Appointee Confirmation and Tenure: Politics, Policy, and Professionalism in Federal Agency Leadership, 1989-2009
32 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 2 Sep 2009
Date Written: 2009
A growing empirical research literature examines the role of presidential appointees in institutional and administrative politics. Using a new dataset spanning two decades of Senate-confirmed agency appointments (1989-2009), we analyze two dimensions of appointee politics: the length of time to confirm agency appointees and the duration of appointee service. We develop empirical models demonstrating the influence of appointee position characteristics; types of policies and issue areas; agency professionalism and appointee penetration; congressional oversight; and presidential power on appointee confirmation and tenure. The analysis yields important insight contributing at once to scholarship on the inter-institutional politics of agency administration, as well as to developing knowledge about the consequences of current arrangements for the continuity and, by extension, the effectiveness of agency leadership.
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