Every federal agency now has appointees of the new Biden Administration at work this week. Five Cabinet secretary nominees have had their confirmation hearings.
Loren Dejonge Schulman, Vice President of Research at the Partnership for Public Service, and Terry Gerton, President and CEO of the National Academy of Public Administration, discussed what that means for the transition process on “Government Matters” with Francis Rose.
While some think of the presidential transition period as the first 100 days or so, Schulman said it’s really just beginning. “Realistically, transition will go on for the rest of the year,” she said. Historically, it has taken at least this long to get all the appointees in place.
We can expect to see a relatively fast process this time around, however, because of the strategy the transition team has taken. “This transition team was really focused on having people in place on day one that didn’t require confirmation,” said Gerton. “So they’re already up and rolling inside those departments and agencies.”
Schulman explained that political appointees don’t usually stay in for the full presidential term, but on average 18 months to two years. This leaves a short window of time to accomplish anything, which is one reason to put people in place as quickly as possible.
“I think the Biden Administration is setting itself up for success, not only for the political priorities, but for really good collaboration with the career workforce,” Schulman said.