Job description of the President of the United States – Part 1

What is the job description of the President of the United States and how does that relate to the president of a 4-H club?

The President of the United States of America has a very demanding job, but what exactly are the job responsibilities? Who determines what the President does? The answer is not simple, but it does begin with the Constitution of the United States.

So what does the Constitution say is the role of the President? The answer lies in Article II, Sections 2 through 7. The president is:

  • Commander-in-chief. According to Article 2, Section 2, "The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States"
  • Chief diplomat. According to Article 2, Section 2, "He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls…" Also according to Article 2, Section 3, “…he shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers…"
  • Chief administrator. According to Article 2, Section 1, "The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America."
  • Chief legislator. According to Article 1, Section 7, "Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to the President of the United States; if he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a law." Also according to Article 2, Section 3, "He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”
  • Chief magistrate. According to Article 2, Section 3, “…he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed…"

The Constitution outlines the very basics of the President of the United States. The day-to-day operations is a bigger picture and with technology, media, social media and the connectivity of citizens, the expectations placed on a president have changed in many ways.

So how does all this relate to other presidents?

Much like the President of the United States, 4-H members elected to preside over their 4-H club, councils or boards have much demand from their members, leaders and parents. Unlike the President of the United States, there is not a Constitution that is upheld by higher courts that spells out their roles and responsibilities. However, 4-H members who are elected to lead their group do have basic roles and responsibilities that are usually described in the by-laws of their club.

If a group does not have a job description for their officers, two resources that will help explain roles and responsibilities of the presider or present include “Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised 11th Edition” by Henry M. Robert III et al., and “Helping You Help Officers and Committees” by Michigan State University Extension.

Job description of a 4-H president – Part 2” will look at the roles and responsibilities of a president of a 4-H club.

The MSU Extension leadership and civic engagement work team is also available to assist groups in developing bylaws that outline roles and responsibilities of officers as well conduct trainings to assist officers to exceed in their roles. Contact the team at for more information.

To learn about the positive impact of Michigan 4-H youth leadership, citizenship and service and global and cultural education programs, read our 2016 Impact Report: “Developing Civically Engaged Leaders.”

Additional impact reports, highlighting even more ways Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H have positively impacted individuals and communities in 2016, can be downloaded from the MSU Extension website.

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