Publications

I led the Biden presidential transition. Its leadership lessons can apply to any organization.

May 4, 2021

Publication Type: In the News

Amid a global pandemic, a presidential election, and an economic crisis, Joe Biden asked me to begin planning a presidential transition that could meet the historic challenges and opportunities of the moment. Authoring the Pre-Election Presidential Transition Act of 2010, I knew the challenge this would be. 

Opinion: For Biden, 44 confirmations down, only 1,156 to go

May 2, 2021

Publication Type: In the News

The Biden administration is winning praise because it managed to get 44 appointees through Senate confirmation and into their offices by its 100th day.

Senate Confirmation for 1,200 jobs is Holding Biden Back

May 4, 2021

Publication Type: In the News

Within hours of his inauguration, President Joe Biden had staffed around 1,100 key federal appointments, an unprecedented  number that speaks to the excellent work of his personnel team during a difficult transition. Yet this accomplishment was only possible because the roles did not require Senate confirmation.

Biden’s Cabinet half-empty after slow start in confirmations

March 2, 2021

Publication Type: In the News

President Joe Biden’s Cabinet is taking shape at the slowest pace of any in modern history, with fewer than a dozen nominees for top posts confirmed more than a month into his tenure. Among Biden’s 23 nominees with Cabinet rank, just 11 have been confirmed by the Senate, or about half. According to the Center...

Biden’s confirmation traffic jam

February 26, 2021

Publication Type: In the News

President Biden has submitted more nominees to the Senate — but received fewer confirmations — than recent presidents, data from the The Partnership for Public Service’s Center for Presidential Transition shows. Why it matters: The new president is facing a pandemic without a surgeon general or head of the Department of Health and Human Services, he...

Lack of Pentagon nominees could be harbinger of slow process

February 24, 2021

Publication Type: In the News

A month after the inauguration of Joe Biden as president, nominations for dozens of top Pentagon jobs have yet to be announced — and it may be quite some time before those roles are filled with confirmed individuals. Across the entire Biden administration, 58 individuals have been nominated for the roughly 1,250 Senate-confirmed spots as...

Biden administration transition cost nearly $20M more than Trump’s

February 22, 2021

Publication Type: In the News

President Biden’s transition effort cost many times that of President Donald Trump, though he also significantly outraised his predecessor. The president’s team spent nearly $24.4 million through mid-February, according to data disclosed on Monday by the General Services Administration, compared with $4.7 million spent by Trump’s team over the comparable period in 2017. Transitions are typically paid for by...

Transfer of Power: Most Expensive Transition Ever

February 22, 2021

Publication Type: In the News

The Biden transition team spent more than five times what President Trump’s transition spent four years ago — $24.4 million to Trump’s $4.7 million — according to new disclosures made public Monday. Biden’s transition spent nearly $13.7 million on payroll, more than 12 times what Trump’s transition spent on “payroll and tax expenses” four years ago. The...

Biden’s Cabinet is mostly empty amid Senate bottleneck despite Democratic control

February 22, 2021

Publication Type: In the News

More than two-thirds of President Biden’s Cabinet nominees are stuck in a procedural bottleneck as they wait to be considered by the Democratic-run chamber. Biden was sworn into office with more nominees ready to go than any of his recent predecessors. But only seven of his 23 Cabinet-level officials have been Senate-confirmed one month into...

The Biden backlog

February 18, 2021

Publication Type: In the News

Nearly a month into President Biden’s presidency, just seven of Biden’s 23 Cabinet picks have been confirmed by the Senate — the lowest number of any president in decades. President Donald Trump had twice the number of Cabinet picks confirmed (14) by this point, Obama had 15 and President George W. Bush had 17 — all of...