close
close

Former Trump Administration Officials Involved in Project 2025: Full List

Former Trump Administration Officials Involved in Project 2025: Full List

Although former President Donald Trump denied any involvement with Project 2025, dozens of people served in his administration and helped develop controversial policy proposals.

Created by the right-wing think tank The Heritage Foundation, Project 2025 is a 900-page document of proposed policies for a future Republican administration. Its goal is to remove civil service employment protections for thousands of federal workers so they can be fired and replaced by Republican loyalists.

He then proposes radical right-wing changes to the federal government, including eliminating the Department of Education, cutting Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, rolling back renewable energy programs to create a regulatory environment favorable to the fossil fuel industry, restricting the sale of custom abortion pills, and removing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) hiring policies from federal programs. Many of the proposed policies are unpopular with voters.

Various critics have described Project 2025 as a “significant step toward authoritarian government” and will likely “destroy American democracy.”

The White House, July 3, 2024. Dozens of former members of the Trump administration have supported Project 2025.

Jacquelyn Martin/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Trump tried to distance himself from the proposed policies last Friday, writing on Truth Social: “I know nothing about Project 2025. I have no idea who is behind it. I disagree with some of the things they say, and some of it is absolutely ridiculous and pathetic. Whatever they do, I wish them luck, but I have nothing to do with them.”

The 2025 Project has repeatedly said that it “does not speak on behalf of any candidate or campaign.

“We are a coalition of more than 110 conservative groups advocating for policy and personnel recommendations for the next conservative president,” a Project 2025 spokesman said in a statement.

But questions have been raised about how close Project 2025 will be to a possible future Trump administration, with a Democratic spokesman saying Trump and Project 2025 are “one big MAGA operation.”

Many of the document’s authors, including its director Paul Dans, co-editor Steven Groves and deputy director Spencer Chretien, all previously worked in the Trump administration.

In all, 31 aides have served at various levels in and around the Trump administration. Here is the complete list:

Paul Dancing – Dans served as Chief of Staff at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management from February 2020 to December 2020. One of Dans’ duties was to liaise with the White House to help fill out lists for the approximately 4,000 presidential appointees across the federal government. Dans is the director of Project 2025.

Steven Groves Groves served as a special assistant to Trump, defending him against Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 election. He served as Trump’s deputy press secretary in 2019 and 2020. Before that, in 2017, he served as chief of staff to Nikki Haley when she was the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Groves was an editor of the policy brief Project 2025.

Spencer Chretien – Chretien served as Special Assistant to the President in 2020 and 2021. His work included identifying, recruiting and placing political staffers at all levels of government. Chretien is the deputy director of Project 2025.

Jonathan Berry – In 2017 and 2018, Berry served as Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice (DOJ). In 2016 and 2017, Berry also served on President Trump’s transition team, advising on ethics and legal policy.

Adam Kandeub – Candeub served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Justice in 2020. In 2019, he served as a senior trade official at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

Dustin J. Carmack – Carmack served as chief of staff to the director of national intelligence in 2020 and 2021.

Brendan Carr – A member of the Trump and Biden administrations, Carr was appointed by Trump to the Federal Communications Commission. His position expired in 2023 and was renewed by Biden; it will expire in 2028.

Ben Carson – Carson, one of the most prominent black conservatives in the United States, served as the 17th president.t United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 2017 to 2021. Carson ran in the 2016 Republican primary before withdrawing and endorsing Trump.

Ken Cuccinelli – Cuccinelli served as acting secretary of homeland security from 2019 to 2021. In 2020, a congressional watchdog issued a report finding that he was unlawfully appointed to the position.

Rick Dearborn Dearborn served as deputy chief of staff in the Trump White House in 2017 and 2018. Before Trump’s inauguration, Dearborn served as staff director on the presidential transition team.

Diana Furchtgott-Roth – In 2018 and 2019, Furchtgott-Roth served as acting deputy assistant secretary for economic policy at the Treasury Department.

Thomas Gilman – From 2019 to 2021, Gilman held two concurrent positions at the Department of Commerce: chief financial officer and deputy secretary for administration.

Mandy Gunasekara – Gunasekara served as Chief of Staff of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2020 and 2021. She has served as a senior policy advisor at EPA since 2017.

Gene Hamilton – Hamilton served as legal adviser to the attorney general at the Department of Justice from 2017 to 2021.

Jennifer Hazelton – Hazelton served as a public relations officer at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in 2020 and 2021. In 2017, she also served as a public relations officer at the State Department.

Hemenway Branch – Hemenway served as deputy director for national security in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel, which is responsible for vetting new appointees. He also founded the Association of Republican Presidential Appointees.

Dennis Dean Kirk — Kirk was supposed to serve as chairman of the Merit Systems Protection Board, an agency that gives federal employees, including whistleblowers, a place to appeal if they believe they were wrongfully fired. Trump nominated him for the position in 2018. But the Senate delayed confirming him and he never took the job, meaning the board didn’t have enough members to operate during the Trump administration. That caused a backlog of complaints.

Bernard McNamee – McNamee served as a commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission from 2018 to 2020.

Christopher Miller Miller served in three Trump administration roles in just seven months. In June 2020, he was named acting deputy secretary of defense, in August 2020, he was named director of the National Counterterrorism Center, and from November 2020 to January 2021, he served as acting secretary of defense.

Stephen Moore – Moore was not a member of the Trump administration but advised him on his 2016 presidential campaign. Trump nominated Moore for governor of the Federal Reserve but withdrew his candidacy after facing criticism following the resurfacing of historical articles he wrote demeaning female athletes.

Mora Namdar – Namdar served as Acting Deputy Secretary of State at the State Department from December 2020 to January 2021. Before that, she served as a policy advisor at the same department since 2019.

Peter Navarro One of the most prominent members of the Trump administration, Navarro served as director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy from 2017 to 2021. He also served as director of the National Trade Council in 2017. Navarro has been a close adviser to Trump, primarily on trade, but has also advised on the COVID-19 response and Trump’s false claims of election fraud. Navarro refused to defer to a House impeachment committee on the Jan. 6 attack. He was indicted by a grand jury on two counts of contempt of Congress and ultimately pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to four months in prison and fined $9,500. He is scheduled to be released from prison next week.

William Perry Pendley – Pendley served as acting director of the Bureau of Land Management from 2019 to 2021.

Max Primorac – Primorac served as USAID’s acting chief operating officer from November 2020 to January 2021. Prior to that, he worked as an advisor at the same agency since 2018.

Roger Severino – From 2017 to 2021, Severino served as Director of the Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Kiron Skinner – Skinner served as director of policy planning at the State Department from 2018 to 2019. Before that, she worked on the Trump transition team.

Brooks Tucker – Tucker served as chief of staff of the Department of Veterans Affairs from April 2020 to January 2021. He previously served as deputy secretary of the same department.

Hans von Spakowski – Von Spanovsky served on Trump’s short-lived Election Fraud Commission, which operated from May 2017 to January 2018. Before that, he served a brief and controversial term as a commissioner on the Federal Election Commission in the Bush administration from 2006 to 2007.

Russ Vought – Vought served as director of the Office of Management and Budget, the largest office in the executive branch of government, from July 2020 to January 2021. He served as deputy and then acting director from 2018 to 2020.

William Walton – Although Walton was not a member of the Trump administration, he served as co-chief of the federal agencies’ economic affairs division on his 2016 transition team.

Paul Winfree – Winfree served in three roles in the Trump White House in 2017: deputy assistant to the president for domestic policy, deputy director of the National Policy Council and director of budget policy. He left the White House at the end of 2017. Trump named him to the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board in 2019.