AUTHORS' NOTE: We are grateful for the comments and suggestions of Martha Joynt Kumar and Bradley Patterson and for the time and effort of the former presidential staffers who shared their experiences and insights in the White House Interview Project.
The Office of the Staff Secretary
Article first published online: 21 APR 2004
Presidential Studies Quarterly
Volume 31, Issue 2, pages 262–280, June 2001
How to Cite
HULT, K. M. and TENPAS, K. D. (2001), The Office of the Staff Secretary. Presidential Studies Quarterly, 31: 262–280. doi: 10.1111/j.0360-4918.2001.00170.x
- Issue published online: 21 APR 2004
- Article first published online: 21 APR 2004
- Cited By
The Office of the Staff Secretary, a unit recommended by the first Hoover Commission, appeared in the White House Office in fall 1953. Since then, many of its original tasks have become the responsibility of the Office of Administration. The contemporary staff secretary serves as the “last substantive control point before papers reach the Oval Office.” In addition, the staff secretary typically supervises the Offices of the Executive Clerk, Records Management, and Correspondence. Given the pivotal place of the Office of the Staff Secretary in presidential paper flow, it handles complex policy issues and its work can be highly political. The staff secretary also must be sure that others respond to presidential directives or to questions elicited by the papers the president sees. This article sheds light on the operations of this important unit and summarizes useful approaches to the job of staff secretary.