George W. Bush | Presidential Cabinet Members

Updated June 18, 2019 | Infoplease Staff

Cabinet Members of George W. Bush
The first term

by Beth Rowen

Inaugural Factfile

Biography: George W. Bush

Inaugural Oratory

Presidential Inaugural Addresses

Presidential Inaugural Addresses: Length and Date of Speech

How is a President Nominated and Elected
President George W. Bush wasted no time assembling his cabinet after the Supreme Court ruled in his favor on Dec. 13, 2000, setting the stage for him to become the 43rd president of the United States. He promptly appointed retired Gen. Colin Powell as his choice for secretary of state, a selection lauded by Republicans and Democrats alike.

With his choice of appointees, Bush has assembled a cabinet unprecedented for its inclusiveness. Indeed, he has selected two African Americans, two Asian Americans, four women, and one Cuban American. Of all his nominees, only a few have been criticized by Democrats for their conservative ideology. Several of Bush's choices served under his father, President George Bush, as well as presidents Reagan, Ford, and Nixon.

Bush's initial pick for secretary of labor, Linda Chavez, withdrew after it was revealed that she opened her home to an illegal immigrant from Guatemala, who performed light housekeeping and child care. Chavez said she sporadically gave the woman spending money, which amounted to about $1,500.

Here is a list of President George W. Bush's cabinet appointees:

Secretary of State
Colin Powell Retired Gen. Colin Powell. The ultimate Washington insider, Powell, who has served four presidents, himself considered a run for the presidency in 1996. He boasts a long and formidable résumé, and a G.I. Joe action figure bears his likeness. Powell did a four-year stint as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, serving under both President Bush and President Clinton. He retired in 1993, and in 1997 he established America's Promise—the Alliance for Youth, a charitable organization formed to help needy and at-risk U.S. children.
Secretary of the Treasury
John Snow John Snow. John Snow became President Bush's second treasury secretary in Feb. 2003, replacing Paul H. O'Neill, whom the president felt had not been an effective spokesman for the administration's economic policies. Before becoming treasury secretary, Snow spent 14 years as the chairman of CSX , the country's largest railroad, and served as an undersecretary in the Department of Transportation during the Ford administration. One of Snow's first major jobs will be selling President Bush's controversial 2003 tax-cut plan.
Secretary of Defense
Donald H RumsfeldDonald H. Rumsfeld. The role as secretary of defense is not a new one for Rumsfeld. He held the same position under President Ford. The role of the U.S. military, however, has changed dramatically since 1975. Rumsfeld has indicated that he favors building an impenetrable national missile defense system. He and Vice President Dick Cheney have strong ties that date back to the Nixon administration, when Cheney served as Rumsfeld's assistant in the Office of Economic Opportunity. In 1974, Rumsfeld led President Ford's transition team, and he brought Cheney, his protégé, to the executive office. When Rumsfeld was named secretary of defense in 1975, Cheney was appointed Ford's chief of staff. Rumsfeld served in Congress from 1962 to 1969 as a representative from Illinois. When President Carter was elected in 1976, Rumsfeld entered the private sector. He recently headed a panel that concluded countries such as North Korea and Iran could eventually have the capacity to launch ballistic missiles at the United States. The commission's report helped to reinvigorate the debate over the need for a national missile defense.
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