The Cabinet of the United States has had numerous officers serving as secretaries of multiple United States federal executive departments or other Cabinet-level positions. The vice president historically is also part of the presidential cabinet, ready to assume the Presidency should the need arise. The president may additionally designate or remove heads of other agencies as Cabinet-rank members of the Cabinet.
Unlike in many parliamentary cabinets, it is generally less common in the U.S. for a cabinet official to hold multiple cabinet-level positions over the years.
Edmund Randolph was the first person to serve multiple posts in the Cabinet; he was appointed attorney general in 1789 and secretary of state in 1794 by President George Washington. Randolph became the first person to hold two different Cabinet positions during a single administration. Samuel Dexter was the first person to serve multiple posts in the Cabinet under separate administrations. He was appointed by President John Adams as secretary of war in 1800 and secretary of the treasury in 1801, remaining in office briefly after Thomas Jefferson—Adams' successor assumed presidency. Patricia Roberts Harris was the first woman and first person of color to serve multiple posts in the Cabinet, as well as first female to hold two different Cabinet positions during a single administration. She was appointed by President Jimmy Carter as secretary of housing and urban development in 1977 and served as secretary of health, education, and welfare in 1979 before the department split; the position was renamed in 1980 as secretary of health and human services when its education functions were transferred under the supervision of the newly established secretary of education. Elizabeth Dole became the first woman who have served in two different Cabinet posts for two different administrations. She was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as secretary of transportation in 1983 and was secretary of labor in 1989 during the tenure of George H. W. Bush—Reagan's successor.
List of multiple cabinet-level officeholdersEdit
The following list includes people who have lead two or more different executive departments or other Cabinet-level posts. The table below is organized by date of second appointment or election to such a position.