Advancing HR Leaders

Federal agencies rely on high-performing HR teams to play a proactive role in setting workforce priorities. Given their unique perspective, HR employees must be empowered to lead recruiting, hiring and engagement efforts to bolster the overall capabilities of their agency’s workforce.

The Advancing HR Leaders program is a professional development opportunity for federal HR employees looking to increase their individual impact and influence on team and agency operations. Throughout this six-month program, participants develop skills needed to take initiative and cultivate support for their ideas. Each session focuses on different methods to help individuals become more confident and capable stewards of their agency’s critical HR strategy.

Participants learn how to identify opportunities for change and collaborate with others most effectively, both within their teams and across the organization.

Apply by May 1
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Quick Details


May – December 2020




High-performing HR employees who have reached the GS-12 to GS-14 level at the time of application

Program Details PDF


For more information contact Diana Starkes at or call
(202) 292‑1014.

How to Apply

Completed applications must include your personal information, professional experience and objectives, an up-to-date resume and your supervisor’s endorsement. Carefully consider your short-answer responses to ensure your government career objectives align with our high expectations of participants.

You do not need to complete the application in one session. You may save your application and return to it later.

If you have further questions, please see the FAQ section.


Program Structure

During classroom sessions, experienced instructors facilitate engaging conversations, activities and workshops on key course concepts. Participants reinforce classroom lessons by working on group projects to hone their leadership and collaboration skills. These projects are more than just a program assignment—they address real-world challenges and have the potential to truly benefit agencies.

We expect participants to attend every session and adequately prepare for each one by working on team projects and reading reports, case studies and articles. Prior to applying to the program, participants should review the program schedule and confirm their availability.

Session 1: May 19-21

Value-Based Leadership
  • Improving interpersonal skills
  • Displaying values in your working style
  • Gaining motivation for public service
  • Refining your authentic leadership style

Session 2: July 14-16

Leading Teams
  • Building trust and better communication
  • Navigating conflict within a team
  • Recognizing personal and other people’s emotions

Session 3: August 25-27

Managing and Motivating Others
  • Motivating and engaging others
  • Building relationships and trust
  • Communicating your ideas with clarity

Session 4: October 6-8

Adapting to Change
  • Improving your ability to adapt
  • Expanding your mindset and perspective
  • Developing new problem-solving techniques

Session 5: December 15-17

Achieving Results and Graduation
  • Enhancing executive presentation skills
  • Re-energizing ownership of your career and service


Members from the Partnership staff will work with you throughout the Advancing HR Leaders program to ensure that your experience goes smoothly.


Q: Who is eligible to apply?

A: The Advancing HR Leaders program is designed for HR employees GS-12 to GS-14.

Q: What application materials must I provide to be eligible?

A: You are required to submit one letter of recommendation and a copy of your resume. Your letter of recommendation does not have to come from your direct supervisor, but must come from a senior-level person within your agency who can speak to your qualifications and work ethic. Your resume should include all professional work experience, including nongovernmental experience.

Q: How will I know if I’m accepted?

A: You will receive an email from a Partnership representative notifying you of your acceptance status within one week after the application deadline. If we have an agreement with your agency to accept you as part of an internal selection process, you will receive word from your agency first, but your acceptance is not confirmed until you have received a notification from us.

Q: I’m no longer able to attend, will I receive a refund?

A: If you have participated in one or more sessions, we will determine whether a credit or partial refund is appropriate on a case-by-case basis.

Q: Can I reapply if I am not accepted into the program?

A: Yes, you are able to reapply as long as you meet the program’s minimum qualifications.

Q: Is there an application fee?

A: No.

Q: How much is tuition?

A: Tuition is $6,500, which includes all course materials (e.g., books, articles and management tools), online collaboration tools for team projects, and access to the Partnership’s resources, expertise and networks.

Q: When is the tuition deadline, and what are the options for tuition payment?

A: Pay should be arranged prior to the first session (the specific date will be provided in the first program communication to accepted applicants). Your agency is responsible for paying tuition. We do not accept payment from individual applicants.

We accept the following forms of payment: credit card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express), purchase order or Standard Form 182 (SF-182). The Tuition Form will provide instructions to request a purchase order that can be paid by your agency through Automated Clearing House transfer or check.

We will work directly with the agency POC (e.g., training coordinator, human resources specialist) responsible for paying your tuition, but we will need you to provide us with the name, email and phone number of the POC. Any tuition status update requests should go through your agency POC.

You are committed to paying the full tuition once you begin the program.

Q: Where will the sessions take place?

A: All classroom sessions will take place at the Partnership (see address below). There will be off-site visits throughout the program to federal agencies as well as nongovernmental organizations in the DC/Maryland/Virginia area. Participants will be notified of these visits in advance.

Partnership for Public Service
1100 New York Avenue NW, Suite 200 East
Washington, DC 20005

Q: Will I take any personality assessments as part of the program?

A: Yes, we administer and facilitate debriefs on various assessments, including emotional intelligence 360s, the Strength Deployment Inventory, DiSC and the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator. The assessments will vary depending on your program.