Chief Executive

As president of the United States, it was Eisenhower’s job to use his authority to enforce laws, policies, and to run the functioning of the White House.  Eisenhower presided over the White House by increseing the size of the white house staff.  He created the new positions of national security advisor and white house chief of staff.  He also met with the cabinet and National Security Council on a weekly basis (The Eisenhower Approach to Leadership).

Although Eisenhower did not have a lot of political experience, his military strength and knowledge helped him a great deal while in office.  Because of his military background, foreign affairs were always one of his main focuses.

(Source: John Foster Dulles)

However, Eisenhower heavily relied on his secretary of state John Foster Dulles through much of his preidency.  Because of his lack of political experience, Eisenhower relied on many of his advisors, especially Dulles, for persepectives on issues (Dwight David Eisenhower. History Reference Center). Dulles had a significant influence on American diplomacy a this time.  Together, Eisenhower and Dulles secured international mutaul security agreements and reduced the umber of troops in the U.S Military as a part of their containment of communism.  Dulles also took charge of many foreign policy issues during his tenure including the crisis in Indochina and the Suez Canal Crisis, in which he created the Eisenhower Doctrine (Biographies of the Secretary of State).

Another role of Eisenhower’s as chief executive was to appoint officials, such as secretaries, Supreme Court Justices, and judges. Some appointments that Eisenhower made during his presidency included:

– Earl Warren as chief justice of the Supreme Court

– William J. Brennan to the Supreme court

– Christian Herter as Sectretary of State after  John Dulles resigned

(Source: American President) 

I would rate Eisenhower’s performance as Chief executive successful.  He worked very cooperatively with his secretary of state to create new policy, and he also took it upon himself to make appointments in the Supreme Court.  Although he did not have a substantial amount of experience in politics, he used his expertise in the military field to gain support as Chief Executive.  While some people would argue that Eisenhower passed much of his responsibility onto Dulles, I believe that he used his resources to the best of his ability.


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