January-April 2016

March 20, 2019
Outgoing Administration


Identify a senior career official to serve as transition coordinator and oversee transition planning

Send a memorandum to agencies to direct them to start preparing for the transition (outlining activities that include: preparing briefing materials by November 1; preparing career executives to temporarily fill appointed positions of departing officials; and developing training for incoming appointees)

Send a memorandum to the heads of all executive departments and agencies, directing that all regulations be proposed no later than June 1 and issued no later than Nov. 1

Presidential Transition Guide, Ch. 7, Prime the agencies for the presidential transition

The incumbent administration can facilitate a smooth presidential transition by setting clear guidelines and instructions to the various federal agencies about how to cooperate and what materials to prepare. The Bush administration did this by issuing a transition guidance memorandum in July of the election year to the President’s Management Council, comprised of deputy secretaries and chief operating officers of each major agency. This memo instructed agencies to identify a career official to serve as their transition coordinator and as the main liaison between the agency and the president-elect’s transition team. The memo also gave broad guidance to provide the transition teams with whatever information they required to prepare for the handover and to be as helpful and transparent as possible during the transition.

Work with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to determine the volume of artifacts, gifts and paper, electronic and audiovisual records to be transported out of the White House (through October)


National Archives and Records Administration

Escorting a Presidency into History: The Role of NARA in a White House Transition

National Archives and Records Administration

Assembling the Obama Library