Congress legislates the framework for presidential transitions, engages in oversight of agency readiness for a smooth transfer of power and provides funding for transition efforts. In addition, the Senate confirms roughly 1,200 presidential appointees during an administration’s term.


The Partnership works with Congress to identify opportunities for improving the presidential transition as well as streamlining the appointments process so key positions are filled quickly, and with the right talent. Our online Political Appointee Tracker provides up-to-date information on the status of roughly 700 political appointments, holding the administration and the Senate accountable for timely action.


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The Presidential Transition Act of 1963  

This law for the first time established formal mechanisms to facilitate a presidential transition. 

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The Senate report on the Pre-Election Presidential Act of 2010

Our advocacy led to passage of this amendment to the transition law which provides transition resources to major political party presidential nominees prior to Election Day, and made early planning for transition the expectation rather than the exception.

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Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act of 2011

With Partnership support, Congress reduced the number of Senate-confirmed positions by 169 and created an expedited process for more than 200 nominees subject to Senate confirmation.

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The Senate report on the Presidential Transitions Improvements Act of 2015

Based on Partnership recommendations, this amendment to the transition law ensures that both a senior White House-led transition council and an interagency transition director’s council are in place for effective coordination between federal agencies and transition teams. 

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The Senate report on the Presidential Transition Enhancement Act of 2019

This Senate-passed legislation would clarify responsibilities of the General Services Administration and other agencies during a transition by requiring a contractual relationship between GSA and a transition team to guide the process.

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Political Appointee Tracker

The Partnership and the Washington Post track roughly 700 key executive branch nominations through the confirmation process. These positions include Cabinet secretaries, deputy and assistant secretaries, chief financial officers, general counsel, heads of agencies, ambassadors and other critical leadership positions.

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The Center can provide critical assistance on how to organize and execute a transition; help agency career executives prepare for new political leadership; offer guidance to political appointees on the unique aspects of government leadership; and engage with Congress to promote transition reforms. In addition, the Center can offer insights to help incumbent presidents prepare for a second term and advice on the steps needed for a smooth transfer of power in the event that a new president is elected.

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To learn more about the Center’s work with federal agencies, please contact Troy Cribb at [email protected]