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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)

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 Task Force

  • 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
  • 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, former FDA commissioner
  • 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

Intended nominees are listed in bold.
  • Secretary of Agriculture
  • Secretary of Commerce
    • Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO Ariel Investments
    • Terry McAuliffe, former governor Virginia, ex-char DNC
    • Meg Whitman, former CEO Quibi
  • Secretary of Defense
    • Michele Flournoy, former Defense under both Clinton and Obama, headed policy and operations under Obama
    • Jeh Johson, former homeland security secretary under Obama, former federal prosecutor
    • William McRaven, three decades in U.S. Navy, served as head of Special Operations Command 2011-2014
  • Secretary of Education
  • Secretary of Energy
    • Arun Majumdar, professor Stanford University
    • Ernest Moniz, former secretary of energy
    • Dan Reicher, professor Stanford University
    • Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, former deputy secretary of energy
  • Environmental Protection Agency administrator
    • Daniel Esty, professor Yale University
    • Heather McTeer Toney, national field director Moms Clean Air Force
    • Mary Nichols, chair California Air Resources Board
    • Collin O'Mara, CEO National Wildlife Fund
    • Richard Revesz, law professor NYU
    • Musafa Santiago Ali, VP National Wildlife Fund
  • Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Secretary of Homeland Security
    • Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of State is Biden's intended nominee, attorney WilmerHale, director Citizenship and Immigration Services under Obama
  • Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
    • Rep. Karen Bass, California 37th District
    • Keisha Lance Bottoms, mayor Atlanta, former prosecutor and magistrate judge
    • Alvin Brown, former Jacksonville mayor, served in various positions at Agriculture, Commerce & HUD under Clinton
    • Maurice Jones, head of Local Initiatives Support Corporation, deputy undersecretary HUD 2012-2014, former Virginia commerce secretary
    • Diane Yentel, head of National Low Income Housing Coalition, former director of public housing and occupancy division HUD
  • Secretary of Interior
  • Attorney General, Department of Justice
    • Xavier Becerra, attorney general state of California, former congressman
    • Jeh Johnson, former homeland security secretary under Obama, former federal prosecutor
    • Sen. Doug Jones, Alabama, former U.S. attorney
    • Sally Yates, former U.S. attorney served as deputy attorney general, briefly acting attorney general under Trump
  • Secretary of Labor
    • Sharon Block, director Labor & Worklife Program at Harvard Law School, labor official under Obama
    • Seth Harris, form deputy under secretary Labor under Obama
    • Julie Su, currently Secretary California Labor and Workforce Development Agency
  • 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
  • Secretary of Transportation
    • Eric Garcetti, mayor Local Angeles
  • 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
  • Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director
    • Susan Gordon, former principal deputy directory for national intelligence, deputy director NGA
    • Avril Haines, former national security advisor under Obama, deputy director CIA
    • Mike Morell, former deputy director and acting director CIA under Obama
  • White House Press Secretary
    • Kate Bedingfield, deputy campaign manager, Biden presidential campaign
    • Symone Sanders, senior adviser Biden campaign, former national press secretary for Sen. Bernie Sanders's 2016 campaign
  • 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 Deense Intelligence Agency
    • 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
    • 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
    • Jen O'Malley Dillon, Deputy Chief of Staff, former Biden campaign manager
    • Julissa Reynoso Pantaleon, Chief of Staff to First Lady Jill Biden
    • Dana Renus, Counsel to the President, former Biden campaign general counsel
    • Steve Richetti, Biden campaign manager
    • 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
    • Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Director of White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, former deputy campaign manager
    • 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
    • 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