Downing previously worked for Maryland-based Susan Gage Caterers, and before that he worked in the Reagan administration.
The White House chief of staff manages the residence and works closely with the first lady and her office. The starter runs the six-story, 55,000-square-foot White House mansion and oversees a permanent staff of about 100. The Chief responds to any concerns the President and First Lady may have about their home, hires and fires staff, and manages funds allocated by Congress to run the house, including the cost of heating, lighting, air-conditioning and employee wages.
Before working for Susan Gage Caterers, Downing managed a 200-year-old home – Evermay – in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, and in 1995 he worked on the presidential campaign of California Governor Pete, Wilson. From 1985 to 1993, he worked at the US Treasury Department, eventually serving as executive secretary directing policy coordination between the department and the White House.
This position was previously nonpartisan with the head going to continue from one administration to the next. Gary Walters was chief executive from 1986 to 2007.