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A Message from the National Academy

What is PrunesOnline?

Tools for Success

Welcome to PrunesOnline, an inventory and description of the toughest management and policy-making jobs in the federal government.  Whether you are an interested member of the public or the press – or someone who aspires to one of these 120 Presidentially-appointed jobs – we think you’ll find insightful and valuable information on PrunesOnline.  

So, why “prunes”?   A good question.  The title is a play on “The Plum Book”, which Congress publishes to coincide with every Presidential election.  It lists the thousands of jobs, board and commission seats that a President can fill.  “Prunes” are “Plums” that are seasoned by experience and with a much thicker skin – and these jobs are among the toughest in Washington. 

Find out who already has been tapped for these critical positions, the background they bring to the job, where they are in the Senate confirmation process, and learn about the current challenges of the agency and the Department that will be their home. You will also find useful resources for Presidential nominees navigating the appointment and confirmation process, and strategies for surviving and thriving as a new appointee in a “prune” job.  As an added feature, you’ll find relevant National Academy studies for many of these organizations. 

The National Academy of Public Administration – the Home of Good Government -- is pleased to host this on-line resource.  As a non-profit, independent coalition of top public management and organizational leaders, our 600 distinguished Fellows and experienced professional staff are dedicated to helping government provide accountable, efficient, effective and transparent organizations that deliver results.  We recognize the importance of effective leadership in these challenging times, and as a Congressionally chartered organization, we are trusted across government to provide objective management advice and practical solutions to vexing problems. 

We are grateful to the Council on Excellence in Government (CEG), which created PrunesOnline with the guidance and support of Frank Weil.  When CEG closed its doors earlier this year, they asked us – and the National Academy eagerly agreed – to continue this important service.  We have added a number of features and resources which we believe make its content even richer.  No matter what your perspective – prospective appointee, stakeholder, press or public – we hope you will find it both useful and interesting. 

Jennifer Dorn
Jennnifer L. Dorn
President and CEO
The National Academy of Public Administration 


 

PrunesOnline is an inventory of thPrune Book Onlinee toughest management and policy-making jobs in the federal government. The site provides information about the incumbent and previous office-holders for approximately 120 Presidentially appointed positions. The 2008 Prune Job Profiles include links to a wealth of information about federal agencies and departments, explaining the challenges facing the next occupants of these demanding positions. In this electronic format, the Prune Job Profiles are fully searchable and will be kept up to date throughout the new administration and beyond.

PrunesOnline is a must-have tool for prospective Presidential appointees, members of Congress, journalists, advocacy groups, and members of the public who want to know more about leaders in government. It's your guide to the presidential appointment process and the people involved.

A Survivor's Guide for Presidential Nominees 
Developed by the Council for Excellence in Government

An updated, electronic version of our popular book, A SurSurvivor's Guide Iconvivor's Guide for Presidential Nominees, has been released. This definitive book is a must-have guide for anyone seeking a nominated position in the administration during the 08/09 Presidential transition. Click here for more. 


The Presidential Appointee Roadmap
Sponsored by Touchstone Consulting Group 

The nRoadmap iconew Survivor's Guide also includes an interactive Presidential Appointee Roadmap with steps, mileposts, obstacles and a path to the finish line. 



The Plum Book

The Plum Book published by Plum Book Iconthe U.S. Congress to facilitate the process of all presidential appointments. The Plum Book lists more than 7,000 noncompetitive appointments nationwide and includes data on positions such as agency heads and their immediate subordinates, policy executives and advisors, and aides who report to these officials.