Monday, January 23, 2017

Commentary: How to work in the new administration when you don’t agree with Trump

Peter Van Buren, reuters.comsee also.

Van Buren/Clinton image from
What do you do when you’re a federal employee working for an administration and you don't agree with its policies?
I have some experience with this question. Ronald Reagan signed my commission when I entered the State Department as a Foreign Service officer, and Barack Obama was president when I retired. Over the intervening 24 years I was present for multiple presidential transitions. Like most of the government, I was rank-and-file, a lifer, not a political appointee chosen by a president to serve only during his term. ...
No president – or policy – lasts forever. Ideas promoted in an election can disappear overnight as world events intervene. Political appointees, ideologues and amateurs (and there are always a few good ones mixed in with the bad; the best ambassador I served under was an appointee from a party I didn’t support) can move on quicker than expected, often backfilled with steady careerists. Perspective helps: can anyone claim they supported every decision of any administration?
Staying can be hard, but there are ways to make it easier. One is to seek out offices and programs with less of a partisan focus. Once faced with a job coordinating educational exchanges that turned into a full-time propaganda operation, I found more comfortable circumstances moving to an office dealing with technology. ...

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