November 13, 2008

New Book Released on Presidential Transitions by Kurt M. Campbell and James B. Steinberg

WASHINGTON, DC, November 10, 2008 — The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is pleased to announce that its CEO and Co-Founder, Kurt Campbell, and Jim Steinberg, Dean of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs in Austin, Texas, have just released a new book published by Brookings Institution Press on presidential transitions. Probing beyond partisan lines, Difficult Transitions is an expert guide for incoming presidents and their foreign policy teams seeking to survive — and thrive — amidst the landmines and booby traps that await them.

To prepare incoming administrations for the challenges they will confront, the co-authors catalogue firsthand accounts of transitions from both sides of the aisle, including their own experiences.  They show how factors such as campaign promises, personnel issues, and a president’s developing relationship with Congress all present serious challenges to early establishment of effective foreign policy, while at the same time providing critical opportunities. 

Please join Kurt Campbell and Jim Steinberg at a book release event hosted by the Center for a New American Security on Thursday, November 13, 2008, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm, in the Willard’s Grand Ballroom.  Books will be on sale and the authors will be available to sign copies.  Register online for the event at

Kurt M. Campbell is CEO and Co-Founder of the Center for a New American Security. He served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asia and the Pacific in the Clinton administration. Before that, he taught at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and served as a reserve officer in the Navy. His books include Hard Power: The New Politics of National Security, written with Michael O’Hanlon (Basic Books, 2006). Jim Steinberg, former presidential and congressional military policy advisor, is an expert on national security, U.S. foreign policy, international relations, intelligence and information technology. A former director of foreign policy studies at Brookings, he is dean of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas in Austin.

To attend this event, media representatives must present one of the following: (1) media-issued photo identification card, or (2) a letter from their employer on letterhead verifying their employment as a journalist, accompanied by an official photo identification (driver’s license or passport).


The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is an independent and nonpartisan research institution that develops strong, pragmatic and principled national security and defense policies that promote and protect American interests and values. CNAS leads efforts to help inform and prepare the national security leaders of today and tomorrow.

“This is fascinating history combined with a crucially important guide for policymakers. Anyone putting together a leadership team and structure—especially the next president—should read it, underline it, and enjoy it.”—Walter Isaacson, President of the Aspen Institute, author of Einstein: His Life and Universe

“A marvelous account of how foreign policy and national security concerns can complicate presidential transitions.  Difficult Transitions provide would-be policymakers and interested observers alike with keen insights into this quintessentially American political process.” —Lieutenant General Brent Scowcroft, USAF (Ret.), former National Security Advisor

Price Floyd, Director of External Relations
Ph: (202) 457-9418

Shannon O’Reilly, Deputy Director of External Relations
Ph: (202) 457-9408