Obama Administration Continues Path Toward Diversity
By Krissah Thompson
About half of the top decision makers in the Obama administration are white men, according to a survey conducted by National Journal magazine. That figure is slightly lower than it was when President Bush was in office.
"Fifty-two percent of the top Obama officials are white males, compared with 59 percent at the start of the Bush administration and 60 percent at the start of Bush's second term," the magazine reports.
Similar shifts in the direction of increased diversity have taken place among other demographic groups. "Women account for 34 percent of Obama's top officials, compared with 26 percent at the start of Bush's first term," the Journal notes. "Racial minorities account for 25 percent of Obama's top officials, compared with 20 percent at the beginning of the Bush administration."
The magazine gathered the information for the 366 top officials in the White House and federal agencies during a series of interviews for biographical sketches.
Other notable qualities of President Obama's team, according to the magazine, include:
- • 83 percent of top Obama officials have government experience and 71 percent have worked in the federal government.
• One-third of the top Obama officials have worked on Capitol Hill.
• 12 percent of top Obama officials have served in the military, down from 18 percent of top officials at the start of Bush's first term.
• 37 percent of top Obama officials have worked in think tanks or academia, compared with 27 percent in Bush's first term.
• Only 7 percent of top Obama officials worked last year in a state carried by Republican John McCain in the presidential race.
• 37 percent of top Obama officials graduated from an Ivy League institution.
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