SEA Releases First of Its Kind Presidential Transition Guide

In preparation for the upcoming presidential transition, the Senior Executives Association (SEA) Professional Development League (PDL) has released its inaugural transition handbook, designed specifically for federal career executives, to help guide and advise them during this time of presidential transition.


The Handbook on Presidential Transition for Federal Career Executives was designed with the support of the Distinguished Executives Advisory Network (DEAN’s List), a group created with help from the Volcker Alliance, and is made up of Senior Executive Service (SES) and Senior Professional (SP) members who have received the Presidential Rank of Distinguished Executive or Distinguished Senior Professional.

While most transition planning focuses on incoming political leadership, the Handbook is the first of its kind that specifically addresses the needs of career executives and draws from the knowledge and experience of the DEAN’s List to include written guidance, best practices, and lessons learned, as well as relevant resources to help navigate the transition.

“For many executives, this is their first presidential transition in an executive leadership position,” said Jason Briefel, SEA’s Interim President. “There are also those career executives without a specific role in their agencies’ transition process who may not recognize the need to prepare individually for this change. This Handbook was devised with the objective of comprehensively compiling the tools and resources career leaders need to smoothly lead their organizations into the next administration.”

The Handbook outlines transitions basics – including the new Presidential Transitions Improvement Act – and defines the role of career federal executives in the presidential transition process. The Handbook also offers a wealth of insight and resources to help steer career executives through the transition, and positively engage new political leadership to ensure their agenda can successfully be carried out.

“I am pleased to see that members of the DEAN’s List are proactively involved in helping federal career executives to prepare for a smooth presidential transition,” said President of the Volcker Alliance, Thomas W. Ross. “These transitions are critical challenges for our government. This publication demonstrates the leadership that these award-winning executives can continue to provide under the umbrella of the DEAN’s List and with facilitation from the Senior Executives Association.”

Additionally, SEA’s DEAN’s List has developed a series of webinars entitled “Strategies and Best Practices for Managing the Transition to a New Administration, a Webinar Series of Guidance for Career Senior Executives.” Two webinars have already been conducted with two more scheduled and a third to be added.

The first two webinars and the Handbook can be viewed on SEA’s website at

The Senior Executives Association (SEA) is a professional association representing Senior Executive Service members and other career federal executives. Founded in 1980, SEA’s goals are: to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and productivity of the federal government; to advance the professionalism and advocate the interests of career federal executives; and to enhance public recognition of their contributions. The SEA Professional Development League (PDL) is a nonprofit educational organization committed to advancing the professionalism of career federal executives through the sponsorship of training, recognition, and research activities.

Ten Considerations For Civi Service Modernization

Summary: The Senior Executives Association (SEA) and the Hoover Institution hosted three Civil Service Modernization Dialogues in the summer and fall of 2018 that had a goal of developing a consensus around general themes and concepts that a diverse group of organizations could support. Those Dialogues were organized around three general themes:

  • Civil Service Workforce Modernization
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