What a Presidential Transition Means for Defense

The nation is intently focused on the current drama that is the president race — who’s collecting delegates, whether it’s fair or rigged, and who will end up winning the party nominations. But, according to a story published in The Atlantic, behind this cloud of politics are teams of policy experts, senior thought leaders and former high-ranking civil servants hurriedly preparing for the presidential transition.

“It’s a little bit like planning the D-Day invasion,” said Chris Lu, deputy secretary of labor and a leader of then- President-Elect Barack Obama’s transition team. “You can’t start planning on the day after Election Day. You have to have a battle plan in place beforehand.”

While American presidential transitions have, with a few notable exceptions, been without incident, there are still significant challenges facing new administrations as they seek to take over the world’s most powerful nation. For an incoming administration, the right people need to be in place and ready to assume key government positions, policy priorities must be communicated and critical relationships must be made with high-ranking professional civil servants within the various federal agencies.

But what does this process look like, how will military installation policies be managed in the interim, and how can community and state leaders ensure their interests aren’t forgotten?

ADC will explore these critical questions during the Defense Communities National Summit in Washington, D.C., June 20-22.

The summit will feature a panel of senior defense policy and presidential transition experts will discuss the process of how new administrations transition into power, focusing on how transition teams consider defense issues and work with DOD to identify key priorities for the next president.

Featured speakers include former Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi, Michèle Flournoy, co-founder and chief executive officer of the Center for a New American Security,  and Kristine Simmons, vice President of government affairs at the Partnership for Public Service Center for Presidential Transition. Learn more by visiting the National Summit website.


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