April 26, 2021

The Center for Presidential Transition’s pivotal role in this year’s presidential transition of power

By Will Butler

On Jan. 20, the world watched as Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. Despite all of the challenges and turmoil surrounding the election results, Biden’s presidency got off to a fast start due to extensive transition planning that began in the spring of 2020, with more than 1,100 political appointees sworn in and nine executive orders signed during his first few hours in office. The Biden team kicked off preparation for these activities nearly 10 months earlier, and the Partnership’s Center for Presidential Transition® provided crucial support throughout.

Our new report, entitled, “Looking Back: The Center for Presidential Transition’s Pivotal Role in the 2020-21 Trump to Biden Transfer of Power,” details how the Center aided the Biden team’s efforts. As the go-to expert on transition planning efforts since 2008, the Center shared key insights, historical documents, access to subject-matter experts and extensive research on nearly every key transition topic and workstream.

The Center also collaborated with the Trump White House to support their dual role: planning for a second term and executing their statutory duties as the incumbent administration in case there was a transfer of power. The Center supported career agency transition officials across the federal government, worked with Congress to make policies and processes, and created Ready to Serve, a comprehensive resource for those looking to serve as a political appointee.

In total, the Center created over 1,000 pages of new resources and provided various transition stakeholders with more than 150 historical documents. The Center connected nearly 200 subject-matter experts to share their advice with the Biden transition team, the Trump administration and career agency officials. The retrospective report offers an in-depth look at the pivotal support the Center provided—from laying the groundwork with the Biden and Trump teams almost a year ago to preparing prospective political appointees in recent months—and its role as the go-to resource for nonpartisan counsel and support for presidential transitions.

Read the full report here.