UT Dallas researchers recently published a study examining the appointment of women and minorities to top federal positions under the past three presidential administrations, from former President Bill Clinton through President Barack Obama’s first term.
“The legacy of the
three last administrations is both concerning and promising for the role that
race and gender diversity holds in presidential agendas,” Meghna
Sabharwal, who co-authored the study with Ph.D. candidate Katerina Anestaki. “Our
findings show that female and minority political appointees were better
represented during a Democratic rather than a Republican presidency.”
According to the
study, former President Bill Clinton appointed the highest rates of African
Americans and Hispanics while President Obama appointed the highest rate of
Asians/Pacific Islanders. The two democratic presidents had even rates of women
appointments. Former President George W. Bush had the lowest rates in all
“If we want the
representative democracy that the government has always aimed for, it’s
important to have competent people in leadership positions who reflect the
general demographics of the population,” Sabharwal said. “Shared values between citizens and
administrators lead the latter to make decisions on behalf of, and for, the
interest of citizens. Ensuring greater workforce diversity has become a
fundamental value for political actors and institutions.”
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