ecause the President
must carry out so many important and demanding responsibilities as the leader
of our country, he relies on his Chief of Staff to ensure that the White House
Office runs effectively and efficiently. The Chief of Staff position was created
relatively recently; records show that the first Chief of Staff, Sherman Adams,
began his service in 1953, during the Administration of President Dwight D.
John Podesta is President Clinton's Chief of Staff. He meets with the President
numerous times each day, and his office is located directly down the hall from
the Oval Office so that he can be readily available to assist the President at
any time. Mr. Podesta's primary responsibility is to organize all of the
information that flows to and from the President. He must make sure that
important issues are brought to the President's attention promptly and that
White House staff members have the time, information, and resources they need
to handle their workload. Mr. Podesta oversees the President's schedule,
helping to decide whom the President should see or call and with whom he should
correspond. Mr. Podesta also briefs the President on policy issues, assists in
the process of appointing individuals to government positions, and reviews the
President's speeches before they are delivered. He meets regularly with other
members of the President's staff, including his schedulers, speechwriters,
policy experts, budget team, and national security staff. He also helps the
President work with the United States Congress to pass new legislation.
Chief of Staff John Podesta briefs the President as they walk to the Oval Office.
President Eisenhower (center) walks with his Chief of Staff, Sherman Adams (far right).
Photo courtesy the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library
Mr. Podesta begins his workday at 7:00 a.m., often working late into the
evening; however, he always makes time for his family. He also finds his job
very rewarding. Mr. Podesta knows that he is helping the President to serve
the American people and to create a brighter future for our nation. And, in
his travels with the President across America, he has the opportunity to meet
many young people. He enjoys answering their questions and hopes that, some
day, he may inspire a future Chief of Staff, or maybe even a future President!