To provide internal coordination, the Staff Secretary's Office manages the paper flow to and from the President. As part of this function, the Staff Secretary circulates enrolled legislation, proposed executive orders, decision memoranda, speeches and other presidential documents to relevant White House offices for clearance and comment, ensuring that the President has an opportunity to hear the views of relevant senior White House advisors, and that proposed actions and statements are consistent with Administration policy. The Staff Secretary further ensures that any document being forwarded to the President is in suitable condition, technically and substantively, for presidential review and action. The office is also charged with ensuring that the President's decisions and requests are transmitted to the proper staff members for appropriate action.
Each evening, the Staff Secretary assembles the President's briefing book for the following day's presidential appointments or events.
John D. Podesta serves as Assistant to the President and Staff Secretary. He is also a member of the council of the Administrative Conference of the United States.
Before joining the Administration, Mr. Podesta was President and General Counsel of Podesta Associates, Inc., a Washington, DC government relations and public affairs firm. He has had extensive Capitol Hill experience, serving as Chief Counsel to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and as Chief Minority counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittees on Patents, Copyrights and Trademarks; Security and Terrorism; and Regulatory Reform.
He has also served as a trial attorney in the Land and Natural Resources Division of the US Department of Justice, and as a Special Assistant to the Director of ACTION, the federal volunteer agency.
Mr. Podesta is a 1976 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, and a 1971 graduate of the Knox College.