K-School Scholar Aiding Reagan Team To Investigate White House Transition
A Kennedy School lecturer is serving as executive director of an unannounced top-level transition committee which will recommend plans for organizing the Reagan White House, transition officials said yesterday.
Richard G. Darman '64, lecturer in Public Policy and Management, confirmed that he is working directly under committee head James A. Baker III, one of two executive directors of Reagan's White House Executive Office transition team.
Darman said he has been meeting daily with Baker and that the White House transition committee, formed late last month, includes 15 to 20 members. He declined comment on the group's activities.
Frank Hodsoll, the team's other executive director, said the group will recommend ideas for the structure and personnel make-up of the new White House, including relations with Congress, the press and public, scheduling, and the location, budget and size of staff departments. It will also, he said, oversee the physical White House transition with the Carter administration.
"Our job is to assure an orderly transition with the White House," Hodsoll, a lawyer and former State Department official who worked with Baker during Reagan's campaign, said last night. He said the group had thus far made no firm recommendations.
One of the group's most important functions, transition officials say, will be to adopt a plan for determining the relative roles of the cabinet and the White House staff. Hodsoll said a proposal to make top cabinet members the president's closest policy advisors--advocated by, among others, Graham T. Allison '62, dean of the Kennedy School--"is one of a number of ideas kicking around."
Darman, a specialist on international law and government management, teaches Kennedy School courses with Roger Porter and Christopher DeMuth '68, both Reagan transition advisers, and was assistant secretary of Commerce under former President Gerald R. Ford while Baker was undersecretary.
Transition sources said Darman's responsibilities on the White House transition committee include Executive Office management, budget, personnel and "paper flow". They said it was also likely that Darman would be offered a post in the Reagan administration, but Darman has declined to say whether he would accept a position.
David Gergen, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute and managing editor of Public Opinion Management, is the committee's deputy director, serving directly under Baker, sources said. Officials said the committee includes no Harvard faculty members besides Darman.
In addition to Darman--who said his position on the White House transition team was made "internally official" late last month after Baker asked him to join the transition operation on November 19-- several Harvard faculty members are on the teams Reagan has established to oversee the transition in government departments and agencies.
These include: Richard E. Pipes, Baird Professor of History, State Department transition committee; John R. Meyer, 1907 Professor of Transportation, Distribution and Logistics, Transportation Department; and Demuth, lecturer at the Kennedy School, Environmental Protection Agency.
Roger B. Porter, assistant professor of Public Policy, is a special assistant to Reagan strategy aide Richard L. Wirthlin and sources say he will be offered a Reagan administration post