Fantasy Casting the Presidential Cabinet with YA Heroines


In a world where YA heroines are in charge of the United States, our President is obviously Hermione Granger, right? It doesn’t even matter that she wasn’t born in the U.S., because we simply changed the Constitution just for her. Then she achieved the first ever unanimous vote. But Hermione knows what’s up, and just like every president before her, she needs to gather a strong team of advisors for her cabinet. The President’s Cabinet is generally made up of 16 people—the vice president and the heads of 15 executive departments. Here are some of the leading ladies Hermione might choose to make sure her presidency goes smoothly.

Vice President: Sydney Sage
Book: Bloodlines (Bloodlines Series), by Richelle Mead
Sydney Sage is the perfect number two for Hermione. Her training with the alchemists has made her a bit of a government bureaucrat wunderkind, and she’s demonstrated a certain knack for cleaning up other people’s messes. While she’s incredibly loyal to her friends, she’s certainly able to see when someone’s decisions are going off the rails. And she’s got enough confidence and strength to push back when she knows something’s wrong. Of course, Sydney is also super smart and can speak about a bajillion languages, so she’ll get along great with the president.

Department of State: Secretary Kestrel Trajan
Book: The Winner’s Curse (Winner’s Trilogy), by Marie Rutkoski
The Department of State is responsible for international relations, and thus requires someone skilled in negotiating and understanding others. Although Kestrel was trained for a life of combat, it’s not really her scene. She is, however, super competent and strategic. Because she’s adept at understanding people and their motives, she’s able to make deals and work well with others. In The Winner’s Crime, Kestrel showed a continued knack for dealing with people who were much more experienced in the game. She’s willing to fight for a better world for everyone and to change her entire way of life to achieve her goals, which makes her the perfect Secretary of State.

White House Chief of Staff: Cather Avery
Book: Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell
The Chief of Staff can pretty much be whatever the President needs him or her to be, and I think Hermione needs a Chief of Staff who can work on 1) writing kick-butt speeches and 2) Internet betterment. Look, Cath’s fanfic skills are top notch, and there’s no denying her ability to bring together a community: she’ll be able to rally people together around a cause. Hermione will prize Cath’s great writing skills for things like speeches, press releases, and just general Internet awesomeness. Basically, Cath and her pen will make the government a much more interesting and exciting place.

Department of Defense: Secretary Alanna of Trebond
Books: Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness Series), by Tamora Pierce
No more of this “should women be in the military or not” talk under Secretary Alanna. She’s turning the department into your basic Female Service Members’ Empowerment Department. Alanna is a born fighter who wants nothing more than to serve as a knight of the realm of Tortall and accomplishes her goal by switching places with her brother Thorn. She basically disguises herself as a boy and kicks all sorts of butt. Her experience as a knight should come in handy, and she’ll quickly shut down any questions about her competency.

Department of Justice: Attorney General Jean Louise (Scout) Finch
Book: To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
A basic prereq for this job is being a lawyer. In all of YA literature, there is one character who stands out as an obvious candidate to enter the law, and that is Scout Finch. She’s incredibly smart, loves to read, and is the daughter of the most beloved fictional lawyer of all time. Through his work, he teaches her the value of the justice and instills in her a strong moral compass. Her excellent ability to empathize with the people around her and her commitment to fairness make her an excellent choice.

Office of Management & Budget: Director Frankie Landau-Banks
Book: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, E. Lockhart
Under Director Landau-Banks’ reign, the United States will become one seriously smooth operation, known round the world for its flawless ability to pull off even the craziest of plans. The economy might be in a downturn, but if anyone can change that, it’s Frankie. And with her experience leading secret societies, she’ll have no trouble providing agency strategies, coordinating the government’s information technology, or ensuring the strong performance of key agency personnel.

Department of the Interior: Secretary Annabeth Chase
Book: The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series), by Rick Riordan
Considering Annabeth Chase’s love of architecture, national monuments, and culture, there’s no one better for the Department of the Interior, charged with protecting America’s natural resources and honoring its cultures. While Annabeth might favor studying Greek architecture, Hermione will just have to persuade her to use her enormous talents at home. Luckily, Annabeth is always up for a challenge. She’s incredibly clever and able to think her way out of most situations, which should come in handy as she determines how to manage the nation’s public lands.

Department of Homeland Security: Secretary Cameron Ann “Cammie” Morgan
Book: I’d Tell You I Love You, but Then I’d Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls Series), by Ally Carter
Secretary Cammie is an obvious choice. She’s basically been training for the gig her whole life as a student at elite spy school the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women. She’s proved her leadership and covert-mission skills during her training, and, known as Chameleon, is able to blend in anywhere. She speaks at least 14 languages fluently, which is a great trait for someone in charge of investigating threats at home and abroad. She’s dedicated to being the best spy she can be, and is incredibly loyal. Her knowledge of threats and threat assessment should prove essential as the new Secretary of DHS.

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