Profiles in Public Service


Profiles in Public Service

Profiles in Public Service tells the compelling stories about the unsung public servant leaders who have driven government’s most important accomplishments.

Co-hosts Loren DeJonge Schulman and Rachel Klein-Kircher help break down common myths about government by highlighting the critical ways in which federal employees have demonstrated bold leadership to protect our health, safety and general well-being. In an age when people continue to hold negative views about government—but also rely on it to solve big problems and crises—the stories we share promise to rebuild public faith in the nation’s largest public organization.

Episode 16

November 19 | 37 minutes

Jamie Rhome has revolutionized the way the government tracks and predicts storm surges. In this episode, Rhome, a storm surge specialist at the National Hurricane Center, talks about why effective public communication is critical to hurricane preparedness, how his work has built public trust in the government’s weather forecast, how the NHC has adapted to COVID-19 and why Hurricane Katrina was a wake-up call for the way the center operated.

Tags: Evidence-based Decision-making, Innovation and Creativity

Episode 15

November 5 | 43 minutes

This week, we’re giving you a front-row seat to the nation’s premier awards program honoring excellence in government: The Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals®—or the Sammies, for short. You’ll hear President Joe Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Geoff Bennett of NBC News and a host of others recognize exceptional public servants doing remarkable things for our country, from driving America’s wireless revolution to designing the basic structure of the COVID-19 vaccine. To learn more about this year’s finalists and winners, visit

Tags: Influence, Innovation and Creativity,

Episode 14

October 22 | 36 minutes

Dr. Kayvon Modjarrad, director of the Emerging Infectious Diseases Branch at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, discusses the Army’s past work to control infectious diseases, his efforts to develop a new vaccine that protects against a range of coronaviruses and what his team is doing to prepare for the next pandemic.

Tags: Innovation and Creativity, Adaptability

Episode 13

October 8 | 38 minutes

When Victoria Brahm arrived as the new acting director of Wisconsin’s Tomah VA Medical Center in 2015, she encountered declining staff morale, high employee turnover and an organization in crisis that was failing to fulfill its mission. In this episode of Profiles in Public Service, Brahm discusses how she overcame these challenges to ensure that veterans at Tomah receive the care they deserve and the medical center’s leading innovations in pain management.

Tags: Vision Setting, Innovation and Creativity, Emotional Intelligence

Episode 12

September 29 | 24 minutes

Best-selling author Michael Lewis explains how shutdowns—and shutdown threats—affect government’s ability to keep us safe, manage risks and tackle our most pressing challenges. He also shares the story of Arthur Allen, a former Coast Guard oceanographer who was deemed an inessential employee during the 2018-2019 shutdown even though his groundbreaking search and rescue work had saved thousands of lives over a 35-year career.

Episode 11

September 24 | 36 minutes

Max Stier, president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service, talks about launching the organization in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the bright spots in the federal response to COVID-19, why an effective government is critical to our democracy and what’s next for the Partnership as it celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Tags: Vision Setting, Innovation and Creativity, Systems Thinking

Episode 10

September 10 | 43 minutes

This week marks 20 years since a series of terrorist attacks killed nearly 3,000 people on September 11, 2001. Mark Jacobson, who was serving in the Pentagon when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the western side of the building and Mr. John Sherman, a duty officer in the White House Situation Room, reflect on what the day was like, how public servants stepped up in the aftermath of the attacks and how 9/11 shaped their commitment to public service.

Tags: Integrity, Authenticity

Episode 9

August 27 | 44 minutes

Bob McDonald, former secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and Andrew Marshall, vice president of leadership development at the Partnership for Public Service, discuss why good leaders are the key to a good government. McDonald and Marshall discuss leading in the public sector versus the private sector, the impact and evolution of the Partnership’s leadership development work and how strong leaders can help rebuild public trust in our most important democratic institution. 

Tags: Relationship Building, Empowering Others, Vision Setting

Episode 8

August 13 | 37 minutes

Reps. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., and William Timmons, R-S.C., talk about their work on the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress, a group striving to make our nation’s legislative branch more effective, efficient and transparent. Kilmer and Timmons discuss how and why the committee formed, the major issues it tackles and how it fosters bipartisan problem-solving in an era of congressional gridlock.

Tags: Innovation and Creativity, Vision Setting, Conflict Management

Episode 7

July 30 | 33 minutes

Monica Hawkins and Charles D. Eldridge, two leaders at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, discuss the Foster Youth to Independence Initiative, a groundbreaking program that provides housing vouchers and other forms of assistance to young people aging out of foster care. Hawkins and Eldridge discuss why they launched FYI, its impact on at-risk youth and what others in government can learn from their work.

Tags: Adaptability, Innovation and Creativity, Vision Setting

Episode 6

July 16 | 43 minutes

Washington Post reporter Lisa Rein talks about her distinguished career covering the federal government, her favorite stories and how President Biden has approached the federal workforce differently than his predecessor.

Tags: Integrity, Adaptability, Influence

Episode 5

July 2 | 59 minutes

Hosts Loren DeJonge Schulman and Rachel Klein-Kircher speak with Mary Gibert and Gail Lovelace, two former leaders at the General Services Administration, about ensuring smooth presidential transitions, getting more young people into public service and managing historic transfers of power—from the first conducted after 9/11 to our most recent one in 2020.

Tags: Innovation and Creativity, Integrity, Adaptability

Episode 4

June 18 | 34 minutes

Hosts Loren DeJonge Schulman and Rachel Klein-Kircher talk to Ian Brownlee, acting assistant secretary of state for consular affairs, about the State Department’s recent efforts to rescue more than 100,000 Americans stranded abroad at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Brownlee shares stories from the front lines of this unprecedented multi-agency campaign, discussing the challenges it posed across government, the lessons it provides for future rescue operations and the bureau of consular affairs’ unheralded work in serving the American people.

Tags: Conflict ManagementSystems ThinkingEmotional IntelligenceIntegrity

Episode 3

June 4 | 62 minutes

Washington Post columnist James Hohmann talks to Dr. Fiona Hill, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, and former Ambassadors to Ukraine William B. Taylor and Marie Yovanovitch about why young people should go into public service, the importance of the career workforce and the state of our democratic institutions. Then, hosts Loren DeJonge Schulman and Rachel Klein-Kircher offer their perspectives on the discussion. This conversation was hosted by the Partnership for Public Service on May 6, 2021, as part of Public Service Recognition Week.

Tags: IntegrityConflict ManagementAccountability

Episode 2

May 21 | 51 minutes

Hosts Loren DeJonge Schulman and Rachel Klein-Kircher talk to Drs. Gary Gibbons and Eliseo Pérez-Stable from the NIH about their groundbreaking efforts to tackle COVID-19 health disparities. The two leaders discuss the importance of diverse vaccine trials, what the pandemic has taught them about promoting health equity and the latest vaccine acceptance rates in underserved communities.

Tags: Evidence-based Decision-makingDiversity, Equity and InclusionConflict Management

Episode 1

May 7 | 42 minutes

Hosts Loren DeJonge Schulman and Rachel Klein-Kircher talk with three NASA leaders about how the agency thrived in the midst of unprecedented challenges over the last year, from the return of manned spaceflight from American soil to new achievements in Mars exploration. These leaders share how they have built a culture of innovation and success, and NASA’s vision for the future.

Tags: Innovation and CreativityVision SettingAdaptabilityAuthenticity