Jordan LaPier
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Partnership for Public Service launches the Public Service Leadership Institute

June 8, 2022

The new institute will develop and strengthen our nation’s public service leaders to more effectively address the complex problems facing the country and our world.

WASHINGTON – The nonpartisan, nonprofit Partnership for Public Service today announced the launch of the Public Service Leadership Institute, which will serve as the preeminent source of programs, policies and perspectives related to leadership in government.

“The complexity of the problems facing our country, from the ongoing pandemic to economic uncertainty and international conflicts, demands highly effective leadership in government,” said James-Christian Blockwood, executive vice president at the Partnership for Public Service.

“Leadership is the most important factor influencing government performance and effectiveness. Federal leaders spark innovation and drive systemic change, act as stewards of vital public resources, empower employee success, and ensure that agencies meet the needs of those they serve—all critical factors for a dynamic and innovative federal government,” Blockwood said. “The Partnership’s Public Service Leadership Institute is one of the only entities dedicated to developing, strengthening and supporting our government’s leaders so that they can better respond to the challenges of today and tomorrow.”

The Public Service Leadership Institute will build on the Partnership’s 10-plus years of expertise in developing federal leaders. The institute will offer world-class training programs and custom offerings for federal leaders at all levels—from aspiring supervisors to senior executives and political appointees. Drawing on the Partnership’s work with tens of thousands of leaders, and data from its 360 assessment tool, the institute will conduct research to strengthen public service leadership and convene leaders working across agencies and sectors to share best practices and solve common challenges.

“While strong leadership is important in any organization, leaders in government are set apart for their role as stewards of public trust responsible for the needs of more than 300 million people,” said Andrew Marshall, vice president for leadership development at the Partnership for Public Service. “With the launch of the Public Service Leadership Institute, we aim to set the standard of public service leadership to build a better government and a stronger democracy.”

A key element of the new institute is the Public Service Leadership Model, which sets a standard for leadership excellence at federal agencies. High-performing organizations often use a leadership model as a common framework to create expectations for performance and behavior, and the Partnership believes government should operate the same way. The institute will work to unify federal leaders and their advocates around this standard through legislation and policy, with an emphasis on the model’s core values: stewardship of public trust and commitment to public good.

The work of the Public Service Leadership Institute will be guided by the Partnership’s Government Leadership Advisory Council, chaired by Doug Conant, founder and CEO of ConantLeadership, former CEO and president of the Campbell Soup Company and a member of the Partnership’s board of directors.

The council also includes Amy Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School; Bernie Banks, associate dean for leadership development at Northwestern University; Bob McDonald, former secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs and retired chairman, president and CEO of Proctor & Gamble Company; Charlie Bolden, former NASA administrator; Chris Porath, professor of management at Georgetown University; Lester Lyles, former USAA board chairman; Liz Wiseman, CEO at the Wiseman Group;  Sally Jewell, former Department of the Interior secretary; Stephen M. R. Covey, global speed of trust practice leader at FranklinCovey; and Admiral Thad Allen, former United States Coast Guard commandant and former senior executive advisor at Booz Allen Hamilton.

Liz Wiseman, a member of the Partnership’s Government Leadership Advisory Council, describes the unique responsibility of public service leaders: “Stewardship implies temporary ownership. What you are looking after belongs to the public, but you have been designated as the temporary caretaker.”

During the past 20 years, the nonpartisan, nonprofit Partnership for Public Service has been dedicated to building a better government and a stronger democracy. We work across administrations to help transform the way government works by providing agencies with the data insights they need to succeed, developing effective leaders, inspiring the next generation to public service, facilitating smooth presidential transitions and recognizing exceptional federal employees. Visit, follow us @PublicService and subscribe today to get the latest federal news, information on upcoming Partnership programs and events, and more.