The Washington Post

Key Cabinet jobs still open

President Obama and Commerce Secretary nominee Penny Pritzker (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Much less attention has been paid to the critical deputy secretary positions, the folks who often actually run the operations. And it turns out many of those jobs, nearly half in fact, are, or will soon be, vacant.

Just looking at the deputyships at the 15 statutory Cabinet agencies, we’re hearing that the No. 2 folks at Agriculture (Kathleen Merrigan) Commerce (Rebecca Blank), Homeland Security (Jane Holl Lute), Interior (David Hayes), State (Tom Nides); Neal Wolin (Treasury) and, Anthony Miller (Education).

Several others are staying on for a limited time generally because they have new Cabinet heads and need to help the newbie settle in, find the bathrooms, the nearest exit and such.

There’s talk that the White House has penciled in replacements for at least some of the deputy openings, but so far no nomination have gone to the Senate for confirmation.

So if you’re looking for a fine deputyship, get those resumes out.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.


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