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 Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


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