Emerging HR Leaders Forum

The federal HR workforce plays a critical role in bringing the most talented people into government and ensuring they have what they need to succeed. Agencies must invest in the next generation of HR employees to secure the strength of their workforce.

The Emerging HR Leaders program is a professional development opportunity for HR employees early in their federal careers. Participants develop the foundational knowledge and the professional network necessary to navigate their federal HR careers and maximize their impact in government.

Throughout this six-month program, participants engage in professional development activities and learn from subject matter experts. The sessions emphasize conversation and application to ensure participants understand concepts fully and are capable of using the skills and knowledge they acquire.

After graduation, emerging HR leaders build on the connections they developed by joining the Partnership’s Leadership Alumni Network. Multiple cohorts of the program graduate each year, providing them with an ever-growing network of federal HR professionals to engage with and learn from.

We at the Partnership for Public Service remain fully committed to our nonprofit, nonpartisan mission. We also remain fully committed to your professional development. To help you achieve your agency’s mission and grow your skills as the pandemic situation evolves, you will be able to attend the winter 2022 EHRL program virtually. The virtual format will be delivered by highly experienced facilitators who use research-supported methods to help participants learn and expand their skill sets. 

The Partnership’s number one priority is the health and safety of our participants. Due to current pandemic conditions, and following the guidance from federal agencies on training and travel, all leadership development programs will be fully virtual through January 2022. We will continually assess conditions and agency guidance to determine when a safe return to in-person programming is possible. If conditions and policies allow, we will aim to welcome participants who choose to attend the program in person back on-site in February 2022.

Interested in applying for Emerging HR Leaders? Sign up for our emails to learn more.

Quick Details


January – June 2022






GS-9 to GS-12 federal employees

Details PDF


For more information contact Ethan Carr at [email protected] or (202) 495-7189.

How to Apply

Completed applications must include your personal information, professional experience and objectives, up-to-date resume and supervisor endorsement form. 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.

Please note, many agencies have specific application guidelines for their employees. Before submitting your application, please make sure that you are following your agency’s internal guidelines and that you have permission from your agency’s leadership to participate in this program.

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

Apply by January 3

89% of participants said they gained insight into the workings of other agencies and benefited from information sharing

97% of participants said they would recommend the program to a colleague

“This was a fantastic program. A must have for any HR professional that wishes to advance to the next level.”

-Former EHRL participant

Session Details

During sessions, experienced instructors facilitate engaging conversations, activities and workshops around key course concepts.

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

All sessions in the winter 2022 program will be held virtually. All sessions will take place from 1-3:30 p.m. ET on the dates listed.

In addition to the six sessions below, participants will join a mandatory virtual orientation on January 13 from 1-2 p.m. ET.

Session 1: Thursday, January 20, 2022

The State of Federal HR and Your Place in It
  • Understanding the role of HR in government
  • Exploring HR specialties and career options
  • Developing professional self-awareness

Session 2: Thursday, February 17, 2022

Building Relationships
  • Understanding the importance of relationships in government
  • Identifying the components of an effective relationship
  • Collaborating with partners across government
  • Communicating effectively

Session 3: Thursday, March 17, 2022

Understanding and Tackling Problems
  • Getting to the root cause of a problem
  • Involving those who are most affected by problems
  • Brainstorming solutions and achieving results

Session 4: Thursday, April 14, 2022

Taking Initiative
  • Exploring what initiative means in federal HR
  • Identifying opportunities to take initiative
  • Cultivating a positive mindset

Session 5: Thursday, May 12, 2022

Partnerships and Coalitions
  • Understanding how different coalitions can help you achieve a goal
  • Tailoring your message to different audiences
  • Understanding the needs of others

Session 6: Thursday, June 9, 2022

Career Coaching and Celebration
  • Synthesizing program lessons learned
  • Planning your federal career
  • Celebrating your achievements


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


Q: Who is eligible to apply?

A:The Emerging HR Leaders program is designed for HR employees GS-9 to GS-12.

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

A: You are required to submit a copy of your resume and a completed supervisor endorsement form. Your resume should include all professional work experience, including nongovernmental experience. Your supervisor endorsement form must come from your direct supervisor.

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 $2,500, 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: Participants will join the program virtually for the duration of the winter 2022 EHRL program.

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

A: Yes, participants will complete Gallup’s Top 5 CliftonStrengths assessment prior to kick-off.

Apply by January 3