Running the White House

President Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon in 1968

Running the White House

Tuesday, December 08, 2020
4:00PM - 6:00PM (EST)
Event Details

This event is made possible thanks to the generous support of the George and Judy Marcus Democracy Praxis Fund

Two panels explore how the people who run Washington, D.C., make it happen—and how they transition from one administration to the next.

Panel 1: Staffing a new White House: Personnel is power
4:00–5:00 p.m.


Chris Lu, Miller Center/Obama administration
David Marchick, Center for Presidential Transition, Partnership for Public Service
Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, Miller Center/Brookings Institution
William Antholis, Miller Center (moderator)

Presidents-elect have important decisions to make during the transition period, one of the most consequential being decisions about their staff. This conversation will consider three dimensions of the Biden transition: a comparative assessment of how the transition has been conducted and what it might mean for the early months of the Biden administration, analyzing early appointments, and the perspective of former WH staff members who started on day one. 

Panel 2: The Man Who Ran Washington, a book talk with Peter Baker and Susan Glasser
5:00–6:00 p.m.


Peter Baker, The New York Times
Susan Glasser, The New Yorker
Mary Kate Cary, Miller Center (moderator)

Book cover of "The Man who Ran Washington"

From two of America's most revered political journalists comes the definitive biography of legendary White House chief of staff and secretary of state James A. Baker III: the man who ran Washington when Washington ran the world.

For a quarter-century, from the end of Watergate to the aftermath of the Cold War, no Republican won the presidency without his help or ran the White House without his advice. James Addison Baker III was the indispensable man for four presidents because he understood better than anyone how to make Washington work at a time when America was shaping events around the world. The Man Who Ran Washington is a page-turning portrait of a power broker who influenced America's destiny for generations.



Tuesday, December 08, 2020
4:00PM - 6:00PM (EST)
Peter Baker and Susan Glasser, posing together

Peter Baker and Susan Glasser

Peter Baker is the chief White House correspondent for The New York Times, a political analyst for MSNBC, and author of Days of Fire and The Breach. Susan Glasser is a staff writer for The New Yorker and author of its weekly "Letter from Trump's Washington" as well as a CNN global affairs analyst. Their first assignment as a married couple was as Moscow bureau chiefs for The Washington Post, after which they wrote Kremlin Rising. Today they live in Washington, D.C., with their son.

Eric Edelman

Eric Edelman

Eric Edelman, Anne C. Strickler Practitioner Senior Fellow at the Miller Center, retired as a career minister from the U.S. Foreign Service in 2009, after having served in senior positions at the Departments of State and Defense as well as the White House. As the undersecretary of defense for policy (2005-2009), he oversaw strategy development as the Defense Department’s senior policy official with global responsibility for bilateral defense relations, war plans, special operations forces, homeland defense, missile defense, nuclear weapons and arms control policies, counter-proliferation, counter-narcotics, counter-terrorism, arms sales, and defense trade controls.

Chris Lu

Chris Lu

Over the course of a 20-year career in public service, Chris Lu, the Miller Center's Teresa A. Sullivan Practitioner Senior Fellow, worked in all three branches of the federal government, including seven years in the Obama administration. From 2014–17, Lu was the deputy secretary of labor, having been confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate. From 2009–13, Lu was the White House cabinet secretary and assistant to the president, serving as the president’s primary liaison to the federal agencies. At the end of the first term, Obama said: “Through his dedication and tireless efforts, Chris has overseen one of the most stable and effective cabinets in history—a cabinet that has produced extraordinary accomplishments over the past four years.”

David Marchick headshot

David Marchick

David Marchick is a retired executive from the Carlyle Group serving in a volunteer role as director of the Center for Presidential Transition at the Partnership for Public Service. He is also an adjunct professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth as a senior of counsel at the firm Covington & Burling. He also serves on a number of corporate and non-profit boards of directors. Marchick spent 12 years at the Carlyle Group and most recently served as managing director and global head of external affairs and as a member of Carlyle’s management committee. He led Carlyle’s regulatory and government affairs, communications and branding, and sustainability efforts. 

Kathryn Dunn Tenpas headshot

Kathryn Dunn Tenpas

Kathryn Dunn Tenpas is a nonresident senior fellow with Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, senior research director for the White House Transition Project, a fellow with the Center for Presidential Transition at the Partnership for Public Service, and secretary of the Governance Institute. Tenpas is a scholar of the American presidency focusing on White House staffing, presidential transitions, and the intersection of politics and policy within the presidency (e.g., presidential reelection campaigns, trends in presidential travel, and polling).

William Antholis headshot

William Antholis (moderator)

William Antholis serves as director and CEO of the Miller Center. Immediately prior, he was managing director at The Brookings Institution, and from 1995 to 1999 he served in government. At the White House, he was director of international economic affairs on the staff of the National Security Council and National Economic Council, where he served as the chief staff person for the G8 Summits in 1997 and 1998. Antholis is the author of Inside Out India and China: Local Politics Go Global and, with Strobe Talbot,Fast Forward: Ethics and Politics in the Age of Global Warming.

Mary Kate Cary headshot

Mary Kate Cary (moderator)

Mary Kate Cary, a Miller Center practitioner senior fellow, served as a White House speechwriter for President George H. W. Bush from 1989 to early 1992, authoring more than 100 of his presidential addresses. She also has ghostwritten several books related to President Bush’s life and career and served as senior writer for communications for the 1988 Bush-Quayle presidential campaign.

Today, Cary is asked to write speeches, presentations, and reports for a variety of national political, corporate, and nonprofit leaders. Her assignments have included State of the Union responses, Republican National Convention addresses, and TED talks. She served as founding managing editor of the daily political news service The Hotline, as a staffer at ABC News’ This Week with David Brinkley, and as a columnist at U.S. News & World Report.

Sponsored by

The George and Judy Marcus Democracy Praxis Fund