• White House Transition page
• Statement by Pres. Bush on the Presidential Election (Nov. 5)
• Remarks by Sec. Rice on Presidential Election (Nov. 5)
• White House Fact Sheet: Ensuring a Smooth and Effective Presidential Transition (Oct. 28)
• Presidential Transitions: Issues Involving Outgoing and Incoming Administrations (Oct. 23, 2008)
• America.gov: Meet the 44th U.S. President
• President-elect Obama Planning Response to Economic Crisis
• America.gov: Work Begins Immediately for Next U.S. President and His Team
• America.gov: Illinois Congressman is Obama’s First White House Appointment
• Photo Gallery: Barack Obama (America.gov)
• Gallup Daily: Tracking the New Administration’s Progress
• Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies
Please note: This website is an illustration of the transition period and has not been updated after the Inauguration on January 20, 2009.
Transition: Work Begins Immediately for Next U.S. President and His Team
Barack Obama will not take the oath of office until January 20, 2009, but work to address the many challenges that await him in the presidency begins immediately.
The New Administration
Roughly two weeks before his inauguration, Barack Obama has already taken numerous steps to prepare for his presidency. The President-elect has filled nearly all of the major posts in his new administration. The new staff of the White House will take up their duties on January 20. However, the 15 Cabinet members and four other Cabinet-level officials (the U.N. ambassador, E.P.A. administrator, budget chief and trade representative) remain subject to Senate confirmation.
Top priorities for the new president will be the economy and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But there are many other important domestic and international concerns. Immediately following his election, Obama began naming and meeting with advisers who will help guide him on these tough issues. (America.gov)
Foreign Policy Challenges
When Obama becomes president on January 20, 2009, he will become commander in chief of U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Obama has criticized the Iraq war since its beginning and has pledged to begin withdrawing troops as soon as he is inaugurated, with a goal of having most troops out of the country within 16 months.
Throughout his campaign, Obama called for a multilateral approach to foreign policy in which the United States would engage more deeply and more frequently with its allies. American University professor Allan Lichtman told journalists at the State Department’s Foreign Press Center November 3 that he expects the Obama administration will follow through on that pledge. One potential area for increased cooperation is climate change. “I would expect Barack Obama to reopen negotiations with the [European Union] and other nations, including Russia and China, on the problem of global climate change,” Lichtman said.
Political experts caution that external factors often shape a president’s foreign policy. “You never know based on a campaign exactly how a president is going to conduct foreign affairs,” Lichtman said. (America.gov)
Texts are abridged from U.S. State Department IIP publications and other U.S. government materials. What kind of information materials are available?
CD: These documents are available in fulltext format on the About the USA CD-ROM. Teachers: Request a copy for classroom use.
L: Selected documents are available in German as well as other languages, including Arabic, Chinese, French, Spanish, Persian and Turkish.
Any reference obtained from this server to a specific commercial product, process, or service does not constitute or imply an endorsement by the United States Government of the product, process, or service, or its producer or provider. The views and opinions expressed in any referenced document do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government.
U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Germany /Public Affairs/ Information Resource Centers
Updated: March 10, 2009