E. Pendleton James


E. Pendleton James has over thirty years experience in the executive search field. He is a 1954 graduate of the University of the Pacific and did graduate work at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Santa Clara. After several positions in personnel management and recruiting, Pen James became a member of President Nixon's White House staff (1970-1972), where he served as Deputy Special Assistant to the President with primary responsibility for recruiting leading figures to fill Presidential appointment positions. Returning to the private sector in 1981, he was president and owner of Pen James & Associates, Inc., an executive search firm headquartered in Los Angeles. In 1980, he became director of personnel for President-elect Reagan. From January 1981 to August 1982, he served in the Reagan White House as Assistant to the President for Presidential Personnel, where he was responsible for Cabinet and sub-Cabinet appointments in all departments and agencies of the Federal Government, as well as appointments to regulatory agencies, boards, commissions, and ambassadorships. In April 1983, President Reagan nominated James to a three-year term on the Board of Directors of the Communications Satellite Corporation. He later returned to his company and, in 1996, James sold his interests in Pen James & Associates. He is also a former member of the board of the Metropolitan Life Series Fund and the White House Fellows Commission. He currently serves on the Board of the Citizens for Democracy Corps, which fosters privatization in Eastern Europe. During his career, he has been involved in a number of civic and philanthropic organizations.

About the Transcript

Pendleton James describes the creation and organization of the Office of Presidential Personnel, headed by Fred Malek, to centralize the presidential appointment process in the second year of the Nixon administration. He recalls Barbara Franklin's appointment and her role in the recruiting operation, describing the difficult battle she fought against male resistance and general indifference to the concept of recruiting women for executive positions. He credits Franklin's tenacity, hard work, and even personality with the success of the operation, but also notes that it had to be fully supported by the president and Bob Haldeman for it to be at all successful. James describes this effort as "the beginning of a watershed" for women in leadership roles. While comparing the recruitment of women in the Nixon and Reagan White Houses, James also discusses the broader issues of recruiting women executives in the business world and reflects on the increasing concerns of male and female executives for lifestyle choices. In this he concludes that the differences between the concerns of men and women in considering these types of positions is gradually disappearing.