The next president will enter office with visions to execute and promises to keep. To meet these aspirations, he or she will have no alternative but to move beyond the approaches of the past, rooted in individual programs and agencies. The administration will have to develop new, effective strategies for policy and administrative collaboration across boundaries - between federal agencies, across levels of government, between government and the private and nonprofit sectors, and across global boundaries. Achieving the new Administration's goals will require fresh and creative strategies to produce results well beyond the sum of the silos.
Past presidents, from both parties, have suffered serious political damage for failing to do so. In the George W. Bush administration, for example, the struggle to recover from Hurricane Katrina produced severe and lasting damage, both administratively and politically. In Barack Obama's administration, the problems in launching the Affordable Care Act rocked his presidency. In both cases, the problems grew from failures to collaborate across boundaries. These problems brought enormous costs in dollars, lives, time, political capital, and trust in America's governing institutions.
This panel will identify best practices in advancing collaboration and will propose new approaches where existing ones have fallen short: both within the federal government, and between the federal government and its many partners. In many parts of the government, there is in place a strong system for intergovernmental collaboration, but we are not using it well. Despite numerous attempts, the country lacks a good framework to produce and measure interagency coordination. We can - and must- do better.
This task builds on the strengths of the Academy's Fellows, composed of leaders from all levels of government, business, the nonprofit sector, and academia. We will work closely with Academy standing panels in formulating our findings and recommendations. Stronger collaboration will help the new administration leverage government's partners to produce success.