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Top Political Leaders, Scholars to Discuss Presidential Transition

WHAT: “Presidential Transitions: From Campaigning to Governing”: A conference sponsored by AU’s Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies and the Center for American Progress

WHO: Gary Andres, former assistant for legislative affairs to President George H. W. Bush; vice chairman of public policy and research, Dutko Worldwide

- Patrick Griffin, former assistant for legislative affairs to President Clinton; academic director, Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute at American University

- Clay Johnson, executive director of the Bush-Cheney transition; deputy director for management, Office of Management and Budget

- Martha Kumar, professor of political science, Towson University; codirector, White House Transition Project

- Scott Lilly, senior fellow, Center for American Progress; former staff director, House Appropriations Committee

- Tom O'Donnell, executive vice president, Gephardt Group; chief of staff to former House majority leader Dick Gephardt

- Jim Pfiffner, professor of public policy, George Mason University; author, The Strategic Presidency: Hitting the Ground Running

- Terry Sullivan, professor of political science, University of North Carolina; executive director, White House Transition Project

- James A. Thurber, director, Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies; editor, Rivals for Power: Presidential-Congressional Relations

- Stephen Wayne, professor of government, Georgetown University; author, The Road to the White House and The Legislative Presidency

WHEN: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 15

WHERE:  Center for American Progress, 1333 H St., NW, 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20005

MEDIA: Interested media contact Jon Hussey, AU Media Relations, 202-885-5935 or

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 10, 2008) – As the Nov. 4 election grows nearer and more questions about the future of America arise, one thing is certain: the impending presidential transition will mark a historic event for the country. American University’s Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies and the Center for American Progress will host a conference discussing this shift in power titled “Presidential Transitions: From Campaigning to Governing,” from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 15, at the Center for American Progress offices located at 1333 H St., N.W., 10th Floor, Washington, D.C.

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
  • Working with Congress: Lessons from Past Presidential Transitions

The Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies provides an integrated teaching, research, and study program focusing on Congress, the presidency, and the interactions of these two basic American institutions. Established in 1979, the center provides a scholarly organization uniquely able to draw on its Washington, DC location in the very heart of the events shaping Congress and the presidency.  

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.

Media Advisory