The conference will include both academic and professional participants, who will comment on the upcoming presidential transition by looking at the successes and failures of past transitions. There will be a specific focus on the promise made by both presidential candidates to change the way Washington works, exploring how these changes can take place, if these changes should take place, and how presidential-congressional relationships can improve.
Also sponsored by AU’s Kennedy Political Union, the conference will include three panel discussions: structuring a White House legislative affairs office, policy making in a polarized Congress, and working with Congress: lessons from past presidential transitions. A key note speech will be given by Clay Johnson who organized President George W. Bush’s transition in 2000.
DRAFT Agenda8:30 – 9:00 a.m. Registration and light breakfast
9:00 – 9:15 a.m. Welcome
Scott Lilly, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund and former Staff Director of the House Appropriations Committee
Dr. James A. Thurber, Distinguished Professor and Director, Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University and editor of Rivals for Power: Presidential-Congressional Relations
9:15 – 10:30 a.m. "Structuring a White House Legislative Affairs Office"
Chair: Dr. James A. Thurber
Dr. Patrick Griffin, Former Assistant to President Clinton for Legislative Affairs and Academic Director of the Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute at American University
Dr. Gary Andres, Former Assistant for Legislative Affairs to President George H. W. Bush and Vice Chairman of Public Policy and Research at Dutko Worldwide
10:30 – 10:40 a.m. Break
10:40 – 12:00 p.m. "From the Election through the First Hundred Days: Opportunities and Hazards"
Michele Jolin, Senior Fellow at Center for American Progress Action Fund and Editor, "Change for America: A Progressive Blueprint for the 44th President"
Dr. Martha Joynt Kumar, Professor of Political Science at Towson University and Director of the White House Transition Project
Dr. Terry Sullivan, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Executive Director of the White House Transition Project
12:00 – 12:45 p.m. Buffet lunch
12:45 – 1:30 p.m. Clay Johnson III, Deputy Director for Management at the Office of Management Budget and former Executive Director of the Bush-Cheney Presidential Transition
1:30 – 1:45 p.m. Break
1:45 – 3:30 p.m. "Working with a Polarized Congress"
Chair: Scott Lilly
Thomas J. O’Donnell, Executive Vice President at the Gephardt Group and former Chief of Staff to House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt
Dr. Jim Pfiffner, Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University and author of The Strategic Presidency: Hitting the Ground Running
Dr. Stephen Wayne, Professor of Government at Georgetown University and author of The Road to the White House and The Legislative Presidency
3:30 – 3:45 p.m. Closing Remarks