July 1st, 2009
09:25 PM ET
5 years ago

White House releases staff salary list

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's salary has maxed out.
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's salary has maxed out.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Top-level staff members of the Obama White House earn the same amount as their predecessors in the Bush administration, according to a report submitted to Congress Wednesday. The president announced the pay freeze on his first full day in office for White House employees earning more than $100,000.

The report, which a 1994 law requires be submitted annually to Senate and House oversight committees, shows 487 employees on the White House personnel list. Of those, 455 are employed directly by the White House, while an additional 32 are so-called "detailees" on loan from other federal agencies.

Among the actual employees, 122 staffers earn more than $100,000 annually, compared to 125 employees in the final year of the Bush administration. Twenty-two Obama White House staffers make the top possible salary of $172,200, compared to 18 employees who made that amount in the Bush White House.

Obama White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and press secretary Robert Gibbs both make the top amount, as did their Bush counterparts Joshua Bolten and Dana Perino. Other top Obama aides who earn the maximum salary are senior adviser David Axelrod, White House Counsel Gregory Craig, communications director Anita Dunn, speechwriting director Jonathan Favreau, senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, National Security Adviser James Jones, and National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers.

The highest-paid White House staff member is Public Health Policy Director David Marcozzi, who earns $192,934. However, as a detailee from the Department of Health and Human Services, his salary is not paid directly by the White House.

WHITE HOUSE STAFFERS EARNING THE TOP SALARY OF $172,200

David Axelrod
Assistant to the President and Senior Adviser

Melody Barnes
Assistant to the President and and Director of the Domestic Policy Council

John Brennan
Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Adviser for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security

Elizabeth Brown
Assistant to the President and Staff Secretary

Carol Browner
Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change

Gregory Craig
Assistant to the President and Counsel to the President

Thomas Donilon
Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Adviser

Anita Dunn
Assistant to the President and Director of Communications

Rahm Emanuel
Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff

Jonathan Favreau
Assistant to the President and Director of Speechwriting

Patrick Gaspard
Assistant to the President and Director of Political Affairs

Robert Gibbs
Assistant to the President and Press Secretary

Valerie Jarrett
Senior Adviser and Assistant to the President and for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement

James Jones
National Security Adviser

Christopher Lu
Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary

Alyssa Mastromonaco
Assistant to the President and Director of Scheduling and Advance

James Messina
Assistant to the President and and Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations

Peter Rouse
Assistant to the President and Senior Adviser

Philip Schiliro
Assistant to the President and Director, Office of Legislative Affairs

Susan Sher
Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady

Lawrence Summers
Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council

Mona Sutphen
Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy

Complete list published by the White House (PDF)


Filed under: Extra • Obama administration
soundoff (155 Responses)
  1. CM001

    In private sector, a midle level manager will make easily $150K, options + stock grants etc. Compared to that these salaries are ridiculously low. Just the pressure of working in White house and the responsibilities that come along with it, doesn't matter whether they are republicans or dems they all can be paid lot more.

    July 2, 2009 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  2. Remo........... Downtown Round Rock, Texas

    Obama sure talks a good talk but he's not keeping his house in order. Let's have him cut their pay. OH Yes, let's have him discontinue their Medical coverage. None of them are worth a nickle.
    All we get is "Obama Jama" his worthless ideas to us while he has the Treasury print money that we can't possibly cover.
    Let's not forget all the deals that they will have lined up after they leave office. That's where they really rake it in. Even Dubyah makes $250K for a speaking engagement.

    July 2, 2009 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  3. Lauren

    If you take the salary of the top people in the Obama administration, including Obama himself, and divide the salary by the number of hours they work, each of them is actually making a little more that $3.00 (three dollars) an hour for the work they do. That is a cryin' shame.

    July 2, 2009 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  4. Look up Bush staff salaries

    The problem i have with Americans are we are so misinformed. I just looked up the amount the folks in Bush white house and there are just as much as Obamas and screwed up the nation.

    I cant remember CNN posting Bush staff salaries giving the fact that the economy recession started as far back as 2007. I know CNN has its own agenda with Dana Bash, King and the rest of the GOP cronies working here.

    It doesnt matter anyways...CNN cant save GOP lol. Your ratings will only continue to go down as it is this quarter when you came in 3rd again in prime time.

    I know CNN likes to remove posting...its one of ur worlds that sickens us and drives us away when our voice cannot be heard.

    July 2, 2009 02:46 am at 2:46 am |
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