President Barack Obama must master a crucial challenge facing all presidents: managing the relationships among his top advisers including his chief of staff, national security adviser, economic and domestic policy advisers, among others.
Managing the interplay among these top White House and Cabinet personnel is one of the greatest organizational challenges of any presidential administration. Given the extraordinarily complex and urgent set of issues confronting the new administration, President Obama faces a more difficult set of management challenges than his predecessors.
On March 4, the Brookings Institution will host a panel discussion on the modern presidency and the management of an administration’s top advisers. Marvin Kalb, senior fellow at Harvard University’s Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, will provide introductory remarks and will moderate the discussion. Panelists include Ivo Daalder and I.M. (Mac) Destler, co-authors of In the Shadow of the Oval Office: Profiles of the National Security Advisers and the Presidents They Served—From JFK to George W. Bush (Simon & Schuster, February 2009); James Pfiffner, professor at George Mason University and author of Power Play: The Bush Presidency and the Constitution (Brookings Institution Press, 2008); and Brookings Senior Fellow William Galston, former deputy director of the Domestic Policy Council during the Clinton administration.
After the program, panelists will take audience questions.