Domestic Policy Council

Domestic Policy Council

The Domestic Policy Council (DPC) coordinates the domestic policy-making process in the White House and offers advice to the President. The DPC also supervises the execution of domestic policy and represents the President’s priorities to Congress.

Even before the formal creation of the DPC, some form of a domestic policy staff has existed in the White House since the 1960s. President Lyndon B. Johnson assigned a senior-level aide to organize staff and develop domestic policy. In 1970, President Richard M. Nixon issued an executive order that created the Office of Policy Development, a large White House office with jurisdiction over economic and domestic policy. President William J. Clinton split the office, forming the current Domestic Policy Council and the National Economic Council.

Director of Domestic Policy Council Melody Barnes

Melody Barnes is the President’s Domestic Policy Adviser and the Director of the Domestic Policy Council, which coordinates the domestic policy-making process in the White House.

Before joining the White House, Barnes served as the Senior Domestic Policy Advisor to President Obama’s campaign. Prior to joining the campaign, she was the Executive Vice President for Policy at the Center for American Progress. From 1995 to 2003, she served as Chief Counsel to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

In those capacities, and as Director of Legislative Affairs for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and assistant counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights, she worked extensively on civil rights and voting rights, women’s health, religious liberties, and commercial law.

Barnes received her bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received her law degree from the University of Michigan. She began her career as an attorney with Shearman & Sterling in New York City, and is a member of both the New York State Bar Association and the District of Columbia Bar Association.