On January 20, 2021 a new president and vice president will be sworn into office as part of the 59th Inauguration Day ceremonies. Traditionally speeches and other public events mark the transfer of power from one administration to the next.
What happens behind the scenes to ensure the federal government continues to operate smoothly during a change in leadership? According to this timeline, a Presidential Transition Directory was launched in November 2019. The U.S. General Services Administration outlines other important dates and activities that must occur prior to January 20, 2021. Approximately a year in advance of Inauguration Day, the Government Publishing Office (GPO) in collaboration with the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC) starts designing and producing items including invitations, tickets, stationary, and other items.
After the November election, the president-elect begins selecting and appointing people to fill important roles in federal agencies and cabinet positions. The Office of Personnel Management develops a guide to assist the incoming president and current agency leadership with policies and regulations to follow during the transition. The Plum Book provides detailed information related to these key positions including names, pay grades, and tenure.