Black Talent Initiative

The Black Talent Initiative (BTI) is the largest database of Black talent in the United States for Presidential appointments, welcoming Black professionals from all across the 50 states. We are working with the incoming President’s administration to identify a pool of top Black candidates for positions in government that will make decisions that will have implications for decades in our country.  In addition to identifying positions that are important to the Black community, we are also recruiting and submitting candidates for consideration that could trigger long-term systemic change in policies and practices in the federal government. 

Black voters account for about 20% of Democratic voters and are regularly underrepresented in both Democratic and Republican administrations. And many diversity projects in the past have not accomplished meaningful levels of promotion and placement of Black candidates in presidential appointments. 

Therefore, we are building on our 2016 experience by convening over forty-five organizations and partners to work on transition personnel issues. Our team brings extensive expertise in presidential personnel appointments (including knowledge of agencies, positions, and the selection and vetting processes). With the help of our partners, we are positioned to provide hundreds of candidates to the administration for leadership positions at the White House, executive branch agencies, and independent agencies with direct responsibility in overseeing the implementation of federal policies and programs that significantly and/or disproportionately affect Black communities, federal prosecutors, and federal judges.

Apply Here

Thinking about a career in public service?  Apply here to explore whether serving in government is right for you.

Email us to learn more

Political Appointment Process

The Biden-Harris administration will have over 4000 political appointments. We recommend these resources to anyone exploring whether public service is a good fit. 

First, explore the different types of political appointments in the Plum Book. Every four years, just after the Presidential election, the Plum Book is published and used to identify presidentially appointed positions within the Federal Government.

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Watch our video to learn more

Join Our Efforts

The Black Talent Initiatives’ work is powered by our incredible group of funders and partners.  Join in to support our efforts today!

The Black Talent Initiative is powered by our esteemed partners and organizations. Our combined efforts have resulted in the collection of resumes that have been submitted to serve in high-ranking White House, cabinet, and subcabinet positions. Our work is reflected in the statement below from John Jones, the former head of African American appointments on the Clinton-Kaine Transition Team:

John Jones

The Joint Center’s Black Talent Initiative was an invaluable resource to the Clinton-Kaine Transition Team in 2016. The Joint Center’s extensive experience in working with the Obama-Biden Transition team in 2008 and its track record of promoting the inclusion of African Americans in government leadership positions uniquely positioned it to assist with one of my core responsibilities for the transition team—assembling names for appointments of talented Black people for positions in a potential new administration. The Joint Center’s familiarity with the organizational structure of executive branch agencies and the White House—as well as its understanding of the political appointment process—allows it to take on this work through an informed lens of how government functions and what type of talent is needed in critical roles.

The Joint Center’s deep relationships with Black government officials with federal executive branch, the judicial branch, and congressional experience allowed it to identify and submit experienced high-quality Black talent who would be ready to go on day one. The Black Talent Initiative’s deep collaboration with over 30 other Black and civil rights-focused organizations from around the nation ensured that various voices and priorities were heard and considered in the process and that the pool of candidates submitted included many talented people who were outside of the Beltway and had not previously served in the federal government. The Joint Center’s constant advice, expertise, and engagement of various Black organizations allowed the Clinton-Kaine Transition team to be more effective in representing the interests of Black communities.

John H. Jones

Co-Director, Outreach and Engagement

2016 Clinton-Kaine Transition Team 

Portrait of General Loyd Austin
General Loyd Austin

Secretary of the Department of Defense

Chief of Staff Tina Flournoy
Tina Flournoy

Chief of Staff to the Vice President

Cecilia Rouse
Cecilia Rouse

Council of Economic Advisers Chair

Portrait of Marcia Fudge
the Honorable Marcia Fudge

Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development

https://i1.wp.com/blacktalentinitiative.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/adewale-wally-adeyamo.jpg?fit=507%2C512&ssl=1
Adewale “Wally” Adeyamo

Deputy Treasury Secretary

Portrait of Susan Rice
the Honorable Susan Rice

Head of the White House Domestic Policy Council

Portrait of General Loyd Austin
General Loyd Austin

Secretary of the Department of Defense

Chief of Staff Tina Flournoy
Tina Flournoy

Chief of Staff to the Vice President

Cecilia Rouse
Cecilia Rouse

Council of Economic Advisers Chair

Portrait of Marcia Fudge
the Honorable Marcia Fudge

Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development

https://i1.wp.com/blacktalentinitiative.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/adewale-wally-adeyamo.jpg?fit=507%2C512&ssl=1
Adewale “Wally” Adeyamo

Deputy Treasury Secretary

Portrait of Susan Rice
the Honorable Susan Rice

Head of the White House Domestic Policy Council

Contact Us

    The Black Talent Initiative is powered by our esteemed partners and organizations. Our combined efforts have resulted in the collection of resumes that have been submitted to serve in high-ranking White House, cabinet, and subcabinet positions. Our work is reflected in the statement below from John Jones, the former head of African American appointments on the Clinton-Kaine Transition Team:

    John Jones

    The Joint Center’s Black Talent Initiative was an invaluable resource to the Clinton-Kaine Transition Team in 2016. The Joint Center’s extensive experience in working with the Obama-Biden Transition team in 2008 and its track record of promoting the inclusion of African Americans in government leadership positions uniquely positioned it to assist with one of my core responsibilities for the transition team—assembling names for appointments of talented Black people for positions in a potential new administration. The Joint Center’s familiarity with the organizational structure of executive branch agencies and the White House—as well as its understanding of the political appointment process—allows it to take on this work through an informed lens of how government functions and what type of talent is needed in critical roles.

    The Joint Center’s deep relationships with Black government officials with federal executive branch, the judicial branch, and congressional experience allowed it to identify and submit experienced high-quality Black talent who would be ready to go on day one. The Black Talent Initiative’s deep collaboration with over 30 other Black and civil rights-focused organizations from around the nation ensured that various voices and priorities were heard and considered in the process and that the pool of candidates submitted included many talented people who were outside of the Beltway and had not previously served in the federal government. The Joint Center’s constant advice, expertise, and engagement of various Black organizations allowed the Clinton-Kaine Transition team to be more effective in representing the interests of Black communities.

    John H. Jones

    Co-Director, Outreach and Engagement

    2016 Clinton-Kaine Transition Team