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The Plum Book: Cool Jobs

By Ed O'Keefe

After picking up his copy of the Plum Book just after 10 a.m., The Eye has decamped to an undisclosed location near the Government Printing Office to begin scouring for interesting tidbits.

With more than 7,210 jobs listed, it's quite a task. More than 4,000 of the positions were non-competitively filled by the Bush administration with political appointees as of Sept. 1, according to the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. The remaining 3,000 or so jobs have been filled competitively by senior career civil servants even though the positions themselves could be filled on a non-competitive basis.

So far The Eye has found a few positions with interesting descriptions. If you're scouring the book and also find interesting-sounding jobs, or if you currently hold one of the positions listed below, or if you have any other questions or comments, leave them in the comments section below or send me an e-mail.

Here we go!

COMMERCE DEPARTMENT:
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere: Another cool-sounding title and a career position currently held by Mary M. Glackin who is the day-to-day manager of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The deputy assistant secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere is a non-career appointment currently held by Timothy R.E. Keeney and it pays at least $114,468 per year.

Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of Patent and Trademark Office: The person in charge of approving patents. It's a presidential appointment, currently held by Jonathan W. Dudas, who earns at least $158,500 per year.

It might also be cool to work for the Commerce Department as a senior commercial officer. The positions are filled by career employees working in exotic cities including Sydney, Tokyo, Johannesburg, Ankra, Taipei and Hanoi. Is their commute better?

EDUCATION DEPARTMENT:
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Colleges: Pretty self-explanatory. It's a Schedule C position with a GS-15 pay level, meaning you'd earn at least $95,390 per year.

Assistant Deputy Secretary for Safe and Drug-Free Schools: The person responsible for, among other things, all of the "Drug Free School Zones" signs you see near schools. It's a non-career appointment on the senior executive service pay plan, banking you at least $114,468 per year.

ENERGY DEPARMENT:
Director of Waste Processing: It's a career position currently held by Dr. Steven L. Krahn.

Vice President of Energy Efficiency: Sounds like a job Al Gore might enjoy, but he'd have to unseat the career employee who currently holds this job in the energy department's office of legacy management.

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT:
Counsel to the Attorney General: Basically the lawyer for the nation's top lawyer. Does this make you the most-hated lawyer in the land?

Chief, Gang Squad: Awesome. The position in DOJ's criminal division is currently vacant and pays at least $114,468.

More to come! Leave your thoughts in the comments section below...

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 12, 2008; 12:30 PM ET
Categories:  Revolving Door  
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