Associate Director for Health, Social Security and Welfare;
Deputy Director for Policy and Planning;
Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs
Domestic Council


Materials concerning his work on such matters as food stamps reform, social security financing, Domestic Council input for the 1976 State of the Union Address, FY 1978 domestic program budgets, and general administration of the Domestic Council.

9.3 linear feet (ca. 18,600 pages)

Gerald R. Ford (accession numbers 77-16 and 77-24)

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Gerald R. Ford donated to the United States of America his copyrights in all of his unpublished writings in National Archives collections.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 1982
[s:\bin\findaid\quern, arthur - files.doc]


Arthur F. Quern

1942 - Born in Jamaica, N.Y.

1965 - B.A. (history and philosophy), St. John's University

1965-68 - U.S. Army Intelligence Corps

1968-69 - Graduate school in American intellectual history, State University of New York at Albany

1969-73 - Staff of New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller

1974 - Director, New York State office in Washington, D.C. (advisor to Governor Malcolm Wilson on federal policy, budget and legislation, and principal liaison with the New York Congressional delegation).

Jan.-Feb. 1975 - Deputy Assistant for Domestic Affairs to Vice President Nelson Rockefeller

March 1975 - Staff Assistant to Domestic Council Deputy Director Richard Dunham

April 1975 - Associate Director for Human Resources, Domestic Council

May 1975-Jan. 1976 - Associate Director for Health, Social Security and Welfare, Domestic Council

Jan.-Sept. 1976 - Deputy Director for Policy and Planning, Domestic Council

Sept. 1976-Jan. 1977 - Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs

1977-1980 - Director of Welfare for the State of Illinois

1980-1983 - Chief of Staff to Illinois Governor James R. Thompson

1983-1996 - Chairman, Aon Risk Services Companies, Chicago, IL

1991-1996 - Chairman, Illinois Board of Higher Education

October 30, 1996 - Died


Arthur F. Quern held several positions with the Domestic Council and the White House between March 1975 and January 1977, but his files provide only sketchy documentation on many of his activities during this period. He transferred files to other members of the Domestic Council staff when his duties changed and materials from his work as James Cannon's deputy often appear in Cannon's files rather than his own.

Quern joined the Domestic Council in March 1975 as a staff assistant to deputy director Richard Dunham, but soon began working on issues in the human resources area. When human resources was divided into two policy areas in April 1975, Quern became associate director for health, social security, and welfare. Since there was no associate director for labor, education and veterans affairs (the other half of the human resources area) until the fall of 1975, Quern continued to work on some issues in those areas for several months.

As an associate director, Quern was responsible for policy formulation; soliciting documents and recommendations from White House and agency staff members; maintaining contact with federal agencies and Congress; and the preparation and review of decision memoranda, briefing papers, legislative proposals, speeches, fact sheets, and responses to correspondence. Pamela Needham served as his assistant until June 1975 and Sarah Massengale thereafter.

In January 1976, Domestic Council executive director James Cannon promoted Quern to deputy director for policy and planning. As deputy director, he assumed many of the duties of Richard Dunham, who had left the Council in October 1975. Cannon also assigned Allen Moore and Janet Brown to Quern as assistants.

During the summer of 1976, Cannon's other deputy, James H. Cavanaugh, transferred to Richard Cheney's office in the White House. Quern assumed Cavanaugh's administrative duties and supervision of issues work and also shifted from the Council payroll to the White House staff as deputy assistant to the President for domestic affairs. He served in this position until the end of the Ford administration.

Researchers interested in Quern's work as associate director of the Domestic Council may find his collection useful for studying the issues of food stamps and social security. The Quern files contain memoranda, reports, publications, and meeting agendas concerning the activities of the Domestic Council review group on food stamps and Quern's drafting of option papers on food stamps reform and decision memoranda on both short-range and long-term social security financing problems.

Quern coordinated Domestic Council input for the President's 1976 State of the Union address and his files contain suggestions from White House and Domestic Council staff members, drafts, comments on the drafts, and the long memorandum by which Vice President Nelson Rockefeller submitted the Domestic Council suggestions to President Ford in December 1975.

The most significant files from Quern's 1976 work are those concerning busing (he assisted associate director Richard Parsons on this issue), the work of the Economic Policy Board (he apparently received the agendas, memoranda and minutes for meetings as Cannon's deputy), the writing of the domestic affairs portion of the Ford administration two year report, and his review of budget proposals for various domestic departments and agencies.

Included in the Quern collection is a small file accumulated by his assistant Janet Brown. Approximately one third of her file relates to her work as Domestic Council liaison for Indian affairs. Her files include materials she inherited form Judith Hope, who worked on some Indian issues in late 1975 and early 1976, and copies of Theodore Marrs memoranda, but only occasional documents which Brown created.

Also included in the Quern collection is material which he inherited from Richard Dunham. Dunham' s correspondence and memoranda generally relate to administrative matters rather than issues.

The value of the Quern files is lessened by the fact that he transferred most of his health and welfare files to Spencer Johnson upon becoming deputy director. He also transferred a small quantity of material on education and labor issues to David Lissy.

Another weakness is that the files do not completely document the two positions which he held in 1976. There is little concerning the policy studies which he initiated as deputy director for policy and planning because much of the day-to-day work on these studies was conducted by Quern's assistants, other Domestic Council staff members, or the vice presidential staff. In addition, some materials resulting from Quern's administrative duties or his supervision of issues work were sent to James Cannon and incorporated into the Cannon files.

Related Materials (February 1982)
Collections containing related materials include the Domestic Council files of Spencer Johnson, David Lissy, James Cannon, and Allen Moore. Collections related to Janet Brown's work on Indians include the Domestic Council files of Norman Ross, White House Central Files subject file category IN (Indian Affairs), and the White House staff files of Theodore Marrs, Bradley Patterson, and Barbara G. Kilberg.


Subject File, 1974-76.  (Boxes 1-11, 4.1 linear feet)
Memoranda to and from the President, Domestic Council staff members, the White House staff, and officials in the departments and agencies; occasional letters from public; speeches; press releases; meeting minutes; briefing papers; and publications. The material concerns Quern's issues work from all of his White House and Domestic Council positions and also includes a few documents from early 1975 when he served on Vice President Rockefeller's staff. A small number of folders contain extensive documentation on such subjects as food stamps, social security, welfare reform, busing, the work of the Economic Policy Board, the drafting of Domestic Council input for the Ford Administration two year report, and unemployment insurance. Most other folders contain only a few items each.

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

View container list for this series

Domestic Council Administrative File, 1975-76.  (Boxes 11-12, 0.6 linear feet)
Memoranda to and from Domestic Council staff members, correspondence with the public, press releases and organization charts. This file concerns the administration and organization of the Domestic Council, invitations received by Quern, job applicants, and the activities of Domestic Council staff members. Other than materials which he inherited form Richard Dunham, most of the documents date from 1976. Approximately half of the file consists of memoranda between Quern and seven individuals on the Domestic Council or Vice Presidential staffs concerning issues they handled. These are filed under the heading "Name File" and thereunder by the name of the staff member.

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

View container list for this series

Budget Review File, 1975-76.  (Boxes 12-16, 1.7 linear feet)
Program statements, lists of projected budget figures and a few memoranda relating to the planning process in 1976 for the FY 1978 federal budget for domestic agencies. Domestic Council received for comment copies of the budget proposals for each domestic agency during both the spring planning review and the fall director's review. Quern apparently reviewed these budget proposals for Cannon. Many spring planning review materials have Quern's annotations, but none of the director's review materials include such notes.

Arranged by name of department or agency.

View container list for this series

State of the Union Message File, 1975-76.  (Boxes 16-19, 1.0 linear feet)
Memoranda to and from Domestic Council and White House staff members and officials of the departments and agencies, speech drafts, fact sheets, meeting minutes, and reports. This file concerns Quern's work form approximately September 1975 to January 1976 in coordinating substantive work for the Domestic Council input into the State of the Union address.

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

View container list for this series

Chronological File, 1975-77.  (Boxes 19-21, 0.9 linear feet)
Carbon copies and photocopies of memoranda and correspondence from Quern to Domestic Council staff members, the White House staff, the Vice President and his staff, state and local officials, businessmen and the general public. Also included are occasional decision memoranda, action memoranda, briefing papers, weekly status reports, and memoranda drafted by Quern, but signed by James Cannon or Richard Dunham. The materials relate to health and welfare issues, occasional education and labor issues, the 1976 State of the Union address, New York City finances, busing, and administrative duties such as signing clearances for appointments and making arrangements for bill signing ceremonies.

Arranged chronologically by date.

View container list for this series

Janet H. Brown (Staff Assistant) File, 1975-76. (Boxes 21-24, 1.0 linear feet)
Memoranda to and from Domestic Council and White House staff members, copies of James Cannon and Arthur Quern memoranda sent to Brown for informational purposes, newspaper clippings, press releases, reports and publications. Although some photocopies date from 1975, material bearing Brown's name generally date from March to December 1976. This series concerns her work as Domestic Council liaison for Indian affairs, planning bill signing ceremonies, identifying issues to be addressed during the implementation of legislation, and the issue of busing and unemployment.

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

View container list for this series


Box 1 - Subject File

  • Aircraft Noise
  • Agriculture
  • Busing (1)-(4)
  • Census Bureau
  • Comprehensive Employment and Training Act
  • Congressional Budget Reform

Box 2 - Subject File

  • Domestic Policy Fact Sheets
  • Domestic Initiatives
  • Domestic Policy Hearings
  • Economic Issues
  • Economic Policy Board (1)-(4)

Box 3 - Subject File

  • Economic Policy Board (5)-(7)
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Energy
  • Federal Regional Councils
  • Food Stamps (1)-(3)

Box 4 - Subject File

  • Food Stamps (4)-(10)

Box 5 - Subject File

  • Food Stamps (11)-(16)
  • Food Stamps - The Life of a Coupon
  • Food Stamps and Nutrition - AEI Study (Publication)

Box 6 - Subject File

  • Food Stamps Report
  • Food Stamps and Senate Resolution 58 (1)-(2)
  • Grant Consolidation
  • Health Insurance (1)-(2)
  • Indians
  • Intergovernmental Personnel Act
  • Issues Papers
  • Mayors, Conference of
  • Monthly Chartbook (For Public Sale)

Box 7 - Subject File

  • National Governors' Conference
  • National Science Foundation
  • National Work Conference
  • Office of Economic Opportunity
  • Office of Management and Budget
  • Opportunity Funding Corporation
  • Pensions
  • President Ford's Accomplishments - Two Year Report (1)-(3)
  • Presidential Position Statements - General
  • Privacy
  • Public Employees
  • Refugees
  • Regulatory Reform

Box 8 - Subject File

  • Republican Governors Association
  • Research and Development (Scientific Projects)
  • Revenue Sharing
  • Safe Drinking Water
  • Social Research and Development
  • Social Security (1) -(4)

Box 9 - Subject File

  • Social Security (5)-(10)
  • Social Security Amendments of 1971 (Published Congressional Report)
  • Social Security Long Range Financing
  • Sunset Proposals

Box 10 - Subject File

  • Unemployment Compensation
  • Unemployment Insurance (1)-(3)
  • Welfare - The Measure of Poverty (Report to Congress)
  • Welfare Reform (1)-(2)

Box 11 - Subject File

  • Welfare Reform (3)
  • Youth Jobs

Box 11 (Continued) - Domestic Council Administrative File

  • Administration and Organization
  • Correspondence - General
  • Computer Usage by Domestic Council Staff
  • Invitations to Art Quern
  • Name File - McConahey, Steve (1)-(2)
  • Name File - Means, Grady
  • Name File - Moore, Allen

Box 12 - Domestic Council Administrative File

  • Name File - Myer, Paul
  • Name File - Overman, Dean
  • Name File - Parsons, Richard
  • Name File - Schleede, Glenn
  • Personnel - Potential Employees
  • White House Fellowships

Box 12 (Continued) - Budget Review File

  • Budget - General
  • Director's Review FY 1978
    - Department of Agriculture (1)-(2)

Box 13 - Budget Review File

  • Director's Review FY 1978
    - Department of Transportation
    - Environmental Protection Agency, Department of the Interior, Water Resources (1)-(2)
    - Energy Research and Development Administration (1)-(2)
    - General Services Administration/Commerce (1)-(2)

Box 14 - Budget Review File

  • Director's Review FY 1978
    - General Services Administration/Commerce (3)-(4)
    - Health, Education and Welfare (1)-(2)
    - Housing and Urban Development (1)-(4)

Box 15 - Budget Review File

  • Director's Review FY 1978
    - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • Spring Planning Review FY 1978
    - Agriculture
    - Commerce, Small Business Administration and Postal Service
    - Environmental Protection Agency, Department of the Interior, and Water Resources (1)-(2)
    - Energy Research and Development Administration
    - Federal Energy Administration
    - General Services Administration and Justice Department

Box 16 - Budget Review File

  • Spring Planning Review FY 1978
    - Health, Education and Welfare
    - Housing and Urban Development
    - Labor
    - Overview Session
    - Transportation
    - Veterans Administration
  • Tax Policy Review FY 1978 (1)-(2)

Box 16 (Continued) - State of the Union Message File

  • Analysis Papers

Box 17 - State of the Union Message File

  • Baroody, William - State of the Union Draft
  • Comprehensive Domestic Policy Analysis
  • Development of the State of the Union Message (1)-(2)
  • Domestic Policy Initiatives (1)-(2)
  • Domestic Review Policy Discussions
  • Draft Message and Summaries of Selected Possible Initiatives
  • Economic Policy Board

Box 18 - State of the Union Message File

  • Fact Sheets
  • Follow-up to the State of the Union Message
  • Meetings with Cabinet Members and Agency Heads
  • Subject
    - Agriculture
    - Arts
    - Civil Rights
    - Crime
    - Drug Abuse
    - Economy
    - Education
    - Elderly
    - Energy
    - Environment
    - General Revenue Sharing
    - Government Assistance
    - Health Care
    - Historic Preservation
    - International
    - Privacy
    - Regulatory Reform
    - Rural American Communities
    - Science and Technology
    - Small Business Initiatives

Box 19 - State of the Union Message File

  • Subject
    - Social Programs
    - Transportation
    - Veterans
    - Volunteerism
    - Women's Rights
  • Vice President's Briefing Book

Box 19 (Continued) - Chronological File

  • April - August 1975

Box 20 - Chronological File

  • September 1975 - June 1976

Box 21 - Chronological File

  • July 1976 - January 1977

Box 21 (Continued) - Janet H. Brown (Staff Assistant) File

  • Busing (1)-(2)
  • Census 1980

Box 22 - Janet H. Brown (Staff Assistant) File

  • Coastal Zone Management Act
  • Drinking Water
  • Educational Television
  • Environmental Regulations
  • Fireworks Display on July 4, 1976
  • Health
  • Indians (1)-(3)

Box 23 - Janet H. Brown (Staff Assistant) File

  • Indians (4)-(5)
  • Indian Health
  • Indian Matters - Department of Justice Task Force
  • Indian Task Force Report
  • Insulation (Home Energy Conservation)
  • Legislation
  • National Emergencies Act
  • New Economic Process (Jamestown, NY)
  • New York City Housing
  • Physical Fitness
  • President Ford - Accomplishments
  • Privacy
  • Smoking
  • Sunshine Act
  • Traffic Safety
  • Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Box 24 - Janet H. Brown (Staff Assistant) File

  • Unemployment (1) -(2)