What does a White House chief of staff do? 5 things to know

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It's been almost a week since Donald Trump won the presidential election, and the president-elect will have some tough decisions to make in the weeks ahead, even before he assumes office. Trump is currently in the process of selecting his cabinet members. On Sunday, Trump announced a vital pick: current Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus to fill the role of chief of staff.

Priebus has proven himself capable to fill the role. During the presidential campaign, Priebus reportedly helped Trump hone in on and temper his message to voters.

But what exactly does a chief of staff actually do? Here's some key responsibilities of the job.

Learn more about Reince Priebus:

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RNC Chair Reince Priebus
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RNC Chair Reince Priebus
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and Chairman of the Republican National Committee Reince Priebus (R) address supporters during his election night rally in Manhattan, New York, U.S. on November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo
U.S. President elect Donald Trump shakes hands with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus (C) as Vice President-elect Mike Pence (R) looks onat election night rally in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Reince Priebus, Chairman of the Republican National Committee stands at the main podium as he previews the stage at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. on July 17, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., July 21 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) (R) talks to RNC Chair Reince Priebus at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 19, 2016. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus gavels the convention to order at the start of the first session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus hold his hand over his heart for the U.S. Naitonal Anthem at the start of the first session of the at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young
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Manager of the Executive Office of the President

The chief of staff position in the White House was created in 1939 during President Franklin Roosevelt's administration, and is tasked with overseeing the Executive Office of the President.

The EOP includes a long list of officeholders, and the chief of staff is charged with making sure each and every one of them has access to the president, according to the Wall Street Journal. Some positions in this office include the president's communications staff, their political directors and various other roles that comprise the president's inner circle.

Executive "bouncer"

The chief of staff also directs which information makes it to the president's desk. They limit who can speak to the president and for what purpose, as well as the duration of the meeting.

By limiting access to the president, the chief of staff frees up the president's day. Of course, this gateway to the president has led to some political favoritism in the past as well.

Top adviser

The chief of staff is also seen as a principal adviser to the president on matters related to both policy issues as well as political matters. They have been given a position with a high degree of trust. With that trust, the chief of staff is often the last person the president will seek counsel from before making an important decision that affects their policy agenda.

The chief of staff is able to fulfill this role because they are in frequent contact with the agenda makers in Congress and within the president's cabinet. As the main point of contact for the president, they often have access to the most information, and can provide a valuable piece of advice to the president based off of what they've heard from others.

Soother of bruised egos

Naturally, the president cannot make time for everyone, and often this means that agendas of certain government officials may be backtracked — or, at times, ignored entirely.

When high government officials get frustrated with the president's lack of interest or time for them, the chief of staff can serve as a consoler of sorts, assuring those who don't always make the cut into the president's time that they do matter — just not at this moment.

Plan executor

The chief of staff is charged with controlling the information that comes into the Oval Office. But they are also charged with executing a plan from the president. This requires consulting with cabinet members and legislative leaders in Congress in order to pass the president's agenda. The chief of staff must have the ability to assuage the concerns of those working with the president to make a deal go through Congress fast, or to make certain a cabinet secretary understands their role in a crucial executive order.

A president needs someone who can work with both the president-elect and his surrogates. That person needs to be able to complete several essential roles, every day, in order to execute the vision of the president.

Related: Learn more about Trump's transition team:


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Donald Trump's transition team
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Donald Trump's transition team
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and Chairman of the Republican National Committee Reince Priebus address supporters during his election night rally in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence attends a campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S. November 7, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Campaign CEO Stephen Bannon departs the offices of Republican president-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York, New York, U.S. November 11, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Governor Chris Christie speaks to supporters in West Des Moines, Iowa, U.S. January 31, 2016. REUTERS/Brian C. Frank/File Photo
Former candidate Ben Carson arrives to attend the third and final 2016 presidential campaign debate between Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani leaves the offices of Republican President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York, New York, U.S., November 11, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 20, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich
Defense Intelligence Agency director U.S. Army Lt. General Michael Flynn testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on "Worldwide Threats" in Washington February 4, 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron/File photo TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Al) speaks at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Republican President-elect Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump arrives at Trump Tower in New York, New York, U.S., November 11, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Son of Republican President-elect Donald Trump Eric Trump gives the thumbs up as he arrives at Trump Tower in New York, New York, U.S., November 11, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Donald Trump Jr. sits between his wife Vanessa (L) and his brother Eric Trump (R) during the third and final debate between Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
Jared Kushner (L) and Stephen Bannon stand by as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a campaign rally in Canton, Ohio, U.S., September 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
PayPal co-founder and Facebook board member Peter Thiel delivers his speech on the U.S. presidential election at the National Press Club in Washington, U.S., October 31, 2016. REUTERS/Gary Cameron
Steven Mnuchin, Chairman and Co-CEO of Dune Capital Management LP and Chairman and CEO of OneWest Bank Group LLC speaks at a panel discussion "Jump-Starting the Housing Market" at the 2009 Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills,California April 28, 2009. REUTERS/Fred Prouser (UNITED STATES BUSINESS)
Anthony Scaramucci, co-managing partner and founder of Skybridge Capital speaks at the opening of the annual Skybridge Alternatives Conference (SALT) in Las Vegas May 6, 2015. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
Newly elected Congressmen Lou Barletta (R-PA) (R) and Tim Scott (R-SC) (C) arrive on Capitol Hill in Washington, November 17, 2010. The new members of the upcoming 112th Congress are going through orientation. REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi speaks at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 20, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) speaks during the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 21, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
U.S. Representative Chris Collins (R-NY) flashes a thumbs-up before delivering his nomination speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 19, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young
U.S. Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) talks to reporters as he walks from the offices of House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (not pictured) at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, October 15, 2013. Republicans in the House of Representatives failed to reach internal consensus on Tuesday on how to break an impasse on the federal budget that could soon result in an economically damaging default on the country's debt. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS MEDIA)
Campaign Communications Director Hope Hicks departs the offices of Republican president-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York, New York, U.S. November 11, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
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