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Background

The work of the Executive Branch gets done by the Departments, each focusing on its area of expertise. The Departments' chief officers are known Secretaries, and each Secretary is a member of the President's advisory council, known as the Cabinet. 

Should the President become incapacitated or be removed from office, the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 gives the order of precedence for who should become the next President. After the Vice-President the Secretaries are in line for the Presidency in the Act's specified order. See the other box on this page for the Departments' order of precedence. 

Each President can include in the Cabinet other members of his/her administration. President Obama's Cabinet non-Secretarial members are:

White House Chief of Staff

Director of the Environmental Protection Agency

Director of the Office of Management and Budget

United States Trade Representative

United States Ambassador to the United Nations

Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers

Administrator of the Small Business Administration

Departments & Secretaries

 

In order of succession

 

 

 Department of State     Secretary: John Kerry 

 

 

 

 Department of the Treasury      Secretary: Jacob J. Lew

 

 

 
  Department of Defense     Secretary: Ashton Carter


 
 
  Department of Justice     Attorney General: Loretta Lynch 
 
 
 
 
 Department of the Interior     Secretary: Sally Jewell 
 
 
 
 
  Department of Agriculture     Secretary: Thomas J. Vilsack 
 
 
 
 
  Department of Commerce     Secretary: Penny Pritzker
 
 
  
  
Department of Labor     Secretary: Thomas E. Perez  
 
 
 
 
 Department of Health & Human Services     Secretary: Sylvia Matthews Burwell 
 
 
 
 
   Department of Housing & Urban Development     Secretary: Julian Castro
 
 
   
 
  Department of Transportation     Secretary: Anthony Foxx 
 
 
   
 
 Department of Energy     Secretary: Ernest Moniz 
 
 
  
 
  Department of Education     Secretary: John B. King, Jr.
 
 
  
 
 Department of Verterans' Affairs     Secretary: Robert A. McDonald
 
 
 
  
  Department of Homeland Security     Secretary: Jeh Johnson
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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