For administration officials of former President Donald Trump, the challenges of seeking employment in the post-Trump era were already apparent last year following President Joe Biden’s victory in the election. And in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection on Capitol Hill, the job search outlook has become even more bleak, as many officials may find themselves blacklisted from roles in lobbying and beyond.
Despite the current environment, listing a Trump administration job on a résumé isn’t necessarily a deal breaker for those hoping to land work in the corporate world. Some former officials have been able to escape pariah status, despite their association with the administration.
Case in point: In early January, IBM Corp. named Gary Cohn to its executive leadership team as vice chairman. Cohn previously worked in the Trump administration as Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, and Director of the National Economic Council from January 2017 to April 2018. Prior to his stint in the public sector, Cohn enjoyed a 26-year career with Goldman, Sachs & Co., culminating as president and chief operating officer.
Leadership Connect has tracked 32 people (listed below) who made the transition to the corporate world from Trump’s Executive Office of the President. Like Cohn, the majority had impressive résumés before joining the administration, and the vast majority (87%) left the administration in 2019 or earlier. The most common sources of talent, at 23% and 16% respectively, are the National Security Council and National Economic Council, both less overtly political offices that require policy expertise likely to be invaluable in the corporate sphere.
History has shown that battered reputations can be rehabilitated in Washington. As the events of Jan. 6 fade into the distance, the Trump stigma may also fade, even for staffers who remained with the administration until the end. The officials with well-established careers and connections before joining the Trump administration will likely land on their feet.
People Who Moved from EOP Offices to Corporate Jobs
|Name||Corporate Role||Most Recent Trump EOP Career|
|Jarrod P. Agen||Vice President, Global Media & Digital Communications, Lockheed Martin Corporation||Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Communications, Office of the Vice President (01/2017-06/28/2019)|
|Caroline Berson||Senior Director, Global Public Policy and Strategic Engagement, PepsiCo, Inc.||Senior Advisor, International Economic Affairs, National Security Council (10/2015-4/2017)|
|John R. Bolton||Senior Advisor, Rhône Group LLC||Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, Office of the National Security Advisor, National Security Council Staff (04/09/2018-09/10/2019)|
|Anil T. Cheriyan||Executive Vice President, Strategy and Technology, Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation||Member, American Technology Council (01/2019-07/2020)|
|Gary D. Cohn||Vice Chairman, IBM||Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director, National Economic Council (01/20/2017-04/2018)|
|Joanne Collins Smee||Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial, SMB and Channels Officer, Xerox Holdings Corporation||Member, American Technology Council, Executive Office of the President (2017-2018)|
|Joseph F. Dunford||Director, Board of Directors, Lockheed Martin Corporation||Statutory Military Advisor, National Security Council (2015-09/30/2019)|
|Everett H. Eissenstat||Senior Vice President, Global Public Policy, General Motors Company||Deputy Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs and Deputy Director, National Economic Council (06/2017-07/2018)|
|Sherika Ekpo||Global Diversity & Inclusion Lead, Artificial Intelligence, Google LLC||Head of People Operations & Diversity, U.S. Digital Service, Office of Management and Budget (2018-2019)|
|Anthony J. Ferrante||Senior Managing Director and Global Head, Cybersecurity, FTI Forensic and Litigation Consulting, FTI Consulting, Inc.||Director, Cyber Incident Response and Cybersecurity Policy Cybersecurity, National Security Council (10/2015-04/2017)|
|Abe Goldschmidt||Senior Director, Strategic Initiatives, Oracle Corporation||Special Assistant to the President (01/2017-10/2019)|
|Susan M. Gordon||Consultant, Microsoft Corporation; Director, Board of Directors, CACI International Inc||Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, Office of the Director, Office of the Director of National Intelligence (08/07/2017-08/15/2019)|
|Michael O. Halas||Assistant General Counsel, Cybersecurity, Deloitte LLP||Director for Government Cybersecurity, National Security Council Staff (01/2018-09/2019)|
|Jordan Rae Kelly||Senior Managing Director and Head of Cybersecurity, Americas, FTI Forensic and Litigation Consulting, FTI Consulting, Inc.||Director for Cybersecurity Policy and Incident Response, National Security Council Staff (04/2017-01/2019)|
|Shahira E. Knight||Managing Principal, Policy & Government Relations, Deloitte LLP||Assistant to the President and Director, Office of Legislative Affairs, The White House Office (07/2018-06/07/2019)|
|Grace E. Koh||Vice President, Legislative Affairs, Nokia Corporation||Special Assistant to the President for Technology, Telecom, and Cyber-Security Policy, National Economic Council (02/2017-03/2018)|
|Weston Y. Loyd||Senior Account Executive, International Public Affairs, Edelman Washington, D.C.,||Regional Communications Director, Media Affairs, Office of Communications (10/2018-02/21/2020)|
|Brittany Masalosalo||Lobbyist, International Affairs and Public Policy, 3M Company||Senior Advisor to the National Security Advisor, National Security, Office of the Vice President (2017-04/2018)|
|James N. Mattis||Director, Board of Directors, General Dynamics Corporation||Secretary of Defense (01/20/2017-01/01/2019)|
|Christopher Melly||Vice President, Government Affairs, AIG||Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Services, Services and Investment, Office of the United States Trade Representative (6/2003-5/2018)|
|Molly C. Montgomery||Senior Vice President, Albright Stonebridge Group||Special Advisor to the Vice President for Europe and Russia, National Security, Office of the Vice President (02/2017-03/2018)|
|Cara Morrow||Manager, E-Commerce Policy, Facebook, Inc.||Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative, World Trade Organization and Multilateral Affairs, Office of the United States Trade Representative (04/2014-08/2020)|
|Rick Perry||Director, Board of Directors, Energy Transfer LP||Secretary of Energy (03/02/2017-11/28/2019)|
|Dina H. Powell McCormick||Partner, Investment Banking Division, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.||Assistant to the President and Senior Counselor for Economic Initiatives, Office of the Chief of Staff, The White House Office (2017-2018)|
|Latham G. Saddler||Chief of Staff, Synovus Financial Corp.||White House Fellow, Office of Economic Initiatives and Entrepreneurship, The White House Office (8/2018-8/2019)|
|William J. Sauer||Director, Federal Regulatory Affairs, Duke Energy Corporation||Senior Advisor, National Economic Council (10/2018-04/2019)|
|Paul J. Selva||Trustee, Board of Trustees, The Aerospace Corporation||Member, NSC Deputies Committee, National Security Council (07/31/2015-08/01/2019)|
|Raj S. Shah||Senior Vice President, Fox Corporation||Deputy Assistant to the President and Principal Deputy Press Secretary, Office of the Press Secretary, Office of Communications (09/2017-01/2019)|
|Abigail A. Slater||Senior Vice President, Policy and Strategy, Fox Corporation||Special Assistant to the President for Technology, Telecom, and Cyber-Security Policy, National Economic Council (02/2018-04/2019)|
|Steven H. Walker||Chief Technology Officer, Lockheed Martin Corporation||Co-Chair, Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence, National Science and Technology Council (2018-01/10/2020)|
|Daniel P. Walsh||Senior Vice President and Corporate Strategic Advisor, CACI International Inc||Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Office of the Chief of Staff, The White House Office (07/2018-12/2019)|
|Lindsay E. Walters||Vice President, U.S. Public Affairs, Edelman Washington, D.C.||Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Press Secretary, Office of the Press Secretary, Office of Communications (01/2017-04/12/2019)|