The winning candidates from the 2012 elections will face a daunting set of challenges. As difficult as modern campaigns have become, the governance challenges may very well prove to be more vexing. Public service professionals, acting through the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) and the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), have long felt a responsibility to provide advice and counsel to incoming administrations.

Beginning in 2000, NAPA fellows and ASPA members collaborated to write a set of memoranda to the president, advising him on a variety of issues facing the nation, which eventually culminated into a book entitled, Memos to the President. As the 2012 presidential campaign loomed on the horizon, leaders of that project recognized the complex problems and issues facing the nation, and called for bringing together the substantial institutional knowledge of NAPA fellows and ASPA members to inform candidates and elected officials about the major management and budget challenges facing a new administration and Congress.