The Cabinet is traditionally made up of the vice-president and the heads of the 15 executive departments - agriculture, commerce, defence, education, energy, health and human services, homeland security, housing and urban development, interior, labour, state, transportation, treasury, veterans' affairs, and the attorney general. These department heads are appointed by the president, and must be approved by a majority vote of the Senate. Other officials or agencies can be given Cabinet rank if the president chooses.
Cabinet members must work closely with the congressional committees who control their budgets and write the laws they have to implement.
While some cabinet members are key advisors to the president, others may essentially serve in a more adminstrative capacity.
President Obama holds a meeting in the cabinet room.