How our AI Federal Leadership Program drives progress of AI use in government
Back to Blog

How our AI Federal Leadership Program drives progress of AI use in government

September 7, 2023 | Updated on October 26, 2023

Artificial intelligence is rapidly permeating the world around us, and our government cannot get left behind.   

The Partnership for Public Service developed its AI Federal Leadership Program to educate members of the Senior Executive Service and GS-15 employees on developing and executing a vision for AI in their agencies.  

The program, with support from sponsors Microsoft and, convenes federal leaders across government to learn proven leadership lessons, discuss their agencies’ needs and limitations, and share methods of success. Doing this, combined with providing them access to AI experts and experienced government change-makers, drives progress during this critical point in our nation’s history. 

The AI Federal Leadership Program is a major success  

The impact of the Partnership’s AI program has been substantial.   

It has reached 21 states, 37 agencies and graduated 228 participants. Graduates have created and implemented projects to increase efficiency and accuracy in their work, overall furthering the modernization of the federal government, which is notoriously behind on this effort. Over the past six program cycles, more than 90% of graduates agree that they have a greater understanding of the unique implications of adopting and managing AI in the federal arena, according to our surveys.   

Participants’ use cases for AI have included aid in medical prognostics, data trend identification, assistance in rulemaking, chatbots for new worker onboarding, document digitization and identification of fraudulent products.   

The Partnership’s unique position to improve government  

Leadership development programs are one way the Partnership pursues its lofty mission of a better government and stronger democracy. The Partnership houses the Public Service Leadership Institute—the premier source of federal leadership programs, policies and perspectives. 

To develop the most effective programming for each targeted topic area and audience, the Partnership relies on its 14 years of leadership training experience, specifically utilizing its in-house expertise, research and consistent feedback analysis, private sector relationships, world-class external coaches and, most importantly, the trust it has gained from federal agencies as a nonpartisan supporter of public service and effective government.  

The organization’s ability to help agencies tackle challenges in government and impart skills for leading change are particularly powerful tools for equipping leaders when innovations emerge.  

Our resources and positionality are beneficial to proper use of AI in government    

Today, that innovation is artificial intelligence. Though it poses lots of potential for positive change, this technology comes with a risk of producing catastrophic results if used incorrectly. There are few to no processes in place for implementing it in agencies, which need to tend to many of the aspects integral to AI’s success—including data sharing, budgeting and staffing. 

The AI Program provides federal leaders with the necessary skills, resources and information to solve these challenges. Convening these cross-agency groups guides information sharing and solution building, breaking down their agency and sub-agency silos.  

The ethics surrounding AI are at the forefront of the conversation throughout the Partnership’s program. Participants are taught to design oversight plans to ensure the quality and accuracy of what their AI models produce. It is impressed upon them that AI should not be making any decisions, but rather serve as a tool for detection, information sorting, finding trends, and the like, for humans to then evaluate.  

The AI conversation is one that many have inserted themselves into. If any voices in this conversation are worthwhile, they are those of civil servants looking to solve challenges and minimize risk, and an organization set on ensuring changes that occur in government be in the best interest of the people in this country.   

Leave a Reply