Toughest Jobs in Obama Administration

You’ve had the plums, now come the prunes.
As the Federal Diary reported last week, the Council for Excellence in Government is publishing the Prune Book, which lists the toughest management jobs in government. The book had a “soft launch” on the Council’s website on Friday and a more formal unveiling is planned for later this week.
Unlike the Plum Book, which includes more than 7,000 appointed positions and is issued by Congress, the Prune Book takes much more selective view. Prunes, in the Council’s view, are plums “seasoned by experience and with a much thicker skin,” says its Web site.
Right now, the Prune’s online list has about 70 positions, but the folks at the Council are still adding to it. And it’s really much more than a list. Every Prune is described in detail.
“Each profile suggests the skill sets needed for particular executive jobs and draws out broader management qualifications and attributes that the president should consider in sending nominations forward to the Senate,” reads the introduction.
For example, the page describing the assistant secretary for children and families in the Department of Health and Human Services lists in bullet form the major responsibilities and “key competencies and preferred qualifications,” but doesn’t stop there.
Under “insight,” it tells more about the job and quotes a former occupant of the position:
“‘It’s been very clear that getting results in these areas means using a lot of bully pulpit and public affairs strategies with states and communities,’ Olivia Golden, assistant secretary for children and families during the Clinton administration, told the 2000 edition of the Prune Book.”
You can find The Prune Book here, and the Plum Book here.
--Joe Davidson

By Steven E. Levingston  |  November 17, 2008; 11:46 AM ET  | Category:  Hiring
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