Probably deriving from the French term cabine meaning "small, private room," the U.S. President's Cabinet is a sophisticated group of close advisers, including the Vice President and the secretaries of 15 executive departments. One of the main purposes of the Cabinet is to advise the President on any subject he may require relating to the duties of their respective offices.
One of the major duties that President Barack Obama will undertake before assuming office in January is naming members to his Cabinet. On Nov. 6, 2008, U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., accepted Obama's offer to become the White House Chief of Staff, making him the first named Cabinet member under Obama's administration. Emanuel's position is one of six to have cabinet-level rank, which entitles them to attend Cabinet meetings without being secretaries of executive departments.
Click on the links below to find out more about the history and duties of the Cabinet, and information on President Barack Obama's Cabinet.
Find out who held which secretary position throughout the history of the U.S. presidency with this in-depth list from the History Channel, starting with Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of State under George Washington in 1789.
Browse this resource from POTUS to find out the secretaries serving under each U.S. President.
This guide makes it easy for anyone to understand how the Cabinet works.
What does it take to have a top position in Obama's administration, anyway? Read this article from The New York Times or check out this official questionnaire that all prospective Obama Cabinet members are reportedly being required to complete.