|White House Chief of Staff|
| Executive Office of the President |
White House Office
|Reports to||President of the United States|
|Appointer||President of the United States|
|Formation||1946 (Assistant to the President)|
1961 (White House Chief of Staff)
|First holder||John R. Steelman|
The White House Chief of Staff position is the successor to the earlier role of the President's private secretary. The role was formalized as the Assistant to the President in 1946 and acquired its current title in 1961. The current official title is Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff.
The Secretary to the President was a former 19th and early 20th century White House position that carried out all the tasks now spread throughout the modern White House Office. The Secretary would act as a buffer between the President and the public, keeping the President's schedules and appointments, managing his correspondence, managing the staff, communicating to the press as well as being a close aide and advisor to the President in a manner that often required great skill and discretion. In terms of rank it is a precursor to the modern White House Chief of Staff.
The Chief of Staff is a political appointee of the President who does not require Senate confirmation, and who serves at the pleasure of the President. While not a legally required role, all presidents since Harry Truman have appointed chiefs of staff.
According to the United States Office of Government Ethics, a political appointee is "any employee who is appointed by the President, the Vice President, or agency head". As of 2016, there are around 4,000 political appointment positions which an incoming administration needs to review, and fill or confirm, of which about 1,200 require Senate confirmation.
The President of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces.
Advice and consent is an English phrase frequently used in enacting formulae of bills and in other legal or constitutional contexts. It describes either of two situations: where a weak executive branch of a government enacts something previously approved of by the legislative branch or where the legislative branch concurs and approves something previously enacted by a strong executive branch.
In the administration of Donald Trump, the current acting Chief of Staff is Mick Mulvaney, who succeeded John Kelly on January 2, 2019, who himself had replaced Reince Priebus as Chief of Staff on July 31, 2017.On December 8, 2018, President Trump announced that Kelly would be stepping down from his post by the end of the year. On December 14, Trump announced on Twitter that OMB director Mick Mulvaney would become the new acting Chief of Staff.
Donald John Trump is the 45th and current president of the United States. Before entering politics, he was a businessman and television personality.
John Michael Mulvaney is an American politician of the Republican Party who is serving in President Donald Trump's cabinet as Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), as well as acting White House Chief of Staff. Mulvaney also served as the acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) from November 2017 to December 2018.
John Francis Kelly is a retired U.S. Marine Corps general who served as the White House Chief of Staff for President Donald Trump from July 31, 2017 to January 2, 2019. He had previously served as Secretary of Homeland Security in the Trump administration.
The duties of the White House chief of staff vary greatly from one administration to another and, in fact, there is no legal requirement that the president even fill the position. However, since at least 1979, all presidents have found the need for a chief of staff, who typically oversees the actions of the White House staff, manages the president's schedule, and decides who is allowed to meet with the president. Because of these duties, the chief of staff has at various times been labeled "The Gatekeeper."
Originally, the duties now performed by the chief of staff belonged to the president's private secretary and were fulfilled by crucial confidants and advisers such as George B. Cortelyou, Joseph Tumulty, and Louis McHenry Howe to Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Franklin Roosevelt, respectively.The private secretary served as the president's de facto chief aide in a role that combined personal and professional assignments of highly delicate and demanding natures, requiring great skill and discretion. The job of gatekeeper and overseeing the president's schedule was separately delegated to the appointments secretary, as with FDR's aide Edwin "Pa" Watson.
George Bruce Cortelyou was an American Cabinet secretary of the early twentieth century. He held various positions in the presidential administrations of Grover Cleveland, William McKinley, and Theodore Roosevelt.
Theodore Roosevelt Jr. was an American statesman, sportsman, conservationist, and writer who served as the 26th president of the United States from 1901 to 1909. He previously served as the 25th vice president of the United States from March to September 1901 and as the 33rd governor of New York from 1899 to 1900. As a leader of the Republican Party during this time, he became a driving force for the Progressive Era in the United States in the early 20th century. His face is depicted on Mount Rushmore, alongside those of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln. In polls of historians and political scientists, Roosevelt is generally ranked as one of the five best presidents.
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was an American statesman, lawyer, and academic who served as the 28th president of the United States from 1913 to 1921. A member of the Democratic Party, Wilson served as the president of Princeton University and as the 34th governor of New Jersey before winning the 1912 presidential election. As president, he oversaw the passage of progressive legislative policies unparalleled until the New Deal in 1933. He also led the United States during World War I, establishing an activist foreign policy known as "Wilsonianism."
From 1933 to 1939, as he greatly expanded the scope of the federal government's policies and powers in response to the Great Depression, Roosevelt relied on his "Brain Trust" of top advisers. Although working directly for the president, they were often appointed to vacant positions in agencies and departments, whence they drew their salaries since the White House lacked statutory or budgetary authority to create new staff positions. It was not until 1939, during Franklin D. Roosevelt's second term in office, that the foundations of the modern White House staff were created using a formal structure. Roosevelt was able to get Congress to approve the creation of the Executive Office of the President, which would report directly to the president. During World War II, Roosevelt created the position of "Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief" for his principal military adviser, Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy.
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place mostly during the 1930s, beginning in the United States. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations; in most countries it started in 1929 and lasted until the late-1930s. It was the longest, deepest, and most widespread depression of the 20th century. In the 21st century, the Great Depression is commonly used as an example of how intensely the world's economy can decline.
The White House is the official residence and workplace of the President of the United States. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C. and has been the residence of every U.S. President since John Adams in 1800. The term "White House" is often used as a metonym for the president and his advisers.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
In 1946, in response to the rapid growth of the U.S. government's executive branch, the position of "Assistant to the President of the United States" was established. Charged with the affairs of the White House, it was the immediate predecessor to the modern chief of staff. It was in 1953, under Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower, that the president's preeminent assistant was designated the "White House Chief of Staff".
The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP, is one of the two major political parties in the United States; the other is its historic rival, the Democratic Party.
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was an American army general and statesman who served as the 34th president of the United States from 1953 to 1961. During World War II, he was a five-star general in the United States Army and served as supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe. He was responsible for planning and supervising the invasion of North Africa in Operation Torch in 1942–43 and the successful invasion of France and Germany in 1944–45 from the Western Front.
Assistant to the president became a rank generally shared by the chief of staff with such senior aides as deputy chiefs of staff, the White House counsel, the White House press secretary, and others. This new system did not catch on immediately. Democrats Kennedy and Johnson still relied on their appointments secretaries instead, and it was not until the Nixon administration that the chief of staff took over maintenance of the President's schedule. This concentration of power in the Nixon and Ford White House (whose last chief of staff was Dick Cheney) led presidential candidate Jimmy Carter to campaign in 1976 with the promise that he would not appoint a chief of staff. And indeed, for the first two and a half years of his presidency, he appointed no one to the post.
The average tenure for a White House chief of staff is a little more than 18 months.The inaugural chief of staff, John R. Steelman, under Harry S. Truman, was also the last to be a president's only chief of staff, not counting Kenneth O'Donnell during John F. Kennedy's 34 months in office. (Andrew Card and Denis McDonough each served at least one entire presidential term of office under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, respectively). Steelman also holds the record for longest-serving chief of staff (six years).
Most White House chiefs of staff are former politicians, and many continue their political careers in other senior roles. Lyndon Johnson's chief of staff W. Marvin Watson became the Postmaster General later in LBJ's term. Richard Nixon's Chief of Staff Alexander Haig, a career U.S. Army officer with his capstone military position being CINCUSEUCOM/SACEUR, later became Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan. Cheney later became a Congressman for Wyoming, Secretary of Defense under George H. W. Bush and vice president in the George W. Bush administration. Donald Rumsfeld was another chief of staff for Ford and subsequently served as Secretary of Defense both in the Ford administration and decades later, also in the George W. Bush administration. Rahm Emanuel left the House of Representatives to become Barack Obama's chief of staff and subsequently became Mayor of Chicago. Jack Lew, President Obama's fourth chief of staff, was later appointed Secretary of the Treasury.
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Chris Whipple, author of The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency, loosely describes the role of a White House chief of staff through his interview with former President Barack Obama: "During the last days of his presidency, Barack Obama observed: 'One of the things I've learned is that the big breakthroughs are typically the result of a lot of grunt work—just a whole lot of blocking and tackling.' Grunt work is what chiefs of staff do."
The responsibilities of the chief of staff are both managerial and advisory and can include the following:
These responsibilities extend to firing of staff members: in the case of Omarosa Manigault Newman, who published a tape she said was made in the Situation Room of her firing by Chief of Staff John Kelly, the Chief of Staff said that his decision for her departure was non-negotiable and that "the staff and everyone on the staff works for me and not the president."
Richard Nixon's first chief of staff, H. R. Haldeman, garnered a reputation in Washington for the iron hand he wielded in the position—famously referring to himself as "the president's son-of-a-bitch", he was a rigid gatekeeper who would frequently meet with administration officials in place of the president, then report himself to Nixon on the officials' talking points. Journalist Bob Woodward, in his books All the President's Men and The Secret Man, wrote that many of his sources, including the famous Deep Throat, displayed a genuine fear of Haldeman.
|№||Chief of Staff||Took office||Left office||Time in office||Party||President|
|1||John Steelman |
|December 12, 1946||January 20, 1953||years, 39 days6||Democratic||Harry S Truman (Dem) |
(1945 – 1953)
|2||Sherman Adams |
|January 20, 1953||October 7, 1958||years, 260 days5||Republican||Dwight D. Eisenhower (Rep) |
(1953 – 1961)
|3||Wilton Persons |
|October 7, 1958||January 20, 1961||years, 105 days2||Republican||Dwight D. Eisenhower (Rep) |
(1953 – 1961)
|-||Kenneth O'Donnell |
|January 20, 1961||November 22, 1963||years, 306 days2||Democratic||John F. Kennedy (Dem) |
(1961 – 1963)
|-||Marvin Watson |
|February 1, 1965||April 26, 1968||years, 85 days3||Democratic||Lyndon B. Johnson (Dem) |
(1963 – 1969)
|-||James R. Jones |
|April 26, 1968||January 20, 1969||days269||Democratic||Lyndon B. Johnson (Dem) |
(1963 – 1969)
|4||H. R. Haldeman |
|January 20, 1969||April 30, 1973||years, 100 days4||Republican||Richard Nixon (Rep) |
(1969 – 1973)
April 30, 1973 – May 4, 1973 ( 4 days)
|5||Alexander Haig |
|May 4, 1973||September 21, 1974||year, 140 days1||Republican||Richard Nixon (Rep) |
(1969 – 1973)
Gerald Ford (Rep)
(1974 – 1977)
|6||Donald Rumsfeld |
|September 21, 1974||November 20, 1975||year, 60 days1||Republican||Gerald Ford (Rep) |
(1974 – 1977)
|7||Dick Cheney |
|November 20, 1975||January 20, 1977||year, 61 days1||Republican||Gerald Ford (Rep) |
(1974 – 1977)
January 20, 1977 – July 18, 1979 ( 2 years, 179 days)
|8||Hamilton Jordan |
|July 18, 1979||June 11, 1980||days329||Democratic||Jimmy Carter (Dem) |
(1977 – 1981)
|9||Jack Watson |
|June 11, 1980||January 20, 1981||days223||Democratic||Jimmy Carter (Dem) |
(1977 – 1981)
|10||James Baker |
|January 20, 1981||February 4, 1985||years, 15 days4||Republican||Ronald Reagan (Rep) |
(1981 – 1989)
|11||Donald Regan |
|February 4, 1985||February 27, 1987||years, 23 days2||Republican||Ronald Reagan (Rep) |
(1981 – 1989)
|12||Howard Baker |
|February 27, 1987||July 1, 1988||year, 125 days1||Republican||Ronald Reagan (Rep) |
(1981 – 1989)
|13||Kenneth Duberstein |
|July 1, 1988||January 20, 1989||days203||Republican||Ronald Reagan (Rep) |
(1981 – 1989)
|14||John Sununu |
|January 20, 1989||December 16, 1991||years, 330 days2||Republican||George H. W. Bush (Rep) |
(1989 – 1993)
|15||Samuel Skinner |
|December 16, 1991||August 23, 1992||days251||Republican||George H. W. Bush (Rep) |
(1989 – 1993)
|16||James Baker |
|August 23, 1992||January 20, 1993||days150||Republican||George H. W. Bush (Rep) |
(1989 – 1993)
|17||Mack McLarty |
|January 20, 1993||July 17, 1994||year, 178 days1||Democratic||Bill Clinton (Dem) |
(1993 – 2001)
|18||Leon Panetta |
|July 17, 1994||January 20, 1997||years, 187 days2||Democratic||Bill Clinton (Dem) |
(1993 – 2001)
|19||Erskine Bowles |
|January 20, 1997||October 20, 1998||year, 273 days1||Democratic||Bill Clinton (Dem) |
(1993 – 2001)
|20||John Podesta |
|October 20, 1998||January 20, 2001||years, 92 days2||Democratic||Bill Clinton (Dem) |
(1993 – 2001)
|21||Andrew Card |
|January 20, 2001||April 14, 2006||years, 84 days5||Republican||George W. Bush (Rep) |
(2001 – 2009)
|22||Joshua Bolten |
|April 14, 2006||January 20, 2009||years, 281 days2||Republican||George W. Bush (Rep) |
(2001 – 2009)
|23||Rahm Emanuel |
|January 20, 2009||October 1, 2010||year, 254 days1||Democratic||Barack Obama (Dem) |
(2009 – 2017)
|-||Pete Rouse |
|October 1, 2010||January 13, 2011||days104||Democratic||Barack Obama (Dem) |
(2009 – 2017)
|24||Bill Daley |
|January 13, 2011||January 27, 2012||year, 14 days1||Democratic||Barack Obama (Dem) |
(2009 – 2017)
|25||Jack Lew |
|January 27, 2012||January 20, 2013||days359||Democratic||Barack Obama (Dem) |
(2009 – 2017)
|26||Denis McDonough |
|January 20, 2013||January 20, 2017||years, 0 days4||Democratic||Barack Obama (Dem) |
(2009 – 2017)
|27||Reince Priebus |
|January 20, 2017||July 31, 2017||days192||Republican||Donald Trump (Rep) |
|28||John F. Kelly |
|July 31, 2017||January 2, 2019||year, 154 days1||Independent||Donald Trump (Rep) |
|-||Mick Mulvaney |
|January 2, 2019||Incumbent||days94||Republican||Donald Trump (Rep) |
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