June 27, 2024

Former Democratic and Republican officials tell college students about the importance of presidential transition planning

Among the broader public, the process and the importance of presidential candidates preparing for a first or second term is poorly understood, but transition planning is not only critical for the winner of the election in terms of being ready to govern, but for the safety and welfare of the country.

On June 17, the Partnership for Public Service, the Georgetown University McCourt School, Harvard Kennedy School and the University of Chicago Institute of Politics hosted a panel discussion on the importance of presidential transition planning and provided an information session focused on 2024 election readiness and opportunities for recent college graduates to get involved in public service.

The panel consisted of Josh Bolten, the former chief of staff to President George W. Bush, and Jonathan McBride, the former director of the Office of Presidential Personnel for President Barack Obama, and was moderated by Valerie Boyd, the director of the Center for Presidential Transition. The audience was comprised of students affiliated with the three partner universities.

There were three main topics covered by the panelists.

  1. Bolten described the important steps that were taken as Bush prepared for his first term as well as the planning that took place for his second four years. He also discussed the careful transition planning that set the stage for the eventual transfer of power to the Obama administration. McBride spoke about how the Obama team handled the process of selecting political appointees to fulfil the president’s campaign promises.
  2. Bolten and McBride spoke about their journey to government service and how a career that weaves private and public roles can offer critical learning opportunities.
  3. The panel concluded by discussing the current state of distrust in government and offered recommendations for pursuing a public service career during these turbulent times.

Following the panel discussion, Michelle Amante, the vice president for Workforce Programs at the Partnership for Public Service, shared information from the Partnership’s “Call to Serve” program about how to navigate USAJobs, the Partnership’s GoGovernment website and how to pursue a job in the federal government.

After the event concluded, the attendees had the opportunity to network with their peers as well as connect with our “Call to Serve” team to learn more about federal opportunities and navigating the internship and early career hiring environment in the federal government.

For more information on Call to Serve or to learn more about the federal hiring process, visit the Partnership’s website.

This blog is authored by James Passmore, an intern at the Center for Presidential Transition.