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The US Presidential Transition Process

Once a new president has formally been elected in the United States or any other jurisdiction, they cannot assume office without orientation. They need to be brought fully up to speed with what is happening so that they don't look as though they have been thrown into a completely different world where they don't know where to start. That is basically what a presidential transition process is all about; in simpler terms, that is.

When Does the US Presidential Transition Begin?

Once the presidential election results in the country have been announced, it gives an all-clear for the transition team to officially begin its work. However, the process can start informally at any time before the announcement of the results.

The President-Elect is Hosted by the Incumbent

Historically, the United States' outgoing president hosts the newly elected president at the White House shortly after the election (usually within a week). Together with the incoming First Lady, the president-elect is taken on a tour of the White House. This stage also involves a private engagement in the Oval Office.

Government Agency Review Teams

The sitting administration will prepare agencies for review, days after the election, before welcoming and sharing information with the government agency review teams.

Ascertaining the Winner

Ascertainment is done by the General Service Administration. It involves the official declaration of the winner of the election. You can think of ascertainment as the trophy ceremony of a sporting event. Even though the game is over and the winner declared, nothing is fully official until the trophy has been awarded. You can learn more about your favorite sporting events and online sports betting at

Briefing of the President-Elect and His Transition Team

It involves providing the newly elected president with the nation's covert operations and security threats in a classified summary. Most presidents-elect in the US receive intelligence briefings daily in the course of the transition.