What is the Center for Presidential Transition?

The Partnership for Public Service’s Center for Presidential Transition® serves as the premier nonpartisan source of information and resources to help presidential candidates and their teams lay the groundwork for a new administration or for a president’s second term.

Visit the Presidential Transition Central for what you need to know about the transition period, past presidential transitions and how to become a political appointee.

Learn more Read the message from the Center for Presidential Transition advisory board



Serving America through a presidential appointment is a great honor and responsibility. But, preparing to serve can be a complicated process and getting started early is important. Ready to Serve is our new, centralized resource that guides candidates through every step of the process.

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Our Ready to Serve webinar series is for aspiring political appointees potentially interested in serving in the current administration or a new administration.


The Presidential Transition: Sharing Information on National Security Issues


Presidential Transition in Times of Crisis


State of the Transition: An Update With Ken Burns, Josh Bolten and Eric Rauchway



What Happens During the Transition Period?

Considering the size of the U.S. government, the importance of its responsibilities and the short time between the election and the inauguration, transitions are always a tall order. But the stakes could not be higher this year.

After Ascertainment: What’s Next for the Biden-Harris Transition Team

President-elect Biden and his team have already started their transition work, demonstrating skill, experience and purpose. Now that ascertainment has occurred, they can continue with the full support of the United States government.

A Late Start to a Transition Can Delay Filling Key Leadership Positions Critical for the American People

Further delays by the General Services Administration in recognizing the outcome of the Nov. 3 election could impede the ability of President-elect Joe Biden to make timely and critical appointments for key COVID-19 and national security-related positions, thereby weakening the government’s ability to protect our nation and distribute life-saving vaccines.



2020 Presidential Transition Guide

The Partnership’s comprehensive guide on the activities required during the transition. This updated guide, produced in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group, features detailed outlines of transition best practices, historical materials from past transitions, and recommendations for a successful presidential transition to a new or second-term administration.

Download (2m)

2020 Agency Transition Guide

Based on convenings with transition leaders from nearly 40 agencies, the Partnership and The Boston Consulting Group have compiled best practices into a guide for senior career leaders.

Download (3m)

Presidential Transition Act Summary

In passing the Presidential Transition Act of 1963, Congress explained: “Any disruption occasioned by the transfer of the executive power could produce results detrimental to the safety and well-being of the United States and its people.” To promote the orderly transfer of power, Congress established a framework for the federal government to prepare for a transition from one president to another.

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Transition Lab

Transition Lab is a behind-the-scenes look at presidential transitions. Join David Marchick, director of the Partnership for Public Service’s Center for Presidential Transition for candid discussions with former presidential chiefs of staff, transition team leads and other presidential transition experts. Transition Lab is a must-listen for anyone interested in developing a better understanding of what needs to happen before a president takes office or starts a second term.

Listen to the episodes


Is Joe Biden right that transition starts with an ‘apparent’ winner?

November 19, 2020

Publication Type: In the News

Is Biden correct about the legal standard for the General Services Administration to initiate the transition process?

The Transition: The ‘traffic jam’ gets worse every day the White House delays

November 18, 2020

Publication Type: In the News

David Marchick, director of the Center for Presidential Transition, has a traffic report for us on this special episode of the Political Theater podcast: If the Trump administration doesn’t start doing its part in the transition to the Biden administration, it’s going to cause backups in serving the public that threaten our well-being, even our…

The Biden administration will be hit with multiple crises from the get-go

November 17, 2020

Publication Type: In the News

As soon as President-elect Joe Biden steps into the Oval Office in January, he will be hit with an onslaught of crises that will require immediate attention. 

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Now that ascertainment has occurred, what’s next for the Biden-Harris transition team? Here are the resources now available: https://presidentialtransition.org/publications/after-ascertainment-whats-next-for-the-biden-harris-transition-team/

The administrator of the General Services Administration has ascertained the results of the 2020 presidential election. Read the Partnership for Public Service's statement on the start of the formal presidential transition: https://ourpublicservice.org/publications/partnership-for-public-service-statement-on-gsa-ascertainment-and-start-of-formal-presidential-transition/?utm_campaign=OURPUBLICSERVICE.ORG&utm_content=1606175739&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter

On #TransitionLab: Bush Chief of Staff Josh Bolten discusses the importance of a smooth transition, enabling @RonaldKlain and team to be prepared to deliver for the American people. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/state-transition-update-ken-burns-josh-bolten-eric/id1495404153?i=1000499885509

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