Sunnylands spotlights presidential transitions at Republican, Democratic conventions

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

During the Republican convention, panelists included, from left, Sen. Bob Corker, Drew Erdmann, and Clay Johnson.

In partnership with the University of Virginia’s Miller Center and Fortune magazine, The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands will present public programs at both the Republican and Democratic national conventions in July to examine what the next presidential administration can – and cannot – learn from CEO transitions in the corporate world.

The twin panels align with the Miller Center’s First Year Project, a non-partisan effort of former White House officials and scholars to offer recommendations, case studies, and policy options to the next presidential administration. The programs will feature new research by the global consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

These programs mark the second time that Sunnylands has presented policy discussions at each of the presidential nominating conventions. In 2012, just six months after its public opening, Sunnylands convened panels on U.S.-Mexico relations, the topic of an early Sunnylands retreat, at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., and the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.

Both events are open to the public. For more information, write

Additionally, in concert with the U.S. State Department and both convention committees, Sunnylands will host special programs for foreign ambassadors and other diplomats attending the conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia.

In 2016, the discussion on presidential transitions will take place during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday, July 19, at the Tower City Center. The panelists include:

    • Haley Barbour, former governor of Mississippi and former chairman of the Republican National Committee


    • Drew Erdmann, partner, McKinsey & Company


    • Clay Johnson III, former executive director of Bush-Cheney Presidential Transition; former assistant to the president and director of presidential personnel, George W. Bush Administration; former deputy director, Office of Management and Budget


    • Bob Corker, U.S. Senator, R-Tenn.


    • Dan Primack (moderator), Senior Editor, Fortune

The program at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia will be held at the Ritz-Carlton. The panelists are:

    • Chris Lu, former executive director, Obama-Biden Transition Project; former Cabinet Secretary, Obama Administration (2009-13); deputy Secretary of Labor (2014-Present)


    • Vivian Riefberg, senior partner, McKinsey & Company


    • Robert Rubin, former chairman, Citigroup; former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (1995-99); former Director of the National Economic Council (1993-95)


    • Alan Murrary (moderator), Editor, Fortune