20 years of SAGE advice
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20 years of SAGE advice

August 8, 2023

On July 27, the Partnership for Public Service celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Strategic Advisors to Government Executives network, a group of 130 former federal C-suite-level executives who dedicate their time and expertise to supporting government leaders at all levels through Partnership programs. 

Topics discussed during the event, by noted leaders such as founding SAGE Dave McClure, and SAGE Emeriti Laurel Blatchford and Danny Werfel, included the creation of the SAGE network, how being part of the community informs their careers, and how SAGEs can support the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act alongside the current federal employees tasked with delivering its programs and services. 

Who are the SAGEs? 

Thanks to the leadership of Partnership Vice President of Federal Executive Networks Tina Sung, today’s SAGE community includes chief information officers, chief financial officers, chief acquisition officers, chief human capital officers, chief operating officers and, most recently, chiefs of staff. 

A group of SAGEs at the annual induction event in November 2022. Each year, the SAGEs gather to welcome new members of the community who have joined over the past year. 

These six communities of practice include former leaders who served in six different administrations, from George H. W. Bush to Joe Biden. Over 70% of the SAGEs are career federal employees and approximately 30% are political appointees. Their deep knowledge of federal management issues helps government leaders in various ways. 

How do the SAGEs contribute to the work of the Partnership? 

SAGEs advise political and career executives, serve as guest speakers and mentors, share subject matter expertise and more. 

Through programs like Ready to Govern®, and our DHS Capstone and AI Federal Leadership Program, SAGEs advise executives on topics like fostering collaboration between political appointees and career staff, managing stakeholder relationships and setting the strategic direction for agencies. 

A group of SAGEs at the launch of the Partnership’s Public Service Leadership Institute. SAGEs support the work of the Institute in many ways.

In our Excellence in Government Fellows Program, Emerging HR Leaders Forum and Mission Support Leadership Program, SAGEs serve as benchmark speakers and mentor participants to guide them toward their goals. 

Behind the scenes, SAGEs design new curricula for our programs, advise on legislation and serve as candidate reviewers for programs like the IPA Talent Exchange. They also advise the Partnership on our strategy, identify opportunities for us to reach new audiences and nominate new SAGEs to join the network’s ranks. 

Working for a better future 

SAGEs are human conduits of institutional and leadership knowledge that will inform the next generation of federal leaders. 

Their work to support the Partnership is monumental and noble. They remain connected to their own passion for public service and use their wealth of expertise and experience to strengthen the leaders who will carry our government into the future. 

Our government is better and our democracy is stronger because of these incredible public servants. We at the Partnership are forever grateful for their support.  

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