Transition Recommendations for Climate Governance and Action


In order to achieve ambitious U.S. leadership on climate change, the next administration must be ready to hit the ground running and effectively prioritize its climate response from Day One. The Climate 21 Project taps the expertise of more than 150 experts with high-level government experience, including nine former cabinet appointees, to deliver actionable advice for a rapid-start, whole-of-government climate response coordinated by the White House and accountable to the President.

The Climate 21 Project’s recommendations are organized across the following 11 White House offices, federal departments, and federal agencies:

Executive Office of the President/Council on Environmental Quality

Office of Management and Budget

Environmental Protection Agency

Department of the Interior

Department of Energy

Department of Agriculture

Department of Transportation

Department of State

Department of Justice

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration

Department of the Treasury

The remainder of this summary report provides high-level recommendations for each department and agency, as well as for cross-cutting hiring tools and priorities. The complete Climate 21 Project memo for each department and agency addresses the following topics in more depth:

Budget, management, and structure

Key program opportunities

Interagency priorities and relationships

Critical staff appointments and hiring tools

Steering Committee

Christy Goldfuss (Co-Chair)
Center for American Progress
former Managing Director at CEQ

Tim Profeta (Co-Chair)
Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Joseph Aldy
Harvard Kennedy School
former Special Assistant to President Obama

Vicki Arroyo
Georgetown Climate Center
former Special Assistant, EPA

Robert Bonnie
Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
former Undersecretary at USDA

Michael Boots
former Acting Chair at CEQ

Jason Bordoff
Center on Global Energy Policy, Columbia
former Special Assistant to President Obama

Megan Ceronsky
Center for Applied Environmental Law and Policy
former Special Assistant to President Obama

Rick Duke
Gigaton Strategies
former Special Assistant to President Obama

Joseph Goffman
Harvard Law School Environmental and Energy Law Program
former Associate Assistant Administrator/Senior Counsel at EPA

Jason Grumet
Bipartisan Policy Center

Nat Keohane
Environmental Defense Fund
former Special Assistant to President Obama

Kate Konschnik
Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Brenda Mallory
Southern Environmental Law Center
former General Counsel at CEQ

Andrew Mayock
former Deputy Director at OMB

Jeremy Symons (Project Manager)
Symons Public Affairs
former Climate Policy Advisor at EPA
former Deputy Staff Director at Senate Environment & Public Works Committee

Dan Utech
Yale School of the Environment
former Deputy Assistant to President Obama

Steering Committee members participated as individuals lending their personal expertise. Their professional affiliations do not imply organizational endorsement of these recommendations. Steering Committee members do not necessarily endorse every individual recommendation of the Climate 21 Project.