January 2017

March 8, 2019


Incoming Administration: Agency Review


Provide support as needed to confirmation teams to prepare and brief nominees for confirmation hearings (November-January)

Presidential Transition Guide, Ch. 5, Major Steps in the Agency Review Process, Brief incoming agency leaders

The final step in the agency review process is to deliver oral briefings to incoming agency heads and White House staff on the key functions of their agency or office, how various offices interact with one another, staff roles, pressing challenges and other “need to know” information. Although much of this information may be included in the agency review reports, having a briefing in person has a much greater impact than simply “throwing the memo over the fence,” as one senior Obama transition staffer put it. The level of detail of these briefings will depend on the seniority and experience of the incoming agency head and should be done as soon as possible. As stated by one agency liaison, the briefings “should not try to tell incoming heads what to do, but should help them do what they want to do.” New agency leaders inevitably will develop their own plans based on their personal expertise and experience, what they learn from the agency review team and other transition team members, and their understanding of the new president’s goals and expectations for the agency. The role of the transition team is to help agency leaders identify the issues, problems and opportunities they should prepare to address.