The Chief of Staff

Authors

  • CHARLES E. WALCOTT,

    1. Professor of political science at Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University. Among his recent publications are Governing the White House: From Hoover through LBJ, Governing Public Organizations, and “White House Staff Size: Explanations and Implications” (Presidential Studies Quarterly).
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  • SHIRLEY ANNE WARSHAW,

    1. Professor of political science at Gettysburg College. She is the author of five books on presidential decision making and is currently working on her latest book, Power in the White House: The Chief of Staff.
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  • STEPHEN J. WAYNE

    1. Professor of government at Georgetown University and author of The Road to the White House, The Legislative Presidency, Doing Democracy: Is This Any Way to Run a Democratic Election? and coauthor of Presidential Leadership.
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Abstract

It is widely agreed that the modern White House needs a chief of staff. In this article, based on interviews with former White House officials, we seek to outline the main elements and responsibilities of the Office of the Chief of Staff and to summarize advice on how best to accomplish its duties. We identify and describe the key roles played by the chief, discuss the structures and processes of the chief of staff's office in recent administrations, consider the most important attributes an individual can bring to the job, and note the rhythms of the chief of staff's daily routine.

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