Preparing for the Presidential Transition

Preparing for the Presidential Transition

Wednesday, June 22, 2016 • 5:30pm - 7:30pm

America is noted for transferring presidential power smoothly over the past 200 years, but leaders and citizens are increasingly concerned that these transitions are periods of great vulnerability for our nation. This session will bring participants current on initiatives underway to improve the presidential transition process this election year, and will provide both historical perspective and up-to-the-minute information on efforts underway to have the right leadership in place and prepared to govern.

This year, there are 73 days between the election and Inauguration Day. That’s not much time to do all the planning for the new Administration to be ready to start governing at 12:01 pm on January 20. And recent major events — from 9/11 to Hurricane Sandy to Ebola — have made government leaders at all levels much more aware of how vulnerable we are during the transition of power. And MUCH more aware that plans have to be made starting now so that those worrisome possibilities are prepared for.

It used to be that candidates did not want to be known to be preparing for transition — to be “measuring the drapes” in the Oval Office was considered to be presumptuous, at the very least.

No longer.

Since the Bush- Obama transition in 2008/2009 and the potential Obama-Romney transition in 2012-2013, transition planning is being taken increasingly seriously and action is being taken — notably by the Center for Presidential Transition at the Partnership for Public Service — to be even more prepared than in the past and to look for ways to improve the transition process.

Legislation recently signed into law by President Obama has authorized transition planning starting 6 months before the election (it used to start the day after the candidates were named at the nominating conventions).

This June 22nd session provides insight into the importance of the Presidential Transition; provide information about some of the major challenges during the Transition (such as identifying and vetting key appointees, and getting them approved timely by the Senate); describe the roles of key groups/agencies in the Transition process, including various federal agencies; and describe the status of current initiatives to make this transition smoother, quicker, safer, and less vulnerable.

Our Expert Panel:

David EaglesModerator: David Eagles
Director of the Center for Presidential Transition at the Partnership for Public Service

Dan BlairDan Blair
President and CEO for the National Academy of Public Administration

Mike SlatteryMike Slattery
Director of Agency Planning and Coordination for the Center for Presidential Transition

John KamenskyJohn Kamensky
John Kamensky, Senior Fellow with the IBM Center for The Business of Government, Associate Partner with IBM’s Global Business Services, Fellow at the National Academy of Public Administration, and former deputy director of Vice President Gore’s National Partnership for Reinventing Government

Event Recap

June 22nd NCAC hosted an expert panel discussing administrative and political preparation for the presidential transition.  The event was well attended and we have fantastic attendee participation with a lively Q&A session.

Thanks again to our amazing panelists: Jon Kamensky, Dan Blair, and Mike Slattery. Unfortunately, David Eagles fell ill and was unable to attend; thanks to Sally Jaggar for moderating.

There were many great takeaways.  A few topic areas included the importance of advance planning, which can make or break administrative success, the complexity of information sharing beyond the administration that involves political networks and non-government partners, and involve strategic foresight.

“Presidential transitions are like a relay. The best are current runners setting a smooth baton hand-off for the next.” — Mike Slattery

If you missed the event or want to experience it again:

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