801–1803 (reappointment)
James A. 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 (reappointment) William Henry Harrison Whig
Andrew Johnson[3] Democratic Military Governor of Tennessee 1862–1865 Abraham Lincoln Republican
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 1862–1868
Daniel Sickles Democratic Special Minister to the South American Republics 1865
Daniel Sickles Democratic Minister to Spain 1869–1873 Ulysses S. Grant Republican
Caleb Cushing Democratic Minister to Spain 1874–1877
David M. Key Democratic Postmaster General 1877–1880 Rutherford B. Hayes Republican
William Rosecrans Democratic Register of the Treasury 1889–1893 (reappointment) Benjamin Harrison Republican
Walter Q. Gresham Republican Secretary of State[1] 1893–1895 (reappointment) Grover Cleveland Democratic
Theodore Roosevelt Republican Civil Service Commissioner 1893–1895 (reappointment)
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] 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
Frank Knox Republican Secretary of the Navy 1940–1944 Franklin D. Roosevelt Democratic
Hugh R. Wilson[4] Republican[5] Ambassador to Switzerland 1933-1937 (reappointment)
Assistant Secretary of State 1937–1938
Ambassador to Germany 1938
Henry Stimson Republican Secretary of War 1940–1945
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
Nelson Rockefeller Republican Coordinator of the Office of Inter-American Affairs 1940-1944
Assistant Secretary of State for American Republic Affairs 1944–1945
John Gilbert Winant Republican Ambassador to Britain 1941–1946
U.S. representative to UNESCO 1946 Harry S. Truman Democratic
Warren Austin Republican Ambassador to the United Nations 1947–1953
Martin Patrick Durkin Democratic Secretary of Labor 1953 Dwight D. Eisenhower Republican
Walter F. George Democratic Special Ambassador to NATO 1957
William McChesney Martin, Jr. Democratic Chairman of the Federal Reserve 1955–1970 (reappointment)
Robert Bernard Anderson Democratic Secretary of Navy 1953–1954
Deputy Secretary of Defense 1954–1957
Secretary of the Treasury 1957–1961
Robert McNamara Republican[6] 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[7][8] National Security Advisor 1961–1966
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
Edward Brooke Republican Kerner Commission 1967
Sargent Shriver Democratic Ambassador to France 1969–1970 (reappointment) Richard Nixon Republican
Elizabeth Hanford Democratic[9] Deputy Assistant to President for Consumer Affairs 1969–1973
Federal Trade Commission 1973–1979
John Connally Democratic[9] 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
Robert Casey Democratic Federal Maritime Commission 1976–1981
James Schlesinger Republican Secretary of Energy 1977–1979 Jimmy Carter Democratic
Lawrence Eagleburger Republican Ambassador to Yugoslavia 1977–1981
Mike Mansfield Democratic Ambassador to Japan 1981–1988 (reappointment) Ronald Reagan Republican
Paul Volcker Democratic Chairman of the Federal Reserve 1983–1987 (reappointment)
Jeane Kirkpatrick Democratic[9] Ambassador to the United Nations 1981–1985
William Bennett Democratic[9] 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 and Nuclear and Space Arms Talks[10] 1983–1986
Paul Nitze Democratic Chief Negotiator of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty 1981–1984
Max Kampelman Democratic Ambassador to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe 1981–1983 (reappointment)
Head of the 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
Dennis B. Ross Democratic Director of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff 1989–1992 George H. W. Bush Republican
Griffin Bell Democratic Commission on Federal Ethics Law Reform 1989
Robert Strauss Democratic Ambassador to Soviet Union/Russia 1991–1992
Richard Stone Democratic Ambassador to Denmark 1992–1993
Michael Chertoff Republican United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey 1993–1994 (reappointment) Bill Clinton Democratic
Sheila Bair Republican Chairperson of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Roger W. Johnson Republican GSA Administrator 1993–1996
John Negroponte Republican Ambassador to the Philippines 1993–1996
Julie Belaga Republican Board of Directors of the Export Import Bank 1994–1999
Alan Greenspan Republican Chairman of the Federal Reserve 1995–2006 (reappointment)
William Cohen Republican[11] Secretary of Defense 1997–2001
David M. Walker Republican Comptroller General of the United States 1998–2008
John DiIulio Democratic[12] Director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives 2001 George W. Bush Republican
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
Norman Mineta Democratic Secretary of Transportation 2001–2006
Paul F. McHale, Jr. 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 (EAC) 2003-2010
R. David Paulison Democratic Federal Emergency Management Agency 2005–2009
Lanny Davis Democratic Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board 2006–2007
Pete Geren Democratic Acting Secretary of the Air Force 2005
Secretary of the Army 2006–2009
Zell Miller Democratic American Battle Monuments Commission member[13] 2005–2009[13]
Diane Farrell Democratic Board of Directors of the Export Import Bank 2007–2011
Neel Kashkari Republican Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Stability 2008-2009 (reappointment) Barack Obama Democratic
Ray LaHood Republican Secretary of Transportation 2009 – 2013
Robert Gates Republican Secretary of Defense 2009 – 2011 (reappointment)
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 – Present
Jim Leach Republican Chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities 2009 – Present
Chuck Hagel Republican Co-Chair of President's Intelligence Advisory Board 2009 - 2013
Secretary of Defense 2013 – Present
Larry Pressler Republican U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad 2009 – Present
Ben Bernanke Republican Chairman of the Federal Reserve 2010 – 2014 (reappointment)
Jeffrey R. Immelt Republican Chairperson of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness 2011 – 2013
David Petraeus Republican[14] Director of the Central Intelligence Agency 2011 – 2012
Jerome H. Powell Republican Federal Reserve Board of Governors 2012 – Present
James Comey Republican Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation 2013 – Present
Sloan D. Gibson Republican United States Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs 2014 – Present
Robert A. McDonald Republican Secretary of Veterans Affairs 2014 – Present

Other notable appointments that crossed party lines


  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. ^ 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, 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. ^ SIX FOR THE KENNEDY CABINET, Time, December 26, 1960.
  7. ^ Hodgson, Godfrey. Obituary: McGeorge Bundy., September 18, 1996.
  8. ^ McGeorge Bundy.
  9. ^ a b c d Appointee was a Democrat at the beginning of this tenure.
  10. ^ [1]
  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., June 5, 2001.
  13. ^ Biographical Directory of the United States Congress document "MILLER, Zell Bryan". "member, American Battle Monuments Commission, 2005-"
  14. ^ Coll, Steve. The General's Dilemma: David Petraeus the pressures of politics, and the road out of Iraq., September 8, 2008.
  15. ^


Key to party COLORS and ABBREVIATIONS for Members of the U.S. Congress
American (Know-Nothing) (K-N)
Adams (A),
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)
Non-Partisan League (NPL)
Nullifier (N)
Opposition (O)
Populist (Pop)
Pro-Administration (Pro-Admin)
Progressive (Prog)
Prohibition (Proh)
Readjuster (Rea)
Republican (R)
Socialist (Soc)
Unionist (U)
Whig (W)

or None,
or Unaffiliated

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