John H. Holdridge, who was nominated by Presdent Reagan to be assistant secretary of state for East Asian and PacificAffairs, is a career Foreign Service Officer, rather than aCIA officer as stated in the Executive Notes column of March 4. Holdridge was on temporary assignment to the CIA in 1918-81.

Ronald Reagan, under criticism for not filling second-level jobs in his administration fast enough, yesterday nominated 17 sub-Cabinet officers in eight departments. The president also picked Virginia Knauer, consumer adviser to presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, as his consumer assistant.

The effort was seen as an attempt to show movement on the job front, although the appointments represent only the tip of the iceberg. Some 1,500 to 2,000 jobs throughout government remain unfilled.

There were no surprises in the new nominations. Names of the appointees had leaked out in recent weeks.

William C. Clohan Jr., for example, was nominated as under secretary of education as previously reported. Clohan, 32, is minority education counsel to the House Education and Labor Committee, and was originally picked to become the department's chief counsel by Education Secretary Terrel (Ted) Bell. Clohan's old boss on the committee, Christopher Cross, was orignally picked as undersecretary. But Clohan moved up when the White House vetoed Cross.

The State Department accounted for the most appointments -- five. Myer Rashish, an economist consultant and former Capitol Hillstaffer, was named undersecretary for economic affairs.

Nicholas A. Veliotes, a well-traveled career foreign serviceofficer, was named assistant secretary of Near Eastern and South Asian affairs. Veliotes, 42, has served in Vientiane,New Delhi, Rome and Amman.

Chester Crocker, director of the African studies program at Georgetown University's Center for Strategic and International Studies, was named assistant secretary for African affairs. Crocker, 39, was on the National Security Council staff during the Nixon presidency.

Robert D. Hormats, currently deputy U.S. trade representative, was named assistant secretary of economic affairs. Hormats, 37, served on the National Security Council staff during the Ford presidency. John H. Holdridge, a CIA officer and former ambassador to Singapore, was named assistant secretary of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. Holdridge, 56, has served in a number of State Department posts.

Not included in the list, but at work at the department is Lawrence Eagleburger, who was a close aide to former secretary of state Henry A. Kissinger. He has been slated to become assistant secretary for European affairs, but conservatives have objected to the appointment and he has scheduled a meeting with Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) this week.