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Presidential Transition

Overview of the Transition Process and Legislation

A formal transition process was defined to ensure a smooth tranistion of government from one presidential administration to another. First established by the Presidential Transition Act of 1963 by Congress, it was intended to avoid any disruption to the stability and safety of the United States and its people during the transfer of executive power.

The Act has been updated by the Presidential Transition Act of 2000, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, the Pre-Election Presidential Act of 2010 the Edward “Ted” Kaufman and Michael Leavitt Presidential Transitions Act of 2015, and the Presidential Transition Enhancement Act of 2019.

The significant requirements of The Act(s) are:
  • Each agency to designate a senior career official in charge of tranistion planning and preparation of briefing materials.
  • Six months before an election the President establish a White House Transition Coordinating Council.
  • A standing Agency Transition Directors Council, co-chaired by a GSA Federal Transition Coordinator and OMB's Deputy Directory for Management.
  • GSA provide office space and administrative support (such as IT and communications) to a president-elect and vice president-elct.
  • GSA oversees security clearances for the incoming transition to enter each agency and be on the job immediatly after inauguration.
The Edward “Ted” Kaufman and Michael Leavitt Presidential Transitions Improvements Act of 2015 requires the establishment and operation of an Agency Transition Directors Council (ATDC) and the White House Transition Coordinating Council (WHTCC). The following positions within Federal government are members of the WHTCC:
  • Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff - Chair, (Mark Meadows)
  • Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Coordination - Vice Chair, (Christopher P. Liddell)
  • Director of the Office of Management and Budget (Russell Vought)
  • Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations (Daniel Walsh)
  • Counselor to the President, (Hope C. Hicks)
  • Assistant to the President and Director of Presidential Personnel, (James McEntee)
  • Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Counsel to the President, (Scott F. Gast)
  • Federal Transition Coordinator (Mary Gibert)
  • The transition representative for each eligible candidate, who shall serve in an advisory capacity (Sen. Ted Kaufman)

Current agency transition assignments

  • Thomas Muir, Department of Defense, currently serving as Director, Washington Headquarters Services

Biden Transition Team

The Biden Transition Team has been growing since its just-in-case planning began in 2020. Over 500 members and advisors have been assembled to advise the president-elect on important policy and appointment decisions that should be in place in order to achieve a smooth transition of power.

Below is a summary of key positions, potential appointments and advisors in the Biden transition team.

Biden official web site for the transition is

Latest news: Biden continues to expand his team and prepares for agency reviews. Agency Review Teams


The GSA has officially authorized the Biden Transition effective November 24, 2020 making the transition team eligible to use federal office space and resources, including the right to process security clearances. The team will continue to work remotely due to the pandemic.

Transition Advisory Board Chair

  • Sen. Ted Kaufman, Chair, former senator from Delaware appointed when Biden was elected vice president, he worked on Obama's transition team and helped write the legislation that further formalized the presidential transition process.
  • Michelle Lujan Grisham, Co-Chair, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, governor New Mexico
  • Yohannes Abraham, oversees day-to-day operations for Biden transition team, Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy Harvard Kennedy School, previously Residential Fellow at the Institute of Politics
  • Cameron French, Spokesperson Transition Team, VP of public affairs at SKDKnickerbocker

President-Elect Chief of Staff

  • Ron Klain, former Vice-President Chief of Staff, worked for Biden in the late 1980s.

General Counsels

  • Dana Renus, General Counsel for Biden Campaign
  • Jessica Hertz, General Counsel for Ethics, former Facebook ethics officer

Transition Advisors

  • Tony Allen, incumbent president of Delaware State Univerity
  • Jaren Benstein, economist
  • Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Indiana and 2020 Presidential candidate
  • Leslie Caldwell, former assistant attorney general in Justice under Obama
  • Mark Gitenstein, former United States ambassador to Romania
  • Cecilia Martinez, co-founder and executive director Center for Eath, Energy and Democracy
  • Cindy McCain, chair of the board of trustees of the McCain Institute for International Leadership, widow of former U.S. Senator, John McCain
  • Bob McDonald, former U.S. secretary of Veterans Affairs
  • Clay Middleton, SVP Mercury, a Washington-based public strategy firm
  • Minyon Moore, principal at Dewey Square Group
  • Vivik Murthy, former U.S. Surgeon General
  • Susan Rice, form national security advisor and ambassador to the U.N.
  • Teresa Romero, president United Farm Workers
  • Cathy Russell, ambassador-at-large Global Women's Issues, former chief of staff to then Second Lady, Jill Biden
  • Lonnie Stephenson, president International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
  • Felicia Wong, president and CEO of the Roosevelt Institute
  • Sally Yates, former acting Attorney General of the United States

Transition Staff

  • Tanya Bradsher
  • Suzy George, COO at ONE, an advocacy groupformer Obama deputy assistant, chief of staff at NSC
  • Cynthia Hogan, former Biden aide, lobbyist
  • Neil McBride
  • Tara McGuiness, worked with communication efforts for Affordable Care Act
  • Julie Margetta Morgan, senior policy adviser to Wen. Warren, form vp of resarch at Roosevelt Institute
  • Cecilia Munoz, former domestic policy adversor & Director of Domestic Policy Council
  • Darla Pomeroy, on board of directors for Biden Foundataion

Climate, Energy and Environment Advisors

  • Kerry Dugganm former Obama WH Deuputy Directory for Policy
  • David Kieve, founder Hilltop Public Solutions
  • Cecelia Martinez, co-founder Center for Eath, Energy and Democracy
  • Lonnie Stephenson, IBEW International President
  • Ali Zaidi, former Domestic Policy Council, several Climate related roles in Obama administration including DOE

Confirmation Team

This team will address strategies to handle Senate confirmations.
  • Jen Psaki, lead, former WH communication director under Obama
  • Anthony Bernal, Jill Biden's deput campaign manager and chief of staff
  • Julie Chavez Rodriquez, Biden deputy campaign manager
  • Mike Donilon, chief strategist Biden campaign
  • Jen O'Malley Dillon, Biden campaign manager
  • Dana Renus, Biden campaign general counsel, former deputy White House counsel
  • Julissa Reynoso Pantaleon, former US ambassador to Uruguary and deputy asst secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere
  • Steve Richetti, Biden campaign manager
  • Rep. Cedric Richmond, Louisiana 2nd District, chairman Congressional Black Caucus, co-chair Biden campaign
  • Annie Tomasini, Biden campaign travel chief of staff

Coronavirus Advisory Board

  • Luciana Borio, served as FDA acting chief scientist and National Secuirty Council during Trump administration
  • Rick Bright, Trump administration ousted chief of Biomedial Advanced Research ad Development Authority
  • Dr. Zeke Emmanuel, former Obama White House aide
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Adviser, current Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
  • Atul Gawande, high profile surgeon and writer worked at HHS during Clinton adminsistration and led health care joint venture between Amazon, Bekshire Hathaway and JP Morgan known as Haven.
  • Eric Goosby, expert on infectious diseases and Professor of Medicine at UCSF School of Medicine
  • Dr. Celine Gounder, infectious disease and global health NYU Grossman School of Medicine
  • David Kessler, professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology and Biostatistics at UCSF, former FDA commissioner 1990-1997
  • Dr. Julie Morita, former Health Commissioner and current executive VP Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Marcella Nunez-Smith, associate professor of internal medicine, public and and management Yale
  • Loyce Pace, Global Health Council
  • Michael Osterholm, University of Minnesota infectious disease specialist
  • Vivik Murthy, former Surgeon General
  • Robert Rodriquez, UCSF ER physician
  • Dr. Beth Cameron, global biological policy and programs, NTI, former director WH biodefense council
  • Dr. Rebecca Katz, director of the Center for Gloval Health Science and Security, Georgetown

Economic and Financial Advisers

  • Jared Bernstein, chief economist to VP Biden and now at Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
  • Heather Boushey, president and CEO of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. Served as chief economist for Hillary Clinton's presedential transition team
  • Lael Brainard, Federal Reserve goveror and former Obama Treasury official
  • Richard Cordray, first director Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  • Joelle Gamble, former top Roosevelt Institute official
  • Gary Gensler, professor MIT, former head of CFTC
  • Austan Goosbee, former Obama chair of council of economic advisors
  • Don Graves (Domestic Economic Team), Biden's counselor as VP current head of Corporate responsibility and community relations at KeyBank
  • Ben Harris, succeeded Jaren Bernstein as chief economist to VP Biden now at Northwestern University's Kellog School of Management
  • Julie Margetta Morgan (Domestic Economic Team), former top Roosevelt Institute official
  • Gautam Raghavan, chief of staff to Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, co-chair Congressional Progressive Caucus former staffer to Obama White House
  • Sonal Shah, Godman Sachs, Google and Obama White House
  • Julie Siegal, former Warren staffer who worked at CFPB and Obama White House
  • William Spriggs, chief economist to the AFL-CIO and former assistant secretary for policy at Obama Labor Department Finance
  • Larry Strickling, led Obama's NTIA
  • Felicia Wong, president & CEO of the Roosevelt Institute and an expert on race and barriers to an inclusive economy
  • Andrew Yang, president Opportunity@Work and Obama White House, McKinsey & Co., former presidential candidate
  • Jeffrey Zients, president Cranemere, former director US Economic Council

Other Policy Advisers

  • Antony Blinken, foreign policy adviser to Biden, ormer deputy secretary of state 2015-2017
  • Avril Haines, National Security and Foreign Policy Adviser to Biden, former WH Deputy National Security Advisor for Obama
  • Carlos Monje, co-chair of Infrastructure Policy Committee for Biden, Director, Public Policy & Philanthropy at Twitter
  • Evan Maureen Ryan, foreign policy adviser to Biden, Asst. Sec. of State for Education and Cultural Affairs, 2013-2017

Cabinet Contenders and Nominations Pending

Nominees are listed in bold.
  • Department of Agriculture
    • Tom Vilsack, Secretary, former agriculture secretary during Obama administration
  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Defense
    • Gen. Lloyd J. Austin, Secretary, former chief of U.S. Central Command, Biden has urged lawmakers to grant a waiver to take the role despite his recent military service.
    • David Norquist Acting Secretary of Defense
    • John Roth, Acting Secretary of the Air Force
    • Thomas Harker, Acting Secretary of the Navy
    • Jennifer Walsh, Under Secretary for Defense Policy
    • Laura Cooper, Assistant Secretary for International Affairs
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Energy
    • Jennifer M. Granholm, Secretary
    • Arun Majumdar is being considered for deputy secretary
  • Department of Health and Human Services
    • Xavier Becerra, Secretary
    • Vivek H. Murthy, US Surgeon General
  • Secretary of Homeland Security
    • Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of State is Biden's intended nominee, attorney WilmerHale, director Citizenship and Immigration Services under Obama
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development
    • Marcia Fudge, Secretary, currently Ohio 11th District Representative
  • Department of Justice
    • Merrick B. Garland, Attorney General
    • Lisa Monaco, Deputy Attorney General
    • Vanita Gupta, Associate Attorney General
    • Kristen Clark, Director, Office of Justice Programs, Civil Rights Office
  • Department of Labor
  • Department of State
    • Antony Blinken, former deputy secretary of state 2015-2017. Biden announced November 22 that he intends to nominate Antony Blinken as Secretary of State.
    • Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Biden announced November 22 he intends to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield as Ambassador to the United Nations
  • Department of the Interior
  • Department of the Treasury
    • Janet Yellen, Secretary of the Treasury, has been chosen as the Biden nominee to head Treasury, former Federal Reserve governor and chair, White Council Economic Advisers
    • Adewale "Wally" Adeyemo, Deputy Secretary of the Treasurey
  • Department of Transportation
    • Pete Buttigieg, Secretary, former mayor South Bend, IN and 2020 Democratic Presidential candidate
  • Department Veterans Affairs
    • Denis McDonough, Secretary, former WH Chief of Staff for Obama
  • Council of Economic Advisers
    • Cecilia Rouse, Chair
    • Jared Bernstein, Member
    • Heather Boushey, Member
  • Environmental Protection Agency
    • Michael S. Regan, Administrator
  • National Economic Council
    • Brian Deese, Director
  • Office of Management and Budget
    • Neera Tanden, Director
  • Office of National Intelligence
    • Avril Haines, Director
    • William J. Burns, Director CIA
  • Small Business Administration, U.S.
    • Isabel Guzman, Administrator
  • White House Communications Team
    • Kate Bedingfield, Communications Director, former aid served as Biden campaign communications Director
    • Pili Tobar, Deputy White House Communications Director
    • Jen Psaki, White house Press Secretary, former WH communication director under Obama
    • Karine Jean-Pierre, Deputy Press Secretary
    • Ashley Etienne, VP-Elect Kamala Harris's Communications Director
    • Symone D. Sanders, Harris's spokesperson
    • Elizabeth Alexander, Communication Director for Jill Biden
  • White House advisers and staff appointments
    • Mala Adaga, Policy Director for First Lady Jill Biden, formerly worked at Biden Foundation, advised Jill Biden on policy
    • Anthony Bernal, Senior Adviser to Jill Biden, former Jill Biden deputy campaign manager and chief of staff
    • Robert Cardillo, former head of NGA, former deputy director Defense Intelligence Agency
    • Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Director of White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, former deputy campaign manager
    • Reema Dodin, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs, current deputy chief of staff and floor director for Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill)
    • Mike Donilon, Senior Advisor to the President, former political strategist, adviser to Biden past 40 years
    • Carlos Elizondo, Social Secretary for First Lady Jill Biden, former social secretary to Jill Biden
    • Anne Filipic, Director of Management and Administration
    • Shuwanza Goff, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs, current floor director for House Majority Leader Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md), a position that involves setting the legislative schedule and determining which bills come to the floor of the chamber.
    • Avril Haines, former deputy National Security Advisor under Obama,
    • John Kerry, Biden confirmed to be his choice for Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, former Secretary of State and U.S. Senator
    • Gina McCarthy, domestic climate policy coordination, former administrator EPA
    • Jen O'Malley Dillon, Deputy Chief of Staff, former Biden campaign manager
    • Gautam Raghavan, deputy director of the Office of Presidential Personnel
    • Vinay Reddy, Director of Speechwriting
    • Julissa Reynoso Pantaleon, Chief of Staff to First Lady Jill Biden
    • Dana Renus, Counsel to the President, former Biden campaign general counsel
    • Susan Rice, Director White House Domestic Policy Council
    • Steve Richetti, Biden campaign manager
    • Bruce Reed, Deputy Chief of Staff, former VP Biden Chief of Staff
    • Rep. Cedric Richmond, Louisiana 2nd District, Senior Adviser to the President and Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, former chairman Congressional Black Caucus, co-chair Biden campaign
    • Cecilia Rouse, White House Council of Economic Advisers, currently Princeton University
    • Jake Sullivan, confirmed to be choice for new WH National Security Adviser, former top policy adviser to Biden campaign, senior policy adviser Hillary Clinton campaign 2016
    • Cathy Russell, Director of White House Office of Presidential Personnel, fomer Jill Biden chief of staff
    • Katherine Tai, US Trade Representative, currently top Democratic trade counsel for the House Ways and Means Committee
    • Louisa Terrell, Director of White House Office of Legislative Affairs, former legislative adviser to Obama, deputy chief of staff to Biden in Senate
    • Annie Tomasini, Director of Oval Office Operations, Biden's traveling chief during campaign
    • Elizabeth Wilkins, Senior Adviser to the Chief of Staff
  • White House Office of Digital Strategy
    • Brendan Cohen as Platform Manager
    • Rob Flaherty as Director of Digital Strategy
    • Maha Ghandour as Digital Partnerships Manager
    • Jonathan Hebert as Video Director
    • Jaime Lopez as Director of Platforms
    • Carahna Magwood as Creative Director
    • Abbey Pitzer as Designer
    • Olivia Raisner as Traveling Content Director
    • Rebecca Rinkevich as Deputy Director Of Digital Strategy
    • Aisha Shah as Partnerships Manager
    • Christian Tom as Deputy Director Of Digital Strategy
    • Cameron Trimble as Director of Digital Engagement
  • Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris' advisers and staff appointments
    • Hartina Flournoy, Chief of Staff
    • Ashley Etienne, VP-Elect Kamala Harris's Communications Director
    • Symone D. Sanders, Harris's spokesperson
    • Rohini Kosoglu, Domestic Policy Adviser
    • Ambassador Nancy McEldowney, National Security Adviser
    • Ryan Montoya, Director of Schedule and Advance