Develop Strong Leaders

Our Goal

Career and political leaders are prepared to deliver results by building strong teams, driving innovation and working across boundaries.

The Challenge

Leadership is the most important factor influencing federal employee satisfaction, commitment and, ultimately, government performance. Today’s government leaders are being asked to reimagine operations, function with fewer resources and continually find new ways to tackle complex challenges.

It is important that we have an agile workforce that can work across boundaries and collaborate to meet our government’s most pressing issues, yet many leaders are unprepared for the demands they face.

Our government also needs to develop a pipeline of future leaders, particularly as more members of the Senior Executive Service become eligible to retire.

The Opportunity

Today’s federal leaders need to be mission-driven, creative problem-solvers who are prepared to manage a workforce of 2.1 million employees. By strengthening leadership skills at all levels, we can change the culture of government and enable leaders to empower their employees, measure progress, hold people accountable and deliver results.

Our Work in Action

Our leadership programs prepare federal leaders to deliver results by building strong teams, creating a culture of innovation and working across boundaries. Mirroring the best, most effective practices across sectors, our leadership programs provide a combination of coursework, collaborative projects, executive and team coaching, as well as site visits to some of our nation’s most respected organizations.

To accelerate the ability of new political appointees to lead in federal government, we developed our Ready to Govern curriculum. It brings new appointees together for interactive sessions focused on ethics, the federal budget, working with career employees and other important topics.

We also are collaborating with agencies to design tailored programs to strengthen their leaders and improve organizational effectiveness, including a joint effort to transform the cultures of the departments of Education and Labor by bolstering leadership at all levels.

Every year, our programs strengthen nearly 3,000 leaders solving national challenges and 98 percent report using lessons learned to become more effective leaders. According to their supervisors and direct reports—who evaluate participants’ leadership competencies on a five-point scale before and after the program—participants improve a full point.

Since we began our work at the Department of Education in 2010, its Best Places to Work in the Federal Government® scores for supervisors increased 7.7 percent, even while government-wide scores have declined. In fact, the department was the most improved mid-sized agency in 2013.



Employee Engagement Online Training Series
September 9 and 16

These online training sessions are designed to provide frontline supervisors and managers with research-supported, actionable steps to help improve employee engagement through appreciation, communication and empowerment.

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Managing Risk: A Framework for Federal Agencies
September 10

The Partnership for Public Service and Deloitte invite you to a discussion on the Office of Management and Budget’s proposed ERM (Enterprise Risk Management) framework. ERM is an approach for monitoring and gauging risk and managing the effect on an agency’s components.

Panel Discussion on Improving Congressional Stewardship of Executive Branch
September 17

Join us for a report presentation and panel discussion examining how congressional polarization diminishes the effectiveness of federal agency programs and operations, and ways in which Congress can be a better steward of the executive branch.

Ignite and Lead Improvements in the Individual Performance Management Process
September 30

Join the Partnership for Public Service and Acendre for an interactive discussion on how to improve the individual performance management process.

Action Planning Facilitation Training
October 27–28

This two-day training provides instruction on the foundations of action planning to address Best Places to Work and Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey results within agencies or federal offices.

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Partnership Leadership Seminar: Driving Innovation
November 12–13

This two-day seminar will develop participants’ leadership skills and help federal agencies build the long-term, in-house capacity to innovate and solve management problems.

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Federal Advisor Certificate Program

This program for college and university advisors develops a commitment to promoting public service through an understanding of federal hiring, promotion of these opportunities on campus and building agency relationships. To obtain the certificate, participants must complete the following three series.

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Go Government Webinar Series
October 7, 14 and 21

Our job seeker-focused webinars are designed for career services professionals to share with students and alumni looking for federal opportunities.

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Federal Advisor Training Series: Level I
November 5, 12 and 19

Through interactive webinars featuring federal agency representatives, participants gain a better understanding of the federal hiring process, learn how to advise students on federal opportunities and build meaningful agency relationships

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Federal Advisor Training Series: Level II
December 9, February 4, and a one-hour strategy session

These two webinars and one-on-one strategy session will deepen participants’ connections with agencies and explore topics such as hiring trends at federal agencies and developing a customized strategy for federal advising on campus.

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In the News / June 04, 2015
Fed Coach: How to better coach your employees

In the News / May 02, 2015
Interview: John Palguta, Vice President for Policy, Partnership for Public Service

In the News / April 30, 2015
More Cybersecurity Internships, Scholarships Needed in Federal Government


Research and Publications / August 05, 2015
Partnership for Public Service 2013–14 Annual Report

Congressional Testimony / May 06, 2014
A More Efficient and Effective Government: Cultivating the Federal Workforce

Research and Publications / April 23, 2014
2013 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government® Analysis: Innovation


Excellence in Government Fellows

The Partnership’s Excellence in Government Fellows program is tailored to the leadership needs of senior-level public servants. It combines the best in leadership coursework, interactive projects, networking and executive coaching over several sessions throughout the year. It also meets the interagency training requirements for OPM-approved candidate development programs.

We are now accepting applications for our Fall 2015–2016 program.

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Custom Leadership Programs

Agencies face unique workforce challenges and have differing leadership development needs. The Partnership will build a custom, mission-driven program tailored to an agency’s needs. We have a team of skilled facilitators and coaches who have extensive experience working with employees and senior executives across government to address enterprise-wide challenges. The Partnership provides a full spectrum of services including data analysis, action planning, seminars, year-long leadership programs, executive education and training, assessments and coaching, and team building and facilitation.

For more information about our custom programs, contact Catie Hargrove at

Ready to Govern

The Ready to Govern program is designed to improve the transition from one presidential administration to the next, as well as prepare political appointees to effectively manage and lead at their agencies. It includes publications, resources, onboarding and education services and related activities, all designed to ensure smooth transitions of power and accelerate appointees’ positive impact on government.

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Strategic Advisors to Government Executives (SAGE)

The Strategic Advisors to Government Executives, or SAGE, program connects senior-level executives in government with their predecessors and private-sector counterparts. SAGEs share knowledge, ideas and best practices to help federal C-suite executives transform government and improve its performance.

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Federal Human Capital Collaborative

The Federal Human Capital Collaborative is designed to create an active community of federal managers and human resources professionals that will identify cross-cutting challenges and work collaboratively and systematically to solve them on behalf of our nation. It convenes member agencies to participate in research, share best practices and devise government-wide strategies to address the challenges identified by our member agencies as most critical.

How to Participate

Emerging HR Leaders Forum

The Emerging HR Leaders Forum is a professional development program for federal human resources practioners seeking to develop the skills and perspective necessary to take on future leadership roles in government. HR emerging leaders learn with, and from, their peers through facilitated dialogues with subject matter experts and challenging team projects. The Emerging HR Leaders Forum helps HR professionals move beyond technical expertise to develop leadership potential.

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Leadership Excellence in Acquisition Program

The Leadership Excellence in Acquisition Program is a year-long professional development program focused on strengthening the leadership skills of federal acquisition leaders. The acquisition-focused curriculum of innovative coursework, peer collaboration, real-world case study analysis and facilitated dialogue with industry leaders will provide participants with practical tools and guidance that can be incorporated back in their agencies.

We are now accepting applications for our Fall 2015–2016 program.

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Partnership Leadership Seminars

With a focus on the practical application of classroom lessons, our two-day Partnership Leadership Seminars develop participants’ leadership skills and help federal agencies build the long-term, in-house capacity to innovate and solve management problems.

Registration for the seminars is open.

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Leadership Alumni Network

The Partnership’s Leadership Alumni Network provides a meaningful way for our program graduates to continue personal and professional development. With more than 4,000 members, the Leadership Alumni Network is a community committed to excellence in government through ongoing learning and knowledge sharing.

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Executive Master Class

The Partnership’s Executive Master Class helps prepare aspiring leaders for the Senior Executive Service. Over the course of four months, the program will reinforce Executive Core Qualification knowledge and addresses challenges unique to government leadership through illustration and application.

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