What does a Deputy Chief of Staff do?

In large organizations, such as the arms of national governments, the role of Chief of Staff (COS) is significant enough that they require aides, assistants, or deputies of their own. This role is commonly referred to as a Deputy Chief of Staff (DCOS). DCOSs can be found in numerous institutions that require a hierarchy beneath the COS to manage complex institutional goals.

In the US White House, the DCOS is the formal top aide to the White House COS, who is, in turn, the senior aide to the President. The office of DCOS is usually in the West Wing and is in charge of running the White House bureaucracy. The DCOS may also be tasked with specific or ad-hoc duties by the COS.

In some administrations, there have been several DCOSs at the same time. The Trump administration has three concurrent DCOS. Chris Liddell is the current DCOS for Staff for Policy Coordination, Tony Ornato is the DCOS for Operations, and Dan Scavino is the DCOS for Communications.

The role of DCOS is a potential springboard to the formal COS position. In the White House, there have been six DCOSs who have subsequently been promoted to COS. They include prominent figures such as Dick Cheney, Ken Duberstein, Andrew Card, Erskine Bowles, John Podesta, and Joshua Botlen.

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