Personnel Map Methodology

The information in this tool is accurate to the best of our knowledge. This tool is meant to be thorough but it should not be considered comprehensive. If you see anything that you believe is incorrect or think we’ve missed something important please let us know by emailing [email protected]

The Personnel Map charts an economic sector’s interests in non-career positions throughout the executive branch. Positions that are included are either Presidentially Appointed and Senate Confirmed, Presidentially Appointed, or political hires falling under other categories. 

For each sector, the Revolving Door Project identified approximately 10 of the sector’s largest companies and 3 to 5 of the most significant trade associations representing that sector. We used the interests of this group as a proxy for the sector’s interests overall. From there we examined:

  • the company or association’s lobbying records, identifying the agencies that it was lobbying and the specific positions with jurisdiction over the rules or guidance in question;
  • the source of any federal subsidies the company had received using Good Jobs First’s Subsidy Tracker;
  • records of any federal enforcement actions against the company using Good Jobs First’s Violations Tracker;
  • membership on Federal Advisory Committees.

The Project also relied on input from issue area experts to capture positions these strategies may have missed. Sectors’ interests in a given position were rated as either “very,” “somewhat,” or “a little” interested based on a loose assessment of the position’s influence over the sector in terms of regulatory jurisdiction, enforcement power, or subsidy power. 

Descriptions for each position were drawn from agency websites wherever possible and drafted by team members when necessary. 
We used the 2016 Plumbook for reference with regards to position names and their designations as politically-appointed or Senate-confirmed.

You can view and download the data here.