The Chief of Staff of the White House heads the personnel who work in the area of government called the Executive Office of the President (EOP). The original title for this job was “assistant to the President” when Franklin D. Roosevelt created the position but was changed in 1961. And, with the beginning of the Nixon Administration in 1968, the Chief of Staff became a permanent position. This important executive Staff member advises the President of the United States about matters of policy and often sets the strategy on the president’s pursual of legislative agenda and the priorities of foreign policy.
The Responsibilities of the Chief of Staff
With each president, the responsibilities of this Executive position vary. Typically, though, the Presidential advisor must perform the following actions:
- Overseeing the hiring of staff
- Controlling access to the President
- Organizing the President’s calendar (travel and meetings) and monitoring the flow of data and intelligence to the President
- Informing the President on both political and policy matters
- Negotiating with Congress, the executive branch agencies and outside political groups to implement the president’s agenda.
- Directing and organizing the efforts of various offices in the White House, including the Office of the Vice President
- The Role of the Chief of Staff
This chief of executive personnel serves as an advisor. As such, this Presidential advisor must understand the political system of the country so that he can give the president candid and practical advice on policy. It is essential that the Executive Officer be capable of negotiating with Congress and the executive cabinet as well with various supporters and donors.
In the effort to control the dissemination of information to the President, it is essential that the chief of executive personnel filter out input from the President’s friends and key contributors to safeguard against the President’s becoming obligated in any manner to them. The President’s advisor must always be objective and truthful with the President about positions that are political by informing the country’s leader of the viewpoints that other White House staff have so that the different perspectives on issues are all presented.
Since the role of the President of the United States is so extensive, the position of the Chief of Staff is one that must be filled by a loyal and competent person with the wisdom and organizational skills necessary to delegate responsibilities. By having such an assistant, the country’s leader can be afforded the time to focus on critical problems and priorities.