Cabinet secretaries get White House office space

As a second-term innovation to more effectively integrate President Bush's Cabinet secretaries into White House operations, Chief of Staff Andrew Card recently overhauled space in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and invited Cabinet members to each spend at least two hours a week working just a stone's throw from the Oval Office.

Heidi Marquez Smith, who was director of presidential correspondence before her promotion to special assistant to Bush, will head the five-person Cabinet Liaison Office. Shortly after Smith took the reins on February 24, Card convened the Cabinet in its new conference suite on the first floor of the EEOB and encouraged the members to conduct regular business there. The conference room, with sophisticated audiovisual capabilities, seats 17. An adjoining office is sized for one visiting honcho.

The White House says that all Cabinet members have used the space already. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, who is learning the D.C. ropes, schedules his White House office hours every Tuesday afternoon.

The Cabinet heads, particularly the nine newcomers, can use the opportunity to meet with Bush's senior advisers, attend West Wing meetings, eat in the White House mess, and hold meetings with interest groups and constituents in a more dazzling setting than their offices across town.

White House officials explain that Card wanted Bush's lieutenants to work face-to-face with his tightly knit West Wing team, especially because the president holds formal Cabinet meetings only four or five times a year.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.