March 13, 2017

Trump Lets Key Offices Gather Dust Amid ‘Slowest Transition in Decades’

Featuring Michèle Flournoy

Source: The New York Times

Journalist Julie Hirschfeld Davis

At the State Department, the normally pulsating hub of executive offices is hushed and virtually empty. At the Pentagon, military missions in some of the world’s most troubled places are being run by a defense secretary who has none of his top team in place. And at departments like Treasury, Commerce and Health and Human Services, many senior posts remain vacant even as the agencies have been handed enormous tasks like remaking the nation’s health insurance system.

From the moment he was sworn in, President Trump faced a personnel crisis, starting virtually from scratch in lining up senior leaders for his administration. Seven weeks into the job, he is still hobbled by the slow start, months behind where experts in both parties, even some inside his administration, say he should be.

The lag has left critical power centers in his government devoid of leadership as he struggles to advance policy priorities on issues like health care, taxes, trade and environmental regulation. Many federal agencies and offices are in states of suspended animation, their career civil servants answering to temporary bosses whose influence and staying power are unclear, and who are sometimes awaiting policy direction from appointees whose arrival may be weeks or months away.

Read the full article at The New York Times.

  • Michèle Flournoy

    CNAS Board of Director, Chief Executive Officer, WestExec

    Michèle Flournoy is CEO of WestExec and is the former CEO of CNAS, an organization she co-founded. She serves on the CNAS Board of Directors. She served as the Under Secretary...