HWS President Mark Gearan Discusses Presidential Transition – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

HWS President Mark Gearan Discusses Presidential Transition

November 16, 2000

GENEVA, NY – Mark D. Gearan, president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, participated in a panel discussion titled “Transition on Hold: Will the Election Deadlock Handicap the New Administration?” in Washington, D.C. yesterday at The Brookings Institution. Gearan, the former deputy transition director for the Clinton administration, participated along with C. Boyden Gray, former director of the Office of Transition Counsel for the Bush transition team, and Paul C. Light, vice president and director of governmental studies at the Brookings Institution. In addition, as part of his work with the Brookings Institution, Gearan helped develop a book titled A Survivor's Guide for Presidential Nominees that was released yesterday.

A week after the presidential election, with the outcome still unresolved, a looming question clouds the future: how does the next president conduct a transition that cannot yet officially begin? While George W. Bush has publicly begun to assemble his transition team and Al Gore's spokesman says he's ready for the changeover, the fight to win the presidency appears to be far from over. Florida's absentee ballots from overseas won't be counted until tomorrow, the hand recount of ballots in selected Florida counties is slow and tedious, and the threat of additional legal action in Florida and other states has not been ruled out.

Mark Gearan answered questions such as how will the new president-whoever he is-make up for this lost time? How will the election deadlock affect the top-level presidential appointees, whose confirmation were expected to drag on for months even without the election controversy? In organizing his administration, will the next president be hampered by doubts about the legitmacy of his victory?

The panel discussion will be aired this morning at 10 a.m. on C-SPAN. The transcript and information on the Survivor's Guide is available from The Presidential Appointee Initiative or through their website at www.appointee.org

A Survivor's Guide for Presidential Nominees aims to answer virtually every question a nominee might have upon being asked to serve. The guide will provide vital information on everything from filling out forms and moving to Washington, D.C., to handling the media and surviving the Senate confirmation process.

Gearan was chosen this summer to serve on an advisory board, The Presidential Appointee Initiative: A project of the Brookings Institution, that revamped the process through which U.S. Presidential appointees are chosen. The purpose of the board initiative was to streamline the presidential appointment and confirmation process.

Gearan serves on the 15 member bipartisan advisory board along with co-chairs Franklin D. Raines, former cabinet member, and chairman and CEO of Fannie Mae; and Nancy Kassebaum Baker, former Senator from Kansas. Other advisory board members include Michael H. Armacost, president of the Brookings Institution; Lawrence S. Eagleburger, former Secretary of State, and senior foreign policy advisor; Carla A. Hills, former U.S. Trade Representative and chair and CEO of Hills and Company; Lynn M. Martin, former Secretary of Labor and professor at Northwestern University; Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan; Constance Berry Newman, under secretary at the Smithsonian Institution; Leon E. Panetta, former White House Chief of Staff, and director of the Panetta Institute; William J. Perry, former Secretary of Defense and senior fellow at Stanford University; David H. Pryor, former U.S. Senator, and attorney; Donna E. Shalala, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services; Alan K. Simpson, former U.S. Senator and director of the Institute of Politics at JFK School of Government at Harvard; and Nicholas F. Brady, former Secretary of Treasury and chair of Darby Overseas Investments.

For more information, please call the Brookings Office of Communications at (202) 797-6105 or e-mail at communications@brookings.edu.

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