Every new president must fill approximately 3,000 positions in the federal government during the transition from one administration to the next. Vital to running the government, these positions ensure the chief executive has his “A team” on the field. Recently, it has been very difficult for new presidents to navigate the transition and put the government in a position to execute its policy vision. A number of the most important positions, including the cabinet chiefs, deputy secretaries, and under secretaries, require Senate confirmation. What obstacles does a president face after the election? What can be done to ease this process and ensure a smooth transition?
On August 2, Governance Studies at Brookings hosted a forum on the presidential transition and appointee confirmation process. A panel of experts evaluated the challenges a president faces before entering the White House and policies that could ease this process.