Why Isn't the PBS Commissioner Position a 10 Year Appointment?
By Ron Kendall

Mr. Kendall is a former staff director for the congressional subcommittee with direct oversight of the GSA Public Buildings Service, where, years earlier, he labored as a career civil servant for 26 years.  Mr. Kendall currently serves as Executive Chairman of the National Federal Development Association (NFDA) and as Executive Vice President for Government Relations at Easterly Government Properties, Inc. ([email protected]) The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the views of the NFDA or of Easterly Government Properties, Inc., its affiliates and/or its subsidiaries.  

The Architect of the Capitol is a job filled by a term appointment of 10 years.  The head of the Government Accountability Office, (the Comptroller General of the U.S.), is appointed for a term of 15 years.  The FBI Director is appointed to a term of 10 years; the IRS Commissioner to a term of 5 years.  

What these jobs have in common is that they are regarded as essentially apolitical positions in government that benefit from having professional managers in them: executives who can provide competent leadership for the intermediate to long-term.  Congress, in its wisdom, clearly saw that the nation is best served if such general administrative organs of government as the IRS, the GAO, and the Architect of the Capitol, are steered, not by a succession of political appointees changed out at least once per new presidency, if not more often, but by strong, seasoned professionals who can provide continuity to administrative operations for extensive durations. Read the entire article here.