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Letter Accepting the Resignation of Linda Chavez as Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Public Liaison

February 03, 1986

Dear Linda:

It is with regret that I accept your resignation as Director of Public Liaison effective as of February 4, 1986. You were always willing to take on challenging assignments and able to succeed brilliantly. I am grateful for the truly outstanding job you have done for my Administration and for America.

As Staff Director for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, you demonstrated your wholehearted commitment to the cause of equal rights for all Americans and your unyielding opposition to all forms of discrimination based on race, religion, sex, or ethnic background. More than that, you demonstrated your ability to deal effectively and persuasively with people of differing views and backgrounds.

Those same exceptional qualities of character and intellect were the secret of your great success as Director of the White House Office of Public Liaison. There you served as an able and eloquent advocate-explaining our policies to a wide range of diverse groups and winning their understanding and support. But you were also keenly aware that communication with government must be a two-way street. I'm especially proud of the way you were able to elicit the views of diverse constituencies and bring them to my attention so they could be given proper consideration in the creation and carrying out of policy.

I vividly recall a meeting you arranged in the cabinet room shortly before my departure for Geneva. It gave me the opportunity for a stimulating dialogue with a number of religious leaders on how best to achieve our shared goal of peace and justice in the world.

On many other occasions you set up opportunities for me to meet across the table and discuss the major issues with leaders from business, labor, civic and fraternal organizations—as well as a host of trade, professional, ethnic, and religious groups. I can assure you that this dialogue has been very helpful to us in developing policy proposals and improving the way government programs work. In your own, calm, thoughtful and efficient way you also provided us with a model of how government officials should work.

The members of the White House Staff and the Cabinet will all miss you. I certainly know I will. But I know that your decision to leave was prompted by the same desire to serve your country that led you to come and work in my Administration. Let me assure you, Linda, that my high regard for your good judgment persuades me that you have made the right decision.

I wish you all the best in your new endeavors. Good luck, and God bless you!



Dear Mr. President:

It is with mixed emotions that I write this letter resigning my post as your Director of Public Liaison, for this has surely been the most rewarding and exciting year of my life.

The honor you have bestowed in allowing me to serve in your Administration both here at the While House and previously as Staff Director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights humbles me.

You have made all Americans proud once again of this country as you made us stronger and safer. You have brought prosperity and offered hope to millions of us. You have restored our sense of values and have given us a new vision of what will keep this country great and free. I have been proud to serve you and my country, but now I think I can do so better by seeking elected office.

I will never forget your kindness and genuine affection for people. It is, I am sure, the source of your seemingly limitless strength. Perhaps most of all, I will remember your words to the nation last week when you consoled us in the aftermath of national tragedy. Your greatness as President was never more evident than the way in which you reminded us that those seven young men and women died for their country, willingly sacrificing themselves for our futures. Your words and your manner transformed sorrow into hope and comforted us all. Thank you, Mr. President.

With admiration and respect,


Note: The originals were not available for verification of the content of these letters.

Ronald Reagan, Letter Accepting the Resignation of Linda Chavez as Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Public Liaison Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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