Martha Joynt Kumar helps smooth the way to the White House

TU political scientist heads White House Transition Project

Martha Kumar

TOWSON, Md. (Nov. 11, 2008)—The orderly transition of power from one administration to the next is a distinguishing feature of the U.S. political system.

Transitions are a challenging period for presidents-elect, and no one knows that better than Martha Joynt Kumar, TU professor of political science.

News organizations from all over the world sought Kumar's transition expertise for months preceding the Nov. 4 General Election. In the days following that historic event, she reports that she's been averaging about 10 interviews per day.

Kumar is currently director of the White House Transition Project, and is at work with two dozen presidency scholars preparing information on White House operations for people inside and outside of government interested in the 2009 presidential transition. The nonpartisan project is providing vital information on past presidential transitions through 2001, the organization of 11 key White House offices, and the environment of White House operations.

The project builds on the earlier White House 2001 Project, which was designed to build an institutional memory for seven White House offices in order to provide the information to new staff coming into the selected positions in 2001. The White House 2001 Project was funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and was associated with the Transition to Governing Project of the American Enterprise Institute.

As a scholar with a research focus on the White House, Kumar is interested in presidential-press relations, White House communications operations and presidential transitions. Her most recent book, Managing the President’s Message: The White House Communications Operation, won the 2008 Richard E. Neustadt Award for the best book on the presidency from the presidency section of the American Political Science Association.

Related links

Martha Kumar has lent her expertise to numerous news outlets in recent weeks. The elusive Team Obama

NPR: Obama Visits White House For Meeting With Bush

New York Times: Campaign Pledge on Ethics Could Become Obstacle to Filling White House Jobs

Reuters: Government readies to change with new president

The Telegraph: Barack Obama's team is briefed by Bush staff Tough transition for new president





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