The functions of the chief of staff include:

  1. Acting as the Chief Operating Officer: Much of the day-to-day responsibility for ensuring that state agencies are functioning falls to the chief of staff.
  2. Acting as the Office Manager for the Governor: The chief of staff directly manages the governor’s office, overseeing the daily operations and interrelationship of the gubernatorial staff and determining what decisions will be taken to the governor.
  3. Acting as the Chief Strategist: The chief of staff helps the governor to develop and maintain a short and focused policy agenda. As primary strategist, the chief helps to reinforce the governor’s commitment to his agenda and to oversee the process of campaigning for its achievement.
  4. Acting as Chief Policy Advisor: The governor inevitably will rely on the chief for advice on a wide range of policy issues. The chief’s role is to ensure that the governor receives the information, analyses, and views necessary to make a decision. The chief of staff also may develop the key themes and directions of the governor’s budget or legislative message, leaving details to the budget or policy director.
  5. Acting as Crisis Coordinator: The chief of staff has a formal role in the governor’s office plan for emergencies, which includes developing the standard processes for managing crises, putting together an ad hoc team to address the specifics of any given emergency, and rationing the governor’s visibility in a crisis.