Based on our examination of presidential transitions, and in particular the 2008–2009 experience, it is time once again to revisit and amend the presidential transition law to place requirements on the White House to better facilitate transition activities, and to enable campaigns and the president-elect to be better prepared to govern.

In this Ready to Govern report, we examine the three phases of the 2008–2009 transition—the pre-election timeframe, the period from the election to the inauguration and President Obama’s first year in office. In each section, we provide a short narrative based on the experiences and reflections of some key participants in the transition, and offer a series of recommendations for each phase on a broad range of transition issues. These include: