Center Blog

Agencies and Transition—Like Throwing a Match onto a Pile of Gasoline-Soaked Rags

February 24, 2016

Matt Sanford, Fellow, Partnership for Public Service

Clay Johnson, the former deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget, described the energy with which civil servants prepared for the 2008 presidential transition. Johnson emphasized the importance of career leaders sharing their knowledge.

“They had a chance to compare notes and it was like… having a bunch of gasoline-soaked rags and you’d throw a match out there… and you just get out of the way. Look out because… it’s like warp speed. The communication between everybody was phenomenal, fantastic, electric.”

Johnson, who serves on the advisory board of the Center for Presidential Transition, made these remarks during a book release event for Before the Oath by Martha Joynt Kumar hosted by the Partnership for Public Service in Washington, D.C. on July 9, 2015.

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