Connect with us


White House Salaries: Who Makes What?



The White House is a coveted workplace, and most members of the President’s cabinet are grateful for the opportunity to serve their country in such a prominent role. And the job does in fact come with a lot of responsibility, and of course a lot of perks, including a healthy salary.
Every administration budgets for their staff differently, with Trump actually hiring less and reducing salaries by more than $50 million compared to his predecessor Obama. So how is the new Biden presidency paying their staff? Well you’ll have to read ahead and find out…

Chief of Staff – Ron Klain

Ron Klain already had a steadfast relationship with President Biden from his VP days, and he’s one of his most trusted advisors. He also had experience leading the Ebola response in 2014, and previously served as Chief of Staff for Al Gore during the Clinton administration. He pockets $167,000 a year.

Secretary of Veterans Affairs – Denis McDonough

A former national security advisor and Chief of Staff under President Obama, Denis McDonough rejoins this Biden administration by handling the Veterans Affairs office. He has a lot of strategic communications practice and will be an active voice for our troops, earning him a salary of $153,000.

National Intelligence Director – Avril Haines

Avril Haines becomes just the first woman to serve as the Director of National Intelligence. Under Obama, she served as an assistant and principal deputy national security advisor. She more recently worked in the CIA though, which propelled her to this position and $170,000 salary.

Special Presidential Envoy for Climate – John Kerry

John Kerry is a familiar name in the Democratic party, and the appointment to the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate makes total sense considering he has a ton of climate experience. He was active in this capacity as Secretary of State under Obama, orchestrating the Paris agreement and more recently founded his own initiative called World War Zero. He makes $175,000 annually.

Secretary of the Treasury – Janet Yellen

Another woman to be the first appointed to her post is Janey Yellen as the Secretary of the Treasury. She was previously the first woman to chair the Federal Reserve, and has served in various executive and advisory roles for over two decades. For her services, she receives $183,000.

Secretary of Transportation – Pete Buttigieg

For Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg may have lost out to Joe Biden, but he’s now making history as the first LGBTQ cabinet secretary to be approved by the Senate. The former mayor from South Bend, Indiana is also the youngest member, and receives $155,000 for directing the transportation department.

Secretary of State – Antony Blinken

Antony Blinken was a no-brainer choice for the Secretary of State role because he’d already served as the deputy in the same position back during the Obama days. He already has advisory and national security experience too, making him familiar enough to deserve his $169,000 salary.

Vice President – Kamala Harris

Vice President Kamala Harris needs no introduction, as she’s the first woman to serve in her position and is also the first black and south asian VP. Previously California’s attorney general and Senator up until she too attempted a run at the presidency, she now makes $235,100 serving directly under President Biden.

Attorney General – Merrick Garland

You may remember Merrick Garland from the time he was snubbed from being confirmed for the Supreme Court by Republicans just before the Trump presidency began. Well he’s back as Attorney General, and he brings with him plenty of D.C. experience. You can expect him to take home $175,000 for his duties.

Press Secretary – Jen Psaki

Jen Psaki is bringing back the normality of daily press briefings, and the seasoned Press Secretary is coming off her tenure at CNN where she served as a contributor, likely giving herself a healthy dose of what the media’s like. Formerly a communications director and advisor before that, she’s more than deserving of her $166,000 salary.

Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor – Jake Sullivan

Sullivan hasn’t sat still in Democratic politics since 2008 when serving as a deputy assistant, and after becoming then VP Biden’s National Security Advisor and leading Hillary Clinton’s 2016 senior policy team, he’s back for National Security advisory, this time under the presidential role. For this, he’ll be making 112,000.

White House National Climate Advisor – Gina McCarthy

Gina McCarthy’s position as National Climate Advisor is a special one, and that’s because it never existed before now! It highlights Biden’s focus on the climate, and the former environmental health and air quality expert is a great choice, considering she also headed the EPA previously in Obama’s second term. For her job, she’ll receive $135,000.

Director of the National Economic Council – Brian Deese

A former advisor to President Obama whose major role was negotiating the Paris Climate Accords, Deese is now taking over the role of National Economic Council Director. With previous experience directing the Office of Management and Budget, his $140,000 salary seems fair.

Counselor to the President and Coordinator of the COVID-19 response – Jeffrey Zients

Uniquely apropos to the current situation affecting the world, Jeffrey Zients will have his work cut out for him as the Coordinator of COVID-19 response. He inherits the position from Deborah Birx, who Trump appointed. He previously had Deese’s job of Director of the National Economic Council, and he left his CEO position and Facebook board seat to make $152,000 a year doing so.

Director of the Domestic Policy Council – Susan Rice

Susan Rice has become a prominent figure in the Democratic establishment, previously serving as the U.S. Ambassador to the UN in the first Obama administration and National Security Advisor during the second. This made her a great choice for Biden’s Domestic Policy Council, where she’ll make $130,000 for her efforts.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator – Michael Regan

Michael Ragan is the first African American appointee to the head of the EPA, but he has been a trusted and respected voice on the matter for some time. He led the Environmental Defense Fund under both the Clinton and Bush administrations, combatting the climate crisis with a focus on air pollution. He was working in North Carolina’s Department of Environmental quality, but now makes $142,000 for the White House.

Small Business Administrator – Isabel Guzman

Before joining the White House, Guzman served as the Director of California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate. With her experience gained helping grow and support businesses in America’s most populated state, and the fact that she’s already worked in the same office as deputy chief of staff and senior advisor, makes her well-deserving of the $125,000 salary.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield – UN Ambassador

Linda Thomas-Greenfield is a workhorse, just ask those who served around her during her 35-year stint at the US Foreign Service. She’s a career diplomat who’s spent years abroad and even served as ambassador to Liberia. She held various positions in the Obama administration, but she’d feel right at home coming out of retirement to serve in the UN for $133,000.

White House Director of Communications – Kate Bedingfield

Former Biden campaign manager Kate Bedingfield has transitioned into the position that makes the most sense for her in Communications Director. That’s because she already served in the role when Biden was Vice President, so the relationship is already there. Thanks to her experience, she nets $183,000 for juggling of daily chaos.

Chief of Staff for the First Lady – Julissa Reynoso

The President isn’t the only one in the White House in need of a staff, as the First Lady also has her own personnel. And Julissa Reynoso, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary for the State Department and Ambassador to Uruguay under Obama, now serves as Jill Biden’s Chief of Staff, netting her a payout of $144,000.

Counsel to the President – Dana Remus

One of the more obscure and interesting White House jobs is counselor to the president, which in effect could be a number of things, but mostly revolves around broad experience and expertise. Step in Dana Remus, who previously was a deputy assistant and counsel for ethics under Obama. She clearly knows what she’s doing, earning her a steady $150,000 a year.

Political Strategy & Outreach – Emmy Ruiz

A true story of grit and hard work, Ruiz worked her way up from a Clinton staffer in 2008 to becoming the director of policy and outreach for Biden thanks to her strategic consulting talent. For her orchestration, she’s compensated $135,000 annually.

Director of the White House Military Office – Maju Varghese

Varghese is an attorney with previous experience working as a special assistant in the White House beginning in 2010, and later becoming a senior advisor. Now that he leads the White House Military office, he’s responsible for informing the President of any and all situations across the military branches, for which he’s compensated $125,000.

Senior Advisor to the President and Director of the Office of Public Engagement – Cedric Richmond

Escalating from his role as Representative for Louisiana’s 2nd congressional district, Cedric Richmond is now a Senior Advisor for Joe Biden, in addition to directing the Office of Public Engagement. He was also the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, making him a worthy advisor to the president. For his duties, he receives $165,000.

West Wing Receptionist

If you’re ever wondering what it’d pay to become the White House’s West Wing receptionist, you might be disappointed to find out that they only take home $53,000 a year, which probably isn’t far off from many other receptionist positions. The most recent post was held up by Kathleen Porter.

Director of Stenography – Dominique Dansky

One of the unsung portions of the White House is the stenographer’s office, which has the difficult task of documenting all the happenings for public records. This office is led by Dominique Dansky, who makes $98,000 for her directorial oversight of the department.

Special Assistant to the President and Director of White House Travel Office

Everyone likes planning to travel, but the stress and pressure may be a little higher when you’re coordinating the excursions for the president and rest of the White House. You can only imagine how many stipulations there must be, so for that duty, former employee Bethany Pritchard was compensated $106,000.

Chief Calligrapher

Much like a stenographer, Chief Calligraphist is a specialty position you often forget about. These artists have high demand and expectations, as they typically have diverse skills ranging from typeset to graphic design. You can expect holidays to be most busy though, and the going rate for these letter experts is a solid $109,200 a year.

Senior Videographer

Every White House needs a personal videographer to document all the happenings that occur in the building, in addition to constant b-roll and footage for later publications and archives. Regardless of the situation, the videographer is there to capture it, and they will earn themselves a healthy salary of $80,000.

President – Joe Biden

It’s long been known that the president makes $400,000 a year, and Joe Biden is no different. It’s not a lot comparatively, but usually most presidents aren’t living solely on their salary, and often choose to donate it to a helpful cause. It’s still early, so we’ll see if Biden does the same, though he’s already hinted he will.

Office of Management & Budget Director – Vacant

The Budget Director usually takes home around $160,000 a year.