Our History and Board

In 2001, Samuel J. Heyman founded the Partnership for Public Service to revitalize the federal civil service. Since that time the Partnership has worked to restore pride in government service and to attract the country’s most talented, intelligent and committed workers to serve the American people.

In 1963, Samuel J. Heyman (1939–2009) was fresh out of Harvard Law School. Inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s call to serve, Heyman joined the U.S. Department of Justice and served as an assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut. Upon his father’s death in 1968, Heyman left government to assume responsibility for his family’s business, but his experiences in government fueled his belief that public service was not only honorable, but vitally important to the nation and deserving of America’s best talent. “The future of our nation quite simply depends on the quality of our government,” Heyman said.

As the new millennium dawned, Heyman realized that our government would lose an entire generation to retirement: those, like him, who had answered President Kennedy’s appeal. He believed that the challenges facing the country were the most profound in decades and that replacing a generation of public servants with the very best talent must be a national imperative. He was enthusiastic about the possibilities, noting “my optimism about what can be accomplished is underpinned by the fact that young Americans today are so extraordinarily idealistic. They are the most active citizens in recent history. They’re volunteering for community service at record levels and they are the most likely of all age groups to believe that one person can make a difference by helping others.”

So in 2001, Heyman founded the Partnership for Public Service to revitalize the federal civil service. Since that time the Partnership has worked to restore pride in government service and to attract the country’s most talented, intelligent and committed workers to serve the American people.

Partnership Founders

Board of Directors

Our elected Board of Directors serves as volunteers and brings a diverse set of experiences to the Partnership. The Board guides our strategic priorities and helps to ensure our financial health by providing fiscal oversight and support of fundraising efforts.

Doug Conant

Founder and CEO, ConantLeadership and Former CEO and President, Campbell Soup Company
About Doug

Les L. Lyles

Former Chairman of the Board, USAA, Retired General and former Vice Chief of Staff, United States Air Force
About Les

Sean O’Keefe

University Professor and Howard G. and S. Louise Phanstiel Chair in Strategic Management and Leadership, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University
About Sean

Board Members Emeriti

Since our inception, the Partnership has enjoyed the support and guidance of many exceptional and dynamic leaders. Their counsel and stewardship have been invaluable to our growth, evolution and impact. We are grateful for their dedication and contributions to our mission and proud of what they continue to do for our country.