Parts or all of this collection or series of Presidential records are not currently processed or available for research.  Some folders, segments or whole boxes are processed and are currently available for research. This available material is noted in bold.


The remainder of the folders listed in these inventories are subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests under the provisions of the Presidential Records Act (PRA)


If you are interested in submitting a FOIA request for access to any of the unprocessed records listed in these inventories or have any questions about these collections or series, please contact our archival staff at 1-800-410-8354, outside the US at 1-805-577-4012, or email reagan.library@nara.gov.


JAMES, E. PENDLETON: Files, 1981-1982


Presidential Personnel, Office of: Assistant to the President for Presidential Personnel


Born in 1929, E. Pendleton James grew up in rural Illinois. After two years in the Army, he moved to California in 1952. He earned a B.A. degree from the University of the Pacific in 1954, and did graduate work in industrial relations at UC Berkeley and the University of Santa Clara. From 1970 to 1973 James worked in the Nixon White House, as Special Deputy Assistant to the President for Executive Recruiting. He then returned to California and became President of Western Operations for a worldwide executive search firm, Russell Reynolds Association. In 1976, he founded his own search firm, Pen James Associates Inc.


In November 1979, Ronald Reagan publicly announced his candidacy for President in 1980. That same month James met with Edwin Meese III, a longtime friend and a senior Reagan advisor, about the staffing of a future Reagan Administration. During the 1980 campaign, James worked for the Reagan campaign organization as head of the Reagan-Bush Planning Task Force. The Task Force decided which appointed positions should be filled first if Reagan became President, drafted lists of candidates, and made initial contact with the candidates, all while avoiding media attention. After Reagan won the election, James continued working for him, as Director of Presidential Personnel in the Office of the President-Elect.


When Reagan assumed the Presidency in January 1981, James became head of the Office of Presidential Personnel. James continued to oversee the recruiting of people with proven commitment to Reagan’s ideas and high competency, as he had during the campaign and transition periods. He deflected criticism from those who thought he was wrongly downplaying longtime loyalty to Reagan, including past work on Reagan political campaigns, as a factor in filling positions.


After James left the Reagan White House in August 1982, he moved to New York City and founded an executive search firm called Pendleton James and Associates. He also served as a member of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships, and the Board of Directors of the Communications Satellite Corporation. James’ search firm was later folded into the London-based firm currently known as Whitehead Mann Pendleton James.


The material currently in the Pendleton James collection consists largely of folders pertaining to his speaking engagements with outside organizations. These folders include travel and conference schedules, invitations, talking points, and routine travel documents. In addition, there are some folders of articles and speech texts. While the material does not directly document James’ work as head of the Office of Presidential Personnel, it does contain descriptions of his White House role. There are no files from James’ work in the 1980 Reagan campaign or 1980-81 transition.


The Library has not surveyed the entire Presidential Personnel material to determine if there will be additional material for the Pendleton James collection.  We may add more material at a later date.


            Box 1

            EPJ/Article for Business Week, “Ethics in Government Act”

            EPJ/Speaking Engagements Regrets

            Center for Study of the Presidency Washington, DC, 02/20/1981

            Business Council, The Homestead, Hot Springs, VA, 05/07/1981-05/09/1981

            Business – Government Relations Council, The White House    450 EOB, 05/11/1981

            Chairman and CEO Business Group, Purchase, NY, (Dudley Mecum/Richard Rosenthal),


            Young President’s Organization, New York City (Joe Wright), 05/19/1981

            Edison Electric Institute Breakfast, Washington, DC, 06/25/1981

            Junior Statesmen Foundation, EOB, 07/14/1981

            Aspen Institute, Aspen, CO, 07/18/1981-07/26/1981

            Business Roundtable, Roosevelt Room, 08/27/1981

            American Political Science Association, New York City, 09/03/1981 (1)-(3)

            International Oil Industry TBA Group Convention, San Francisco/Los Angeles,


            [Management Resources and Organization Committee of the National Foreign Trade

                        Council, Arlington VA, 10/07/1981]

            The Business Council, The Homestead, Hot Springs, VA, 10/08/1981-10/10/1981

            Employment Management Association, Dallas, TX, 10/15/1981   

            Young President’s Organization/Annual Southern Conference, Las Vegas, NV,


            NASPAA (National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration),

                        Lexington, KY, 10/20/1981

            Inter-Agency Seminar Group, Washington, DC, 12/02/1981

            Tuesday Group, Los Angeles, California (Dick Ferry), 12/14/1981

            Sub-Cabinet Seminar in Professional Public Management, 01/15/1982-01/16/1982

            Human Resources Conference, New York City, 01/21/1982

            Soap and Detergent Association, Boca Raton, FL, 01/29/1982

            Washington, IL Chamber of Commerce, 02/22/1982

            Yale Political Union, Indian Treaty Room (474 EOB), 03/09/1982

            Harvard Business School Club, Hotel Washington, Washington, DC, 03/16/1982

            Electronic Industries Association – Human Resources Council, Washington, DC, 03/30/1982

            University of the Pacific – Stockton, CA – Commencement / Convention, 05/21/1982          

            Ethics in Government – Third Annual Conference, Washington, DC, 06/08/1982


OA 10693

Speech File (1)-(6)