November 29, 2023

2024 is right around the corner

The next presidential election is less than a year away, followed by only 75 days before the inauguration. 

The short period between the election and the inauguration is not nearly enough time for a newly elected president to make plans to run the largest, most complex organization in the world, fill the more than 4,000 political appointments and harness a $6 trillion budget.  

It is also a short window for a second-term president to decide what changes to make based on lessons from their first term, and ensure both current appointees and new hires are ready to serve in key positions across the government. Data from the Center shows that for the last three two-term presidents, an average of 46% of their top Senate-confirmed officials serving on Election Day left their jobs within six months into the second term, a huge loss that should be anticipated and requires advance planning.  

That’s why any candidate running for president should start preparing to govern no later than spring 2024. While early planning was viewed as presumptuous a decade ago, presidential candidates and incumbents alike have come to embrace its value and importance.  

Today, outside organizations are already building policy and personnel plans to share with the eventual Republican presidential nominee. As an incumbent running for re-election, President Joe Biden has the opportunity to make every day count by engaging in planning for a second term. Early planning in 2020 helped Biden hit the ground running with more than 1,100 appointees and 17 executive orders on Inauguration Day.  

In addition, the law obligates a sitting president to prepare to hand over the reins of power in the event of an election loss, another huge and important task.  

It’s a tremendous amount of work for all involved. The good news is that the Center for Presidential Transition is here to help.  

Since 2008, the Partnership’s Center for Presidential Transition has been the leading nonpartisan organization working with presidential candidates’ teams, federal agency leaders, outgoing presidents and those seeking a second term to ensure that effective, peaceful transitions occur every four years.  

We are releasing new resources for the 2024 cycle, including: 

  • New versions of the Center’s Presidential Transition Guide and Agency Transition Guide, which detail transition best practices for candidates and agencies, provide historical materials from past transitions and offer recommendations for successful planning.   
  • A redesigned website that will serve as a central hub for the Center’s work, research and analysis. It also includes an extensive repository for documentation from previous transitions as well as a comprehensive database of job descriptions for Senate-confirmed positions.  
  • A new data visualization that uses the Center’s presidential appointments database to illustrate the broken Senate confirmation process.  
  • Regular posts on the Center’s blog featuring real-time analysis of transition and second-term planning and execution.  
  • A bi-weekly newsletter that highlights the Center’s research and events, in addition to important news and transition milestones.  

Beginning early next year, new episodes of the Center’s podcast, “Transition Lab,” will explore the connections between transition and democracy, and provide analysis of the 2024 transition. The Center also will continue to provide resources for prospective political appointees through its Ready to Serve program and training for new appointees through the Ready to Govern initiative.  

So follow along as the Center shares research, resources and expertise throughout the next year. The success of the next presidential transition will determine how prepared we are as a country to face the challenges of the modern world. It is in everyone’s interest to expect and advocate for an effective and peaceful presidential transition in 2024, regardless of who wins the presidency.

Valerie Smith Boyd