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“There is uncertainty on what the policies are going to be and what they are going to do,” says TMG’s Ivan Adler for CEO Update.

By William Ehart | February 17, 2017

The job front is relatively quiet at this point in a presidential transition, and executive recruiters say it’s because of the unique nature of the Trump administration—and the turmoil associated with it.

“In a transition year, there tends to be more changes at an earlier stage, but this year seems to be moving a bit more slowly,” said Stephanie Tomasso, head of the association practice at Russell Reynolds Associates.

Hiring organizations are “puzzled,” she said. “People don’t know what to expect.”

“A lot of the people who are involved in the administration aren’t necessarily ‘of Washington,’ so that, too, has diminished the shuffling of chairs,” she said.

Typically during a presidential transition, the administration would he hiring loyalists and others from the ranks of associations, and associations, in turn, would be replacing them and staffing up their advocacy departments for best advantage in the new environment. But Trump administration hiring has been slow for sub-cabinet positions.


Ivan Adler, principal at The McCormick Group, cited a high degree of uncertainty among Washington players.

“You have an administration that’s come in that’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen, where nobody has any idea what’s going to happen.

“There is uncertainty on what the policies are going to be and what they are going to do, so corporations and associations and organizations in general are hesitating to make decisions until they feel more comfortable,” Adler said.

“This president doesn’t have a normal constituency of people to choose from, who openly supported the president, for these political appointments,” he said.

Adler also said some association GR staffers may be reluctant to take a chance on joining an administration in turmoil. “There’s a lack of a comfort level in leaving their current positions,” he said.

“Usually, there’s this epic game of musical chairs, and that hasn’t happened yet,” Adler said. “It’s been delayed.”

To read the rest of the article, go to | CEO Update

To contact Ivan Adler, go to | Ivan Adler


The McCormick Group is a national executive search consulting firm that since 1974 has delivered high-qualified candidates to fill key positions across a diverse range of industries and all functional disciplines.

As the largest executive search firm based in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region, The McCormick Group has superior knowledge of federal Washington and its impact on the nation’s business community and non-profit sector.