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ERIC Number: EJ829032
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan-16
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Mr. Professor Goes to Washington
Basken, Paul
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n19 pA1 Jan 2009
For Daniel J. Kaniewski, the magic formula needed to redirect his career path from anonymous academic researcher to presidential policy adviser was only 719 words long. A single newspaper column that he wrote in April 2005 succinctly criticized the Department of Homeland Security's disaster-preparation plans. A few months later, a White House official called Mr. Kaniewski at his George Washington University office and offered him a choice of five staff jobs. President-elect Barack Obama promised during the campaign that he would staff federal agencies by choosing only those candidates who had "proven excellence" in their field. That could mean surprise phone calls from Washington over the next few months for professors and deans with expertise in soil engineering, civil rights, aviation safety, economic forecasting, or hundreds of other disciplines. Or not. As much as Mr. Obama may hope to find the most-qualified applicants, the widespread expectation among experts is that most of the 8,000 "political appointee" jobs available for him to fill will be taken by those with personal ties to the new president or his campaign. Real academic expertise can help but it usually won't be the deciding factor.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Washington