NHLA Latino Appointments Program

As you deliberate your interest in applying for an appointment and NHLA’s support program, following are just some of the factors you should consider.

  • Appointees must be U.S. citizens.
  • Candidates must not have been lobbyists for at least two years in order to be considered for an appointment.
  • The process of pursuing a presidential appointment can be very lengthy and highly competitive. We understand that well over 20,000 individuals have applied through whitehouse. gov/apply since the President took office in 2009. Pursuing an appointment requires a balance of patience and persis- tence.
  • There are an estimated 5,100 political positions in the President’s Administration, ranging from entry-level special assistant and confidential assistant positions up to senior Ambassador and Cabinet-level posts. About two-thirds of the positions are full-time (many based in Washington, D.C. but others based across the U.S.) The other third is comprised of part-time service on various boards and commissions.
  • The number of vacancies in a President’s second-term are more limited, since many appointees are continuing their service, though openings may occur at any point during the coming years. NHLA is committed to helping the Administra- tion build the bench now so that we can support candidates, whether matching vacancies arise now or at some point in the future.
  • It is critical to connect your experiences and interests to the position you want to hold. The political appointment process is a bit of a matching game, taking into account candidates’ qualifications, the culture of the office, the profile the hiring office desires, and the profile of what is the right fit for the candidate.
  • The hours for appointees are long and the pace intense.
  • There is much public/press scrutiny.
  • Most applicants under serious consideration for an appoint- ment will go through a full FBI background check in which their employ-ment, professional, personal, travel, medical, financial, legal, military and educational histories will be reviewed and scrutinized.
  • The financial holdings and sources of income for most applicants under serious consideration must be disclosed for review for possible conflicts of interest. Most appointees’ dealings with the Federal government during, and for a pe- riod of time after their service, will be significantly restricted to prevent possible conflicts of interest.

WH Salazar Munoz

President Barack Obama meets with Cabinet members, including Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, and senior administration officials, including Latina appointees Nancy Sutley (end of the table, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality) and Cecilia Muñoz (to the right of then-chief of staff Rahm Emmanuel) to deter- mine next steps in responding to the BP oil spill in 2010. Click this photo to read more about Latina appointees working in the White House. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

  • Before starting the application process, please have all of your education information, employment information, references, and desired appointment position available.
  • In addition, please ensure that enough time is set aside to complete the application in one setting. Not doing so will result in multiple application submissions that will delay the processing of your application. Estimated time needed to complete application: 30 minutes.
  • It is very important to be specific. If you believe you are qualified for multiple positions, indicate all of them.
  • It is very challenging to process resumes for candidates who only generally express “a desire to serve” or a “desire to help. “The Plum Book, which is available online, is a great resource to help with this.
  • NHLA’s Latino Appointments Program is designed to identify and support Latino professionals. NHLA has no authority or official role with respect to the federal government’s hiring. Your acceptance into our program does not mean that you will be advantaged in the appointment or nomination process, though it is our hope that the professional development and support we provide can help you become a stronger candidate.

Serving as a political appointee can be a very rewarding and meaningful experience -- both for you and for the community. Once you’re ready to apply for NHLA support, please click here to complete the online application.