Exercise Facility

/ January 13, 2009 at 5:00 AM

The White House held a "facilitated exercise" today for incoming Obama administration officials and senior staffers.

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel late last week described the exercise as follows:

. . . And then next week, our work with the president-elect's transition team continues on Tuesday, January 13th, when we host a series of orientations and briefings, culminating with a facilitated exercise for senior, current and incoming officials. We are mindful that this is the first transition since September 11th and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, the Homeland Security Council, Office of Director of National Intelligence, and the National Counterterrorism Center, and U.S. Northern Command.

So in keeping with the president's commitment to ensure a complete and smooth transition to the next administration, we have invited incoming senior members of President-elect Obama's team to attend 90-minute orientations and briefings, followed by a three hour exercise intended to familiarize the incoming administration with domestic and international instant management procedures used by the current administration. And the format of these sessions is intended to provide an opportunity for senior members of the incoming administration to discuss instant management practices and challenges with their outgoing peers.

The White House today released a statement listing the participants:

Cabinet Level

General Jim Jones (Ret), National Security Adviser-designate
Admiral Dennis Blair, Director of National Intelligence-designate
Governor Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security-designate
Tim Geithner, Secretary of Treasurer-designate
Lisa Jackson, Secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency-designate
Senator Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior-designate
General Eric Shinseki (Ret), Secretary of Veterans Affairs-designate
Governor Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture-designate

Senior Staff

Rahm Emanuel, incoming White House Chief of Staff
John Brennan, Homeland Security Adviser- and Deputy National Security Adviser for Counterterrorism-designate
Rand Beers, Counselor to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security
David Axelrod, incoming White House Senior Advisor
Jim Messina, incoming White House Deputy Chief of Staff
Robert Gibbs, incoming White House Press Secretary

Officials from Vice President-elect Joe Biden's office and senior executive branch staffers from the Office of Management and Budget as well as the Health and Human Services, Justice, and State departments also participated, according to the statement.

-- John Liang