Gerald R. Ford Museum
Exhibits, Events, Education Center

303 Pearl Street, NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

616-254-0400 (tel)
616-254-0386 (fax)

e-mail
Ford Museum Facebook Page

Hours: 9:00am-5:00pm (Daily)
(Closed New Year's, Thanksgiving, & Christmas Days)



Gerald R. Ford Library
Research, Events, Small Exhibits

1000 Beal Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

734-205-0555 (tel)
734-205-0571 (fax)

e-mail
Ford Library Facebook Page

Hours: 8:45am-4:45pm (M-F)
(Closed Federal Holidays)




Textual Collections Grouped by White House Office

This section describes the office structure in the Ford White House and cites the collections that came from each office as part of the Ford Presidential Papers. Some topically-related collections are also listed.

The following collection titles omit many names that would appear in any roster of office personnel. This is because the files of many staff became incorporated into the files of a successor or a more senior colleague. In other cases, departing White House staff may have retained files for their personal future use.

Finally, some record systems stay in the White House complex from one President to the next. For example, the White House Curator, Chief of Payroll, the Intelligence Oversight Board, the Secret Service, and the National Security Council retained



List of Offices

CONGRESSIONAL RELATIONS OFFICE
COUNSEL TO THE PRESIDENT, OFFICE OF
COUNSELLORS TO THE PRESIDENT
DOMESTIC AFFAIRS ASSISTANT/DOMESTIC COUNCIL STAFF
ECONOMIC AFFAIRS ASSISTANT
EDITORIAL/SPEECHWRITING STAFF
FIRST LADY'S STAFF
NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER/NSC STAFF
PERMANENT OPERATING OFFICES
PRESIDENTIAL PERSONNEL OFFICE
PRESIDENT'S OFFICE
PRESS SECRETARY'S OFFICE/COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE
PUBLIC LIAISON OFFICE
SCHEDULING AND ADVANCE OFFICE
SECRETARY TO THE CABINET
STAFF SECRETARY'S OFFICE
WHITE HOUSE OPERATIONS OFFICE


CONGRESSIONAL RELATIONS OFFICE

The CRO handled White House liaison with Congress and its members on such topics as pending legislation, program oversight, Presidential appointments, and consultation in foreign affairs. Routine services such as photo opportunities were part of the job as well.
 

Ford Presidential Papers

Selected Associated Collections

COUNSEL TO THE PRESIDENT, OFFICE OF

The office provided legal advice and services to the President, his family, and White House staff. It advised on legislation, constitutional and administrative powers and duties, campaign law, judicial appointments, and regulatory issues and agencies. It also drafted legal documents, defended against legal actions, coordinated the screening of Presidential appointees for security or conflict of interest problems, and assisted in clemency and pardon issues.
 

Ford Presidential Papers 

Selected Associated Collections

COUNSELLORS TO THE PRESIDENT

This is an artificial grouping of diverse Presidential advisers who had the title "Counsellor." Some were Nixon advisers who remained briefly under Ford. John Marsh and Robert Hartmann, by contrast, were central figures in the Ford White House. Marsh oversaw the Congressional Relations and Public Liaison Offices, and Hartmann directed the Editorial and Speechwriting Office. Assistants who worked on a few special projects are listed below, indented.

Ford Presidential Papers 

Selected Associated Collections

DOMESTIC AFFAIRS ASSISTANT/DOMESTIC COUNCIL STAFF

The Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs provided policy advice and directed Domestic Council staff. James Cannon held the post, preceded briefly by Nixon-appointee Kenneth Cole. Between five and nine Domestic Council associate directors specialized in different subject areas. Assistant directors and staff assistants aided them. There was significant personnel turnover and a reorganization in 1975, accompanied by some mingling and splitting of files.

Ford Presidential Papers 

Selected Associated Collections

ECONOMIC AFFAIRS ASSISTANT

The Assistant to the President for Economic Affairs, L. William Seidman, advised on domestic and international economic issues and was Executive Director of the Economic Policy Board (EPB). The EPB's executive committee included the administration's senior economic policy officials, and it met several times each week to coordinate policy. See the following collection entries for files of Seidman, his staff, and two temporary colleagues in the White House.

Ford Presidential Papers 

Selected Associated Collections

EDITORIAL/SPEECHWRITING STAFF

Specialized divisions drafted Presidential speeches, composed brief Presidential articles and messages as requested by various groups and politicians, wrote form responses to routine public correspondence, and checked the factual accuracy of speeches and other public statements. Paul Theis headed the staff until January 1976 and reported to Robert Hartmann, who himself drafted key Presidential speeches. Robert Orben succeeded Theis as immediate head of the speechwriters. David Gergen's files on campaign speeches are closely related, but Gergen was part of the Press Secretary's Office.

Ford Presidential Papers 

Selected Associated Collections

FIRST LADY'S STAFF

The staff handled press relations, public appearances, scheduling, speeches, correspondence, honors and affiliations, and other matters for Mrs. Ford and the Ford children. In addition, a Social Entertainments Office worked with Mrs. Ford and others to coordinate menu planning, guest lists, decorations, and entertainment for social events at the White House, Camp David , and occasionally aboard the Presidential yacht. 

Ford Presidential Papers

Selected Associated Collections

NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER/NSC STAFF

The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs advised on defense and foreign affairs matters, and he directed the National Security Council staff. Henry Kissinger held the post until November 1975, and Brent Scowcroft succeeded him. Their files are intermingled. 

Ford Presidential Papers

Selected Associated Collections

PERMANENT OPERATING OFFICES

The majority of personnel working within the White House complex are support staff who remain as administrations change. They keep payroll accounts, create keyword indices to presidential statements, do calligraphy, provide filing and correspondence services, and much more. The vast majority of their records remain in the White House indefinitely, but selected files were customarily treated as the President's papers. See most of the collection entries in the online guide that begin "White House."

PRESIDENTIAL PERSONNEL OFFICE

A President may have some 5,000 positions to fill over a full term. The Presidential Personnel Office identifies these positions and recruits candidates, coordinates selection and political clearance, provides orientation, and helps evaluate performance. David Wimer, William Walker, and Douglas Bennett successively headed the office.

Ford Presidential Papers

Selected Associated Collections

  • White House Personnel Office Files (unprocessed)
  • William Walker Papers (unprocessed)

PRESIDENT'S OFFICE

The office assisted with the President's personal affairs and accounts, secretarial needs, and requests for autographed photos. 

Ford Presidential Papers 

Selected Associated Collections

PRESS SECRETARY'S OFFICE/COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE

The Press Secretary and his staff spoke for the President at daily press briefings, monitored press coverage and summarized it for the President and staff, briefed the President for his own press conferences and other media encounters, advised on press relations, helped the press gather information, and provided logistical support to the press. The Press Secretary necessarily collected information on many diverse topics. A Communications Office was often truly, and always nominally, part of the Press Secretary's Office. It handled White House relations with federal agency public information officers, and it represented the President to the non-Washington press corps.

Ford Presidential Papers 

Selected Associated Collections

PUBLIC LIAISON OFFICE

The office cultivated White House links with interest groups, voter blocs, and groups of influential citizens. Briefings and meetings at the White House and town hall-type meetings around the country were important vehicles for these liaisons, along with participation in events sponsored by various organizations, and other, less visible, activities. William Baroody, Jr., directed the office under the general oversight of John Marsh. Some important liaison duties were discharged by White House staff in other offices: Bradley Patterson and Norman Ross (Native Americans), David Lissy (Jewish organizations), Robert Goldwin (Academics), Arthur Fletcher (African-Americans) and Rayburn Hanzlik (public forums).

Ford Presidential Papers 

Selected Associated Collections

SCHEDULING AND ADVANCE OFFICE

The scheduling unit helped prioritize the President's time, and it developed the President's daily and long-term schedules. It helped the President and his staff prepare for his daily appointments. The advance unit helped set criteria for and make decisions on Presidential travel. For both domestic and international trips, the advance unit orchestrated the overall planning and managed the onsite arrangements.

Ford Presidential Papers 

Selected Associated Collections

  • Byron Cavaney Papers (mostly unprocessed)
  • Robin Martin Papers (unprocessed)
  • Peter Sorum Papers
  • Frank Ursomarso Papers (unprocessed)

SECRETARY TO THE CABINET

The Secretary to the Cabinet organized and documented Cabinet meetings, supported communications between the President and individual Cabinet members, and helped the President remain accessible to his Cabinet. It was not a full-time post; Warren Rustand and his successor James Connor each had other duties.

Ford Presidential Papers 

Selected Associated Collections

  • Connor, James
  • Warren Rustand and William Nicholson Files (unprocessed)

STAFF SECRETARY'S OFFICE

Staff Secretaries Jerry Jones and successor James Connor coordinated the flow of paperwork to and from the President. For example, they ensured that memorandums to the President incorporated the views of all pertinent advisers. They also provided special file storage for the President. More routine duties included management of staff perquisites such as parking and mess privileges, and oversight of the Chief Executive Clerk and his Permanent Operating Offices.

Ford Presidential Papers 

Selected Associated Collections

 

WHITE HOUSE OPERATIONS OFFICE

This office was central to the management of the White House Office. The Cabinet and Staff Secretaries and the heads of the Presidential Personnel and Scheduling/Advance Offices all reported to the head of White House Operations. Alexander Haig, Donald Rumsfeld, and Richard Cheney held the post in succession. Few Presidential advisers, if any, had better access to Ford than did the latter two. The office head might advise on any domestic, foreign, or political issue, and in 1976 Cheney and his immediate staff became very active in the Presidential campaign.

Ford Presidential Papers 

Selected Associated Collections