Wednesday, November 8, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He promoted his son's wife's brother to a chief of staff position at the Energy Department.

Kyle Yunaska, announced today as the new chief of staff for the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis at the Department of Energy, had no experience in government or the energy industry before being given a job in the DoE in February. A 2007 graduate of East Carolina University, Yunasaka's alumni page lists the following skills: "Team Building, Strategy, Management, Entrepreneurship, Project Planning, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Office, PowerPoint, Budgets, Public Speaking, Strategic Planning, Business Strategy, Microsoft Word, Customer Service, Event Planning, Data Analysis, Social Media, Community Outreach, Research, Analysis, Customer Satisfaction, [and] Account Management."

Yunaska's new assignment is to the department that was previously responsible for coordinating climate change initiatives for the federal government. It is not clear what function it will have under Trump. Prior to his appointment shortly after his sister's father-in-law's election, he worked for Vail Resorts and was named one of Washington DC's "hottest bachelors" by Inside Edition.

Hundreds of other critical positions in the federal government, many of them more senior than Yunaska's new job, remain unfilled. In fact, the Department of Energy is the least-staffed of all executive departments, with no nominee having been made for 68% of its senior positions as of October 12. Some of those jobs are being done by acting officials, who will lose legal authority to perform those jobs on November 16.

So what?

  • Nepotism (giving jobs to relatives with no obvious qualifications) is bad.