WASHINGTON — Insiders said the best and brightest are not exactly queuing up for the head job at the PBGC.
The long hours, low pay, uncertainty surrounding pension reform legislation and a politically charged atmosphere are big deterrents for well-qualified candidates for leadership of the nation's pension safety net, sources noted.
The executive director's position at the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. will become available when Bradley D. Belt departs May 31. He tendered his resignation to President George W. Bush on March 23.
Labor Secretary Elaine Chao is responsible for appointing Mr. Belt's successor. Gloria Della, a Labor Department spokeswoman, provided the following written statement: "The secretary will be working with other administration officials to identify a successor. The PBGC has a strong team in place to ensure a smooth and orderly transition."
Jeffrey Speicher, a PBGC spokesman, said he had no further information from the Department of Labor about Mr. Belt's replacement.
Washington sources remain stumped about potential job candidates, with only a vague hunch that Vincent K. Snowbarger, deputy executive director and head of the PBGC's office of policy and external affairs, might be named to a second stint as interim director (he served in the role two years ago after Mr. Belt's predecessor, Steven Kandarian, resigned) — or even to fill the role permanently.
In fact, one Washington attorney who asked for anonymity, said, "I haven't heard anything, not even speculation that could possibly turn into rumor, about who might be tapped. Given that this is a lame-duck period for the administration, anyway, it's possible that a new director won't be named."