Office of the Spokesman
November 5, 2008
On September 18, 2008, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice designated Under Secretary for Political Affairs William J. Burns and Under Secretary for Management Affairs Patrick F. Kennedy as co-chairs of the State Department transition. Secretary Rice also designated Executive Secretary Daniel Smith as coordinator of the transition. These three distinguished career officers have a wealth of policy and management experience and have overseen previous transitions. Released on November 5, 2008
Beginning on Wednesday, November 5, twenty-four Department staff will be devoted to working fulltime on the transition. They and the incoming transition team will occupy about 5300 square feet of space on the first floor of the Harry S Truman Building. This space will serve sub-Cabinet nominees as well, and will remain open until they have completed the confirmation process.
The Department transition staff includes personnel who will assist with security clearances, legal and human resource paperwork, and information management. Additionally, a team from the Executive Secretariat will coordinate the transition team’s interaction with the rest of the State Department. Many of these staff members have worked on previous transitions, and several have been working several months in preparation for the change of administrations.
All State Department employees are committed to making the transition a smooth one. Each bureau and office has identified a transition point of contact for facilitating communication.
The Department has also identified career officers in each bureau and office who will be the responsible authorities to ensure continuity of operations when senior non-career employees step down from their positions.
The State Department has produced five briefing books that will give the incoming transition team background information and candid assessments of policy and management issues and challenges.
State Department officials will also be available to give oral briefings to the transition team.
As a routine, the incoming Secretary of State and transition team would be briefed on all aspects of the State Department, including security, management, and policy issues.