Preparing Appointees to Succeed

The success of every presidential administration depends in large measure in choosing great leaders and preparing them to lead in the public sector. To help political appointees and nominees transition into their new roles, we offer a series of 90-minute forums that are conducted in a nonpartisan environment.

Ready to Govern® faculty members are current and former senior government leaders with first-hand leadership experience and knowledge of federal management. Our bipartisan faculty focus on identifying common pitfalls, providing practical tips, highlighting the unique aspects of managing in the federal space, and discussing the individual offices that appointees must be familiar with in order to be successful. Through these forums, political leaders build networks of peer support, promote knowledge-sharing and collaborative problem-solving, and facilitate cross-agency coordination to make further progress toward shared goals.


The Ready to Govern forums will accelerate appointees’ ability to lead by deepening their understanding of the federal government and helping them to build enduring and high-performing relationships, execute on priorities and develop specialized knowledge of various functional areas. Additional benefits include:

  • Networking
  • Opportunities to meet other appointees from across government
  • Access to experienced faculty and mentors
  • Onboarding and participation in executives roundtables
  • Resources to get things done
  • Partnership support


Our 90-minute forums include periodic offerings on the following topics:

  • Managing the political-career interface
  • Navigating relationships with the White House and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
  • Knowing the ethical factors to take into consideration when making decisions in government
  • Federal hiring, budget and acquisition processes
  • How to get things done in government and execute on key priorities
  • Special interest topics, such as how to be an effective chief of staff, and other themes and issues as identified by political appointee participants

All forums are delivered by current and former political appointees and C-level executives, who serve as faculty, and all content is nonpartisan and policy-neutral.

Who Should Attend

The Ready to Govern forums are designed for individuals filling politically appointed positions including presidential appointees with senate confirmation, presidential appointees and noncareer Senior Executive Service members with broad programmatic and management responsibilities.

Maximum benefit accrues to those who participate in all sessions and as early in their tenure as possible. Individuals may also be eligible to attend as a nominee while awaiting confirmation.

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Ready to Govern provided me with the opportunity to meet fellow presidential appointees with the goal of sharing common questions, concerns and strategies for leadership and understanding how to establish and leverage partnerships within federal government.

I have taken advantage of reaching out to colleagues across federal government to raise awareness about the work we do and to acquire knowledge about various agency priorities and initiatives that have a potential to impact mutual constituents.

As a new appointee, I would encourage participation in this program as it offers the opportunity to network, increase leadership skills and explore innovative approaches to contribute to the valuable work of this administration.

Janet LaBreck
Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration, Department of Education


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