Establish a process for making policy and operational decisions (Chapter 3).

Put into place a decision-making process that is rigorous, clear, efficient, and establishes accountability for results.


Commission work on the analytic framework for department-wide data, evaluation, and information system (Chapter 6).

Start teams on specific tasks—e.g., assessing utility and overlap of data already collected across agencies, eliminate duplicative or underused data; develop feedback loops so that agencies that can use data from another departmental unit can receive it; initiate discussions with other public- and private-sector entities that collect related information on data sharing. Involve privacy experts from the beginning.


Commission development of an HHS workforce development strategy (Chapter 5).

The department is only as good as its people, and an adequate pipeline for recruiting highly qualified staff must be ensured.


Intermediate Steps: The First Year in Office



Complete assessment of key challenges and process to define and promulgate vision, mission, and goals (Chapter 2).

Be as inclusive as possible in order to secure buy-in and increase the likelihood that the vision, mission, and goals will be lasting; set the stage for building coalitions.


Reorganize HHS structure if necessary (Chapter 3).

The presumption in this report is against major reorganization, but some change may be needed to meet goals and align operations. Reorganization efforts suggested include reducing the number of positions reporting directly to the secretary, and unifying FDA and USDA food safety activities within HHS.

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