Insights into the Obama administration

15 February 2016

Griffith University, Brisbane

Former Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, Melody Barnes, is in Australia for a series of events with Per Capita.  At this event, at Griffith University, Ms Barnes spoke about her work at the White House and her role shaping the domestic policy agenda of the Obama Administration.

“Our responsibility is to coordinate the work in the White House and make sure it aligns with the President’s vision.  So you need to work out what that vision is and what the priorities are.  Then work in a collaborative nature with the secretaries and sub-cabinet staff to what the top priorities are.

We would put on a bulletin board what the things are that you want to accomplish.  Every day you are going to be hit with wave after wave of things that you never expected, you have to address those things but not lose sight of the priorities and the way you’re going to executive against them.

It was my responsibility to keep him informed what the cabinet secretaries were thinking, and to go out into the world and hear what’s going out on the ground. This meant helping form the vision into a coherent agenda.  We had to have a narrative about what we were doing and why.”

Click on the link below to go to the full audio of this event.