Understanding Federal Records Management during Presidential Transitions

November 13, 2020

For senior officials, many of their records are permanently valuable and one day will be sent to the National Archives to help document the country’s history. As senior officials often enter and leave federal service during times of presidential transition, there are several things they should know to properly manage and preserve their records.

Read More

Five tips for getting through the Senate confirmation process

September 25, 2020

The opportunity to serve in a presidentially-appointed position in the federal government is a unique privilege and honor. For some positions, this means nominees must traverse the difficult Senate confirmation process before they can take office. The confirmation process can be one of the biggest challenges a nominee will face in their lifetime. Here’s some advice for navigating that process.

Read More

The art of agency review during a presidential transition

September 21, 2020

In this episode of Transition Lab, host David Marchick speaks to Lisa Brown, co-chair of agency review for the 2008 Obama-Biden transition team. Marchick and Brown discuss how this process works, why it is so important and the critical role played by career staff.

Read More

Improving the Plum Book: The Need to Modernize Information about Federal Leadership

September 17, 2020

The Plum Book is the most comprehensive source about officials serving in the federal government. It contains information on more than 4,000 political appointees–1,200 of whom are subject to Senate confirmation–along with thousands of other jobs filled by senior career officials in the federal civil service. Unfortunately, the Plum Book has been produced largely the same way since 1952, and should be modernized to provide greater transparency and accountability.

Read More

The Best of Transition Lab

September 14, 2020

Since launching in January 2020, Transition Lab has offered a close look at the world of presidential transition planning, featuring in-depth interviews with those who have organized, led and written about some of the most notable transfers of power in U.S. history. In this episode, host David Marchick shares the most important takeaways, poignant stories and surprising moments from these interviews. Utilizing episode highlights, presidential recordings and historical news clips, Marchick takes us back in time–from the 1930s to the present–to illustrate how transitions work, why they are important and the lessons they hold for both today and tomorrow.

Read More

The Impact of the 9/11 Commission on Current Presidential Transition Planning

September 11, 2020

Presidential transitions are a time of great vulnerability for our nation, with a significant turnover in national security personnel occurring when the nation may be facing a foreign policy crisis or an adversary willing to cause significant trouble. Many of the laws and norms that presidential transitions follow today were put in place based on lessons learned in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Read More

Two transition planners reflect on the 2016 election

September 8, 2020

Ed Meier and Richard Bagger ran the presidential transition teams for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, respectively, during the run up to the 2016 election. In this Transition Lab episode, host David Marchick spoke with Meier and Bagger about preparing to lead presidential transition teams, navigating strategic differences with campaign staff, shaping the public’s perception of transition planning and the results of the 2016 election.

Read More

All-star reporters discuss covering presidential transitions

August 31, 2020

Nancy Cook and Andrew Restuccia know all about presidential transitions. They currently write about transition planning and presidential politics for Politico and the Wall Street Journal, respectively, and previously collaborated on several transition stories during the 2016 election. In this Transition Lab episode, host David Marchick asked Cook and Restuccia about their experiences covering presidential transitions, the 2020 candidates’ current plans, the big transition storylines to expect in the coming months and the ways in which a sound transition strategy can make governing easier.

Read More

The conclusion of the political conventions represents an important milestone in transition planning

August 31, 2020

The conclusion of the Democratic and Republican national conventions this month mark the official start of the 2020 presidential campaign and a key turning point for transition planning.

Read More

How the COVID-19 Pandemic Will Impact the Presidential Transition

August 25, 2020

A person wearing business attire carries a briefcase and a surgical mask in an office.

By Christina Condreay and Alex Tippett The winner of this November’s presidential election will face daunting challenges—a devastating pandemic, a major economic crisis, civil unrest stemming from racial inequality and a long list of pressing domestic and national security issues. These are momentous times that accentuate the need for presidential transition planning, whether it’s a...

Read More