“This is a team that is filled with people who understand government, who have been there before,” stated Max Stier, the CEO of the nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service, who has suggested transition groups of each events through the years, together with Biden’s. Led by Kaufman, the Biden transition started working behind the scenes months earlier than the election. “It’s a very challenging thing to do this right, but they’ve started better than anybody so far,” Stier instructed me.
The pandemic, in fact, isn’t new by now, and the Biden marketing campaign, like companies throughout the nation, is used to interviewing job candidates remotely. Most of the individuals who will seemingly kind the White Home employees, for instance, have already been working collectively remotely for months. (The transition group makes use of Google software program for video conferences, moderately than Zoom.) And in some instances, incoming members of the Biden administration would possibly be capable to begin their jobs just about too. The rise in telework all through the federal government this 12 months meant that many new workers took their oaths and accomplished their onboarding paperwork remotely.
However many roles are too vital to fill with out an in-person assembly. “I would want to sit across the room from the president-elect before I’m going to take a job in his Cabinet,” an individual near the transition instructed me on the situation of anonymity as a result of Biden’s group is beneath strict orders to not converse with the media. “So a lot could be done on Zoom, but some can’t.” (The previous vice chairman reportedly carried out his seek for a vice-presidential operating mate this summer time via a mixture of in-person and digital interviews.)
Nor can many different features of the transition proceed completely remotely. Transition groups might want to bodily enter authorities buildings to overview labeled paperwork on the Pentagon, the Division of Homeland Safety, and different federal businesses. Biden officers have arrange strict COVID-19 protocols—and says it critiques these necessities each two weeks—for when these groups start assembly in individual with their counterparts within the Trump administration. And the president-elect’s employees has named bigger company overview groups than traditional to account for the likelihood that members might turn out to be contaminated or have to quarantine in the course of the transition.
“Like many organizations across the nation, the Biden transition group will proceed to do our work remotely,” the group stated in a press release. “While we have access to GSA space, the number of staff needed inside the office will be limited.”
Conducting a lot delicate planning remotely might additionally increase cybersecurity considerations, particularly as a result of the Biden group just isn’t but utilizing authorities networks, and industrial platforms comparable to Zoom have been suffering from safety points over the summer time. The Biden transition group stated it has “invested in best-in-class IT systems and processes,” together with briefing employees members on utilizing safety keys and different greatest practices.