August 2016

March 20, 2019
Incoming Administration: Appointments


Wave I: Conduct pre-election vetting of long-listed candidates, including opposition research (using public sources such as LexisNexis, Voter Vault, LegiStorm, SEC records,, etc.) and additional lawyer review (through September)

Wave I: Create ranked shortlists for each Wave I position based on vetting results (through September)

Wave I: Create profiles of each candidate on the shortlists (through September)

Wave I: Compile position descriptions, shortlists and summaries from the lawyer review process, and candidate profiles for Wave I positions into briefing book binders for president-elect (through September)
Wave II: Work with policy and agency review teams to create Wave II position descriptions (through September)

Agency review teams have unique insight into key staff positions, potential personnel issues or leadership gaps within each agency. These teams should work closely with the personnel team to identify potential candidates to lead each agency and identify other core positions that should be prioritized. The agency review team can also play a role in identifying the major management challenges or successes within each agency as well as particular skills and competencies needed.

Coordinate with the outgoing administration, including both the White House and GSA, and the other campaign’s transition team to align on a common personnel database infrastructure that can easily transition into the White House after the election

Presidential Transition Guide, Ch.3, Develop system to manage mid- and lower-level positions and Ch.7, Assist campaigns in the presidential personnel process

Developing an online human resources system early to process the thousands of resumes and applications from people pursuing jobs in the new administration is essential. It is critical to work with GSA and the outgoing administration to make sure that the system can easily transfer to the White House. In 2008, the Bush White House helped to facilitate the design of a new presidential personnel database, with input from both the Obama and McCain campaigns as well as GSA. McCain’s personnel director had developed the template for the new database initially, but the software was shared with the Obama campaign in an effort to help ensure a smoother personnel process integration regardless of who won the election. As a result, the updated personnel system was fast-tracked by the White House and developed and put in place by GSA before the inauguration. It was shared with both campaigns prior to the election, ensuring that the incoming administration was familiar with the tool and could move smoothly from transition’s appointments team to the Office of Presidential Personnel in the White House.


Meet with the Office of Government Ethics (through August)

Wave I: Work with policy and agency review teams to create Wave I position descriptions (through August)

Presidential Transition Guide, Ch. 5, Interaction between the agency review, policy and personnel teams

Wave I: Create long lists for Wave I positions, incorporating input from the agency review teams (through August)