Kay Coles James, President, Heritage Foundation
As its eighth president, the Heritage Foundation – the conservative think tank Donald Trump called a “real friend” – picked a female, African-American, 12-year board member with plenty of experience in state and federal government. As director of the Office of Personnel Management in George W. Bush’s administration, she merged 22 different government agencies to form the sprawling Department of Homeland Security. The think tank she now heads earned Trump’s favor by flooding his transition team with hundreds of policy recommendations, ranging from quitting the Paris climate accord to Supreme Court nominees. At least 25 former Heritage staffers made their own transition to jobs throughout the administration.