Assistant to the President for Public Liaison
Office of Public Liaison


Summary Description | Biographical Information | Introduction | Series Descriptions | Container List


Material concerning the operation of the Public Liaison Office, liaison with interest groups, White House briefings and conferences, the issuance of presidential proclamations, and issues (especially business-related issues such as consumerism). The bulk of the file dates from August 1974 to December 1975; in several series only scattered later items appear.

21.0 linear feet (ca. 42,000 pages)

Gerald R. Ford (accession numbers 77-2 and 77-107)

Open. Some items are temporarily restricted under terms of the donor's deed of gift, a copy of which is available on request, or under National Archives and Records Administration general restrictions (36 CFR 1256).

Gerald R. Ford donated to the United States of America his copyrights in all of his unpublished writings in National Archives collections. The copyrights to materials written by other individuals or organizations are presumed to remain with them. Works prepared by U.S. Government employees as part of their official duties are in the public domain.

Prepared by William McNitt, February 1992
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William J. Baroody, Jr.

November 5, 1937 - Born, Manchester, NH

1959 - B.A., Holy Cross College

1959-61 - U.S. Navy

1961-63 - Graduate studies in political science, Georgetown University

1961-64 - Staff assistant, U.S. Representative Melvin Laird; staff member, House Appropriations Committee

1965-69 - Legislative and press assistant, U.S. Representative Melvin Laird

1968-69 -Research Director, House Republican Conference

1969-73 - Assistant to Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird

1973-74 - Special Assistant to the President, White House

1974-77 - Assistant to the President for Public Liaison, White House

1977-78 - Executive Vice President, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research

1978-86 - President, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research


William J. Baroody, Jr., began his career in Washington as an aide to Republican congressman Melvin Laird. As Laird moved to other positions, including Secretary of Defense and then White House Counsellor, Baroody continued to assist him. Soon after joining the White House staff, Baroody began to do some liaison work with interest groups, although his was not the only office serving this function. He presented President Nixon with a plan to consolidate all liaison offices within a single umbrella organization in January 1974, but they made little progress before the end of the administration.

Baroody's Role in the Ford White House
Upon the departure of Anne Armstrong from the White House in December 1974, President Ford merged the liaison functions of her office with those of Baroody's office and several independent liaison efforts to form a consolidated Office of Public Liaison (OPL). Baroody and his staff handled most interest group liaison for the remainder of the administration, although for periods of time White House staff members from other offices handled some liaison efforts (e.g., David Lissy's work with Jewish organizations and Bradley Patterson's with Native Americans).

The OPL listened to group concerns and communicated them to the President or the appropriate agency. They also explained to groups the administration's positions and programs and pursued a media outreach effort to make the public aware that there were people in the White House ready and eager to listen to their views. This helped to project an image of an open White House. In contrast to the more political nature of the liaison efforts headed by Chuck Colson during the early 1970s, the Ford OPL tried to be more inclusive and avoid even the appearance of impropriety.

Key tools employed by Baroody and his staff included White House briefings and conferences and staff appearances at interest group meetings. A series of "Tuesday at the White House" and "Wednesday at the White House" meetings brought about 80 to 250 representatives of various interest groups to the White House for meetings with administration officials and an exchange of views.

The OPL also organized White House conferences on domestic and economic affairs between November 1974 and October 1975 and conferences on consumer representation plans in January 1976. These 24 conferences, held in various cities around the country, consisted of day-long sessions usually attended by 1400-1600 people. Administration officials (sometimes including President Ford) made presentations at these meetings and took questions from the attendees.

Scope and Content of the Baroody Files
The Baroody Files are useful for studying White House liaison with interest groups, especially White House briefings and White House conferences. The collection contains extensive information on the "Tuesday at the White House" and "Wednesday at the White House" briefings, the White House Conferences on Domestic and Economic Affairs, and the White House Conferences on Consumer Representation Plans.

A significant amount of material on a small number of issues such as consumer affairs, economics, and energy appears in the collection, but relatively little on most other issues. A large series of White House memoranda documents Baroody's interactions with other members of the White House staff.

One major weakness of the collection is the absence of much documentation on the work of Baroody and the OPL during the last year of the administration. Many folders end late in 1975 and others contain only a few items from 1976. For example, the collection contains little on Baroody's suggestions for the 1976 presidential campaign. These missing materials do not appear among the other collections in the Ford Library.

Related Materials (February 1992)
The collections received from other staff members in the Office of Public Liaison are all closely related. The most complete information on White House conferences appears in the Jeffrey Eves Files, while the Theodore Marrs Files contain much on White House briefings. Other OPL staff files concentrate on liaison with specific interest groups. Scattered material on public liaison appears in a number of other White House collections, including those of Baroody's supervisor John Marsh.


Subject File, 1974-76.  (Boxes 1-20, 8.0 linear feet)
Correspondence, memoranda, reports, briefing papers, logs, schedules, speeches, lists, and clippings. The material concerns the operation of the Public Liaison Office, liaison with interest groups, legislation, White House briefings, economics, energy, and business issues (especially consumerism). The bulk of the file dates from 1974 and 1975; only scattered folders cover 1976.

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

View container list for this series

White House Memoranda, 1974-76.  (Boxes 21-27, 2.8 linear feet)
Memoranda exchanged with other members of the White House staff concerning the work of the Public Liaison Office and Baroody's interactions with individuals in other White House offices. Major topics include consumerism, legislation, liaison with interest groups, the White House staff, and White House briefings for various groups. The bulk of the file dates from 1974 and 1975. Some folders contain a few memoranda from 1976, but many do not.

Arranged alphabetically by staff member name.

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General Correspondence, 1974-76.  (Boxes 28-33, 2.2 linear feet)
Correspondence between Baroody and government officials, businessmen, journalists, academics, and the general public. The letters concern a variety of topics, especially interest groups and such business issues as common situs picketing and consumer affairs.

Arranged alphabetically..

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Proclamations File, 1974-76.  (Boxes 34-36, 1.2 linear feet)
Ceremonial copies of presidential proclamations for a variety of holidays and special occasions, along with some correspondence and memoranda concerning requests that proclamations be issued or distribution of the ceremonial copies. The President issued proclamations for both standard holidays and occasions (Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, Mother's Day) and for special days or weeks requested by various groups (Country Music Month, National Tennis Week, Women's Equality Day).

Arranged alphabetically by name of the occasion.

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Weekly Briefing Notes on U.S. Domestic Developments, 1975-76.  (Boxes 37-41, 2.0 linear feet)
Weekly briefing books showing U.S. social, demographic, and economic statistics. Vice President Rockefeller distributed copies of these books to the President and various White House staff members. Baroody did not annotate his copies.

Arranged chronologically.

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Mary Featherall Secretarial Notebooks, 1975-76.  (Box 42, 0.4 linear feet)
Notebooks containing Featherall's notes on routine work assignments, requests for information, addresses, telephone numbers, etc.

Arranged chronologically.

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Publications Reference File, 1971-76.  (Boxes 43-53, 4.4 linear feet)
Published reports and studies concerning issues which were prominent during the Nixon and Ford administrations. While a few government publications and books published by commercial publishers are included, the bulk are publications of the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. The Ford Library staff transferred many of the publications to the Library's book collection during processing.

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

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Audiovisual Materials, 1974-76. 
Photographs, transparencies, and audio recordings related to Baroody's work as the head of the Office of Public Liaison (OPL). Visual materials include portrait photographs of various Ford Administration Cabinet members and other government officials; transparencies outlining the goals and functions of the OPL; and photographs documenting the first year of the Ford Administration and meetings held by the OPL. It also contains audio recordings of a briefing Baroody gave for the Business-Government Relations Council; an appearance by Wayne Alderson and Samuel Piccolo on the Jim Robert Show on WHBC of Canton, Ohio; and a "HELP" consumer information phonograph record narrated by Virginia Knauer, Director of the Office of Consumer Affairs.

Arranged in parallel to the textual materials.

View container list for this series


Box 1 - Subject File

Box 2 - Subject File

Box 3 - Subject File

Box 4 - Subject File

Box 5 - Subject File

Box 6 - Subject File.

Box 7 - Subject File

Box 8 - Subject File

Box 9 - Subject File

Box 10 - Subject File

Box 11 - Subject File

Box 12 - Subject File

Box 13 - Subject File

Box 14 - Subject File

Box 15 - Subject File

Box 16 - Subject File

Box 17 - Subject File

Box 18 - Subject File

Box 19 - Subject File

Box 20 - Subject File

Box 21 - White House Memoranda

Box 22 - White House Memoranda

Box 23 - White House Memoranda

Box 24 - White House Memoranda

Box 25 - White House Memoranda

Box 26 - White House Memoranda

Box 27 - White House Memoranda

Box 28 - General Correspondence

Box 29 - General Correspondence

Box 30 - General Correspondence

Box 31 - General Correspondence

Box 32 - General Correspondence

Box 33 - General Correspondence

Box 34 - Proclamations File

Box 35 - Proclamations File

Box 36 - Proclamations File

Box 37 - Weekly Briefing Notes on U.S. Domestic Developments

Box 38 - Weekly Briefing Notes on U.S. Domestic Developments

Box 39 - Weekly Briefing Notes on U.S. Domestic Developments

Box 40 - Weekly Briefing Notes on U.S. Domestic Developments

Box 41 - Weekly Briefing Notes on U.S. Domestic Developments

Box 42 - Mary Featherall Secretarial Notebooks

Box 43 - Publications Reference File

Box 44 - Publications Reference File

Box 45 - Publications Reference File

Box 46 - Publications Reference File

Box 47 - Publications Reference File

Box 48 - Publications Reference File

Box 49 - Publications Reference File

Box 50 - Publications Reference File

Box 51 - Publications Reference File

Box 52 - Publications Reference File

Box 53 - Publications Reference File