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WaPo: Looking for a Job in the Administration

Posted By Seth Tanner, Monday, April 13, 2009
The Washington Post's Ian Shapira wrote a must-read last week about former campaign workers moving to DC to look for a job in the Administration.

"Flocking to the District's creative-class encampments of Mount Pleasant, the U Street corridor and Dupont and Logan circles, people in their 20s and 30s -- those, that is, with a liberal bent -- are prowling progressive Wiki pages and joining Google groups in the hunt for an Obama job. Those already employed elsewhere are secretly uploading their résumés to, while others are quitting their jobs to concentrate on the search.

Some are deft anglers: Melody Mathews, 29, a former Obama field worker-turned-Navy contractor, co-hosted a celebratory dinner recently at Old Ebbitt Grill that included top Army brass with whom she campaigned. Her hope is that they will get presidential appointments and, in turn, hire her. Others, such as Noland Chambliss, 25, a former Obama deputy field director, are in come-down mode. He applied for a position in the Energy Department but hasn't heard anything for months. So he has applied for a job at a pizza shop near his shared house off U Street NW."

Something to keep in mind, there were comparable numbers of Obama campaign staff to the number of government positions that could be filled by non-civil service. Add in non-OFA, but allied staff, and the numbers are not in the favor of the job seeker. Many of these non-civil service jobs do not relate well to campaign skills, since they are highly policy based.

A word of advice to those of you with your heart set on working in the Administration:  Don't forget that President Obama will be in office until January 20th, 2013, and at the rate he (and the potential opposition) is going, January 20th, 2017.  That leaves 4, if not 8 years, to get the chance to serve.  There will be time for many people to start in Administration jobs years down the line. 

So, in the meantime, try finding some jobs at organizations that will help support the President's agenda or help maintain the majority in Congress.  Administration jobs have a notoriously high burn-out rate, and you'll have time to serve at some point, if not today.  And if you are growing your skillsets and network in other roles, you'll be in a better position for a better job when your turn comes.

Tags:  job seeking  networking  white house 

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White House Internship Program

Posted By Nikki Enfield, Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Hey everyone - I know many of you are still looking to get your foot in the door with the Administration. I just received the below press release about the White House Internship Program and the fact that now through March 22, they are accepting applications for the summer of 2009.

Good luck!


Subject: White House Internship Program
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2009 12:26:01 -0500

February 26, 2009

President Obama today launched the White House Internship Program for his administration and announced that applications are currently being accepted for the summer of 2009. Those selected to participate in the program will gain valuable job experience and an inside look at the life of White House staff while building leadership skills.

"This program will mentor and cultivate young leaders of today and tomorrow and I'm proud that they will have this opportunity to serve," said President Obama. "I look forward to working with those that are selected to participate and I want to commend all who apply for their desire to help through public service to forge a brighter future for our country."

In addition to normal office duties, interns will supplement their learning experience by attending a weekly lecture series hosted by senior White House staff, help at White House social events, and volunteer in community service projects.

The 2009 Summer Internship program runs from May 22 to August 14, and the submission deadline is March 22, 2009.

Those interested in applying to the White House Internship Program must be:

  • U.S. Citizens
  • Eighteen years of age on or before the first day of the internship
  • Enrolled in a college or university (2-4 year institution) or must have graduated from college in the past two years

Interns will be placed in a departmental office for their internship. Below is a list of departments in the Office of the President and the Office of the Vice President where interns could be placed.

  • White House Department of Scheduling and Advance
  • The Office of Cabinet Affairs
  • The White House Communications Department
  • The White House Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs
  • The Office of the First Lady
  • The White House Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA)
  • The Office of Political Affairs
  • The Office of Management and Administration
  • The Office of White House Counsel
  • The Domestic Policy Council
  • The White House Office of Presidential Personnel
  • Office of the Vice President

More information on the White House Internship Program, including application instructions, can be found at:

THE WHITE HOUSE, February 26, 2009.

Tags:  internship  obama  white house 

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From the White House

Posted By Seth Tanner, Thursday, February 12, 2009
An update on the political appointment process.
We're happy to announce that the jobs application feature is now live on The Jobs Application feature enables people everywhere to apply to be considered for a political appointment in President Obama's Administration. You can get to it by clicking on the "Jobs" link at the very bottom of each of the pages on

That link will take you to a page which tells you a little bit more about the application process, with a a button at the bottom marked, "Begin Application Form." That’s where you fill out your information, upload a resume, and tell us what kinds of positions you’re interested in. But a quick heads up – you have to complete the application in one session, and it’s going to take you about 15 minutes to do it. So before you start, you might want to print the Paper Application, gather up the information you’ll need, then sign back in.

We’re looking to fill several thousand politically appointed positions in the Executive Branch. We’re already interviewing for many of the upper level positions, but will be reviewing applications and making decisions on appointments over the next few months. Remember, the jobs application is just for politically appointed positions in the Executive Branch of the government. These are positions that serve at the pleasure of the President and so are by definition temporary, not permanent. We have received more than 350,000 applications to date for several thousand positions; the selection process is very competitive and rigorous. For more information on these types of appointments, click on the Executive Branch link on the "Our Government" page of, or check out the Plum Book. (We also encourage you to look at the many thousands of permanent career positions with the government. Go to for more information and to fill out an application.)

Tags:  administration  jobs  white house 

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