Excellence in Government Fellows Program

For the government to carry out its many missions—from defending against cyberattacks to promoting health and wellness for all Americans—agencies need effective leaders at the helm.

The Excellence in Government Fellows program is the premier leadership development course for federal employees at the GS-14 to GS-15 levels. For more than 30 years, EIG has helped federal employees develop strong leadership skills through application-based learning, highly interactive activities, authentic self-reflection, personalized coaching and governmentwide networking. Our graduates go on to plan, design and implement innovative solutions to address the federal government’s biggest challenges and improve their agencies’ effectiveness.

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 have the option to attend the spring 2022 EIG program either in person or virtually. Both formats 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. We will follow a number of safety protocols for in-person programs. However, we recognize that participants may not be comfortable with this option yet. As a result, participants may join the spring 2022 EIG program virtually as well. 

While we understand it may be challenging to select the in-person or virtual option now, doing so will help us create appropriate cohorts for the program. EIG’s cohort-based structure is essential to our goal of prioritizing your learning and development. In this structure, participants journey through EIG with the same cohort of 25-30 participants, the same executive coach and the same small-group project teammates. We ask that you make the choice to attend either in-person or virtually so we can create cohorts accordingly and allow you to remain with your group for the duration of the program. Please note that fellows will not be permitted to switch between cohorts during the program.

We will continually assess pandemic 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 beginning in February 2022.

Interested in applying for the Excellence in Government Fellows program? Sign up for our emails to learn more.

Quick Details


April 2022 – March 2023, 27 total days
Virtual and in-person sessions




GS-14 to GS-15 federal employees

Program Details PDF


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

Developing federal leaders to meet today’s challenges

Agencies face constantly evolving challenges. To meet these challenges, federal leaders need a professional development program that provides them with fundamental leadership principles and practical, up-to-date leadership tools. Designed specifically for the federal workplace, EIG is an immersive program that places fellows in cohorts to enable new networking and learning opportunities with government leaders. 

1. Program Structure

  • Cohort-based learning: Fellows are placed in cohorts of 25-30 government leaders led by an experienced executive coach.  
  • In-person sessions: EIG consists of six, multi-day sessions spread across the year. Each of our six sessions are three to four days, providing fellows with an immersive experience that leaves  ample time to digest program content and build lasting relationships. Multi-week breaks between sessions enable fellows to reflect on program content, apply lessons on the job and identify real-life challenges to workshop in the future. 
  • Three virtual sessions: In between sessions, EIG also offers three, two-hour virtual cohort check-ins so that fellows can continue to learn, discuss their progress and stay connected.  
  • Two 1:1 coaching sessions: Fellows also receive two individual, one-hour sessions with their executive coach. During this time, fellows use a 360 leadership assessment tool to delve deeper into their leadership development needs.

2. Leadership Content

  • EIG aligns with the Public Service Leadership Model, the standard for effective government leadership. The model outlines the core values of government service—stewardship of public trust and commitment to public good—along with four key competencies that all 21st century leaders need: becoming self-aware, engaging others, leading change and achieving results. 
  • According to the Office of Personnel Management, leaders must possess certain competencies outlined by the Executive Core Qualifications to enter the Senior Executive Service. EIG sessions focus on different aspects of the ECQs and emphasize hands-on practice.  

3. Program Components


EIG uses various learning tools—including simulations and case studies, facilitated discussions, readings and videos, leadership assessments, and hands-on activities—to achieve each session’s learning objectives. To ensure the program offers the highest quality experience, we continually refresh our educational materials. Our lessons reflect the latest knowledge and best practices, and our case studies examine how federal employees confront modern challenges. We use evaluation tools throughout the program to measure learning and adapt the program to fellows’ needs. 


EIG uses the term “benchmarks” to refer to guest speakers, site visits and service projects that enable participants to connect classroom lessons to real-world situations. These experiences offer participants a behind-the-scenes look at innovative leaders and organizations from the public, private, nonprofit and academic sectors. By engaging with these leaders directly, EIG fellows make new connections and witness leadership in action. Previous site visits have included the National Archives, Microsoft, Lincoln’s Cottage, the Capital Area Food Bank and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. 

Results Projects

EIG fellows apply their learning to create a results-driven, action-learning project that aims to tackle a complex issue facing our country. In small groups, fellows work with program coaches to see projects through from start to finish. Key tasks include defining outcomes, finding sponsors, building buy-in, creating deliverables and more. Previous teams have developed strategies and initiatives to streamline drug approvals, strengthen cross-agency collaboration during food recalls and national disasters, and improve recruiting for mission-critical occupations. In addition to time spent in session, fellows should plan to spend an average five hours per week working on this project throughout the program.

Coaching and Mentoring

Coaching and feedback is a critical element of leadership development. That is why fellows receive targeted, individualized support from our team of executive coaches, including two hours of one-on-one executive coaching sessions. EIG participants also connect with a network of EIG alumni and engage in crucial peer mentoring with fellow government leaders.  


Throughout the program, EIG fellows participate in cohort and cross-cohort activities, and programwide networking events to build relationships with peers across government. By joining a community of leaders from different agencies, fellows gain ongoing learning and professional development opportunities that continue after graduation. These activities and opportunities support individual leaders in their career journeys and help federal agencies work together more effectively. 

100% of supervisors think EIG has made their employees better leaders

We have developed more than 2,500 federal leaders from more than 50 agencies


We have high standards for our EIG fellows. We will evaluate applications based on numerous criteria to ensure that individuals selected for the program will contribute fully to group projects and classroom discussions. 

Applicants should be either a GS-14 or GS-15 (although high-performing GS-13 employees are encouraged to apply).  

Completed applications must include personal information, professional experience and objectives for the program, an up-to-date resume, and a letter of reference from a direct supervisor. Applicants should explain how their career objectives align with EIG program goals by writing clear and carefully considered short-answer responses.  

The application does not need to be completed in one session.

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. 

For further questions, please see the FAQ section.

Apply by March 18

Session Details

During the year-long program, fellows remain in their full-time jobs and meet every two months, spending a total of 27 days in session, including orientation and cohort check-ins. Fellows also devote up to five hours per week to their results projects and session pre-work. Fellows are expected to attend all sessions, so applicants should review the class schedule and confirm their availability before applying for the program. Exceptions are made for family and work-related emergencies.

Once accepted into the program, each fellow will be assigned to a cohort led by an executive coach. Each cohort meets for one set of dates for each session (e.g., Leading People), and each cohort check-in (three total) will be two hours long, held on a single date within the date range listed. Once you are assigned to a cohort (approximately two weeks prior to program kickoff), you will be given the exact date and time assigned for your group; please hold all dates listed until then.

Each fellow will also attend a mandatory two-hour virtual orientation session on a single date between April 19-21, 2022.  

Fellows will choose to participate in the program either virtually or in person. Please note that fellows will not be permitted to switch between both options during the program.


April 26–29, 2022

Cohort Check-in 1

One two-hour slot in May 2022 (Virtual)

Leading People

June 21–24, 2022

Strategic Systems Leadership

August 23–26, 2022

Cohort Check-in 2

One two-hour slot in October 2022 (Virtual)

Building Partnerships and Coalitions

November 1–4, 2022

Cohort Check-in 3

One two-hour slot in December 2022 (Virtual)

Navigating Change

January 10–13, 2023

Synthesis and Celebration

March 14–16, 2023

“It truly has impacted how I approach my job. Every day, there is some kind of conflict in my work, and the lessons I learned from the program around leading change and leading people, handling difficult situations and resolving challenges, that’s something I apply every day. It really has made me think about different approaches to problems and has helped me immensely.”

—Former EIG Fellow


Our executive coaching team is dedicated to helping participants reach their leadership goals. Our coaches possess a common set of core qualifications and bring a diverse set of backgrounds, global perspectives and training styles to the EIG program. Many are former federal leaders representing a wide variety of agencies, and all have extensive experience in public sector executive leadership coaching, organizational development, training and facilitation.

Meet the Coaches
Excellence in Government Fellows Program Coaches

Alison Miller

Alison Miller is a leadership coach, strategic planning, organizational effectiveness, and leadership development advisor with over 25 years of professional experience. Alison has held executive level positions with information technology, management, and human capital consulting organizations, with responsibility for multi-million dollar budgets and the development and wellbeing of over 100 staff. Through her experience, training, and personal journey, Alison cultivated a desire and expertise to help other leaders and organizations develop their strategic vision, align their goals and priorities, and lead change by effectively communicating and supporting customers, stakeholders, and employees. Alison specialties are assessing and developing organizations, leading individual and team coaching programs, and delivering leadership development training. Focus areas most requested by clients include developing and sharing vision and goals; enhancing leadership presence; improving emotional intelligence; increasing influencing skills; managing conflict; setting clear expectations; providing effective feedback; motivating staff; and maximizing employee engagement.

Recognizing that clients often have too much to do in high-pressure, high-visibility, complex environments, Alison provides practical coaching and thought leadership. She collaborates with her clients to design actions that increase self-awareness about their current mindsets and behaviors and encourages them to incorporate new skills. Her support is always customized to the specific goals and circumstances of each client, and includes resources and frameworks to reinforce learning and adopt new habits. Clients consistently report their appreciation for her insightful questions, clear feedback, and helpful best practices that create a new way of seeing, thinking, and leading.

Alison has a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Clarkson University, an M.B.A. from Cornell University’s Johnson School of Management, and she is a graduate of Georgetown University’s Leadership Coaching program with a Professional Certified Coaching (PCC) credential through the International Coaching Federation (ICF). Alison is certified in the Bar-On Emotional Quotient-Inventory (EQ-i), Conflict Dynamics Profile (CDP), Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation (FIRO) Element B, Klein Group Instrument for Leadership and Team Effectiveness, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), and the Thomas Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI). She is currently studying positive psychology and applied neuroscience to support her client work.

Becky Lee

Becky Lee has over thirty years of experience at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and with Korn/Ferry as a Senior Consultant. A couple highlights of her government career are the design and delivery of an experiential, award winning leadership program for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and implementation of a coaching program at CIA that is still thriving after 15 years.

Becky is an innovative organization development consultant and experienced executive coach who is known for her ability to connect with leaders, helping them to become more self-aware and achieve their business results. She coaches leaders at all levels within the Intelligence Community, in other government agencies and the private sector. Becky also designs and delivers leadership development programs with recognized impact.

Becky is accredited in numerous 360 and self-assessments including: Benchmarks, VOICES, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®, FIRO-B®, several Hogan assessment tools, Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory, and more.

She holds a certificate in organization development from Georgetown University and is accredited as an Associate Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation.

Becky has a Master of Science degree in college student personnel and counseling from the University of Tennessee and a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal arts from Virginia Tech.

Christine R. Williams

Chris has over 25 years of experience designing and creating programs and strategies that enable organizations and individuals to improve performance and achieve their goals. Her cutting edge programs are considered world-class by both industry and Government standards. She is frequently invited to speak internationally on the topics of leadership development, organizational change, executive coaching and the application of advances in neuroscience to improving employee learning and organizational effectiveness.

Prior to establishing the consulting division of Otto-Williams Limited, a company which she co-owns, Chris served as the Director of a number of NASA’s most successful agency-wide leadership development programs, including NASA’s Executive Coaching Program and the Systems Engineering Leadership Development Program. For over 20 years she helped build the next generation of leaders at NASA, an organization that is rated among the top 10 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government®.

Chris is a recipient of the Leadership in Action Award from the Council for Excellence in Government, NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal, External Achievement Award, Creative Management Award, Innovative Management Award, and Space Flight Awareness Award. She serves on the Advisory Boards of the Neuroleadership Institute and the Conference Board’s Executive Coaching Conference.

After receiving her BS in Oceanography, Chris graduated Summa Cum Laude from The Johns Hopkins University with an MS in Organizational Development and Applied Behavioral Science. She also obtained a certificate in business management from the Harvard Business School and a Professional Coaching Certification from the Newfield Network.

Claudio Toyama

Claudio’s mission is to ensure that senior leaders embody authentic leadership so that they can increase their impact. He is the CEO of Toyama&Co., a leadership consultancy specializing in building sustainable peak performance cultures and has consulted in 113 countries so far. Claudio’s ability to create paradigm shifts in corporate culture results in more thoughtful leadership, a staff of brand ambassadors and customers who feel the difference and embrace it. He is an ICF-PCC certified executive coach, an Adjunct Faculty at the Institute for Transformational Leadership at Georgetown University and author of the best-seller book “The Samurai Samba Vinci Way: How to Improve Your Executive Presence, Increase Trust and Lead Your Team at a World-Class Level”.

In his leadership and executive coaching sessions, he combines Eastern and Western philosophies while providing a Sacred Space for the transformation that will unfold. He is a lifelong learner, having received a BA in Business Administration, graduate degrees in Marketing, Strategy, and Communication Studies and a Masters Degree in Interactive Multimedia, prior to graduating from Newfield Network in Ontological Coaching and graduating from the Institute for Generative Leadership in Coaching Excellence in Organizations.

Essey Workie

Rooted in her core values of compassion, justice, and wisdom, Essey helps mid-level and senior executive leaders navigate organizational, environmental and cultural shifts.  Essey specializes in change management, resilience and diversity, inclusion and equity.  

Essey is an executive coach with over 20 years of experience as a leader in government and nonprofit organizations, including her most recent federal post as Regional Administrator when she was recognized as the Social Worker of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers in Pennsylvania.  Currently, Essey is the Managing Principal for Multicultural Coaching where she has supported Save the Children International, D.C. Councilmember’s Office, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other clients with meeting facilitation, training, individual coaching and consulting services. 

She is a graduate of Georgetown University’s Leadership Coaching program with an Associate Certified Coaching credential through the International Coaching Federation.  She is certified in the Intercultural Development Inventory and is proficient in the Intercultural Conflict Style Inventory. 

Essey is also a former licensed therapist with a Master of Social Work from Temple University and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from James Madison University.  Essey volunteers as a community mental health educator to immigrant and minority groups in the U.S. and leads WISER, a research institute dedicated to strengthening social bonds among ethnic and religious groups in Ethiopia.

Felícita Solá-Carter

Prior to her retirement in January 2009, Feli served as Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Human Resources and Deputy Chief Human Capital Officer of the Social Security Administration (SSA), rated among the top 10 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government®. She shared national leadership of the Personnel, Training, Civil Rights and Equal Opportunity, Labor, Management and Employee Relations, Human Capital Planning and Executive Services Support programs.

A native of Puerto Rico, Feli graduated from the College of Mount St. Vincent. She began her career with the Social Security Administration (SSA) in New York City. Advancing into managerial positions, she joined the Office of the Commissioner in Baltimore as Senior Advisor to the Principal Deputy Commissioner, becoming the first Hispanic in that role. In 1998, as Associate Commissioner for the Office of Training, she became the first Puerto Rican woman appointed to the Senior Executive Service at the Social Security Administration. She is the recipient of a 2004 Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive and a 2005 Presidential Rank Award of Distinguished Executive, the highest honors a career federal executive may receive.

An Excellence in Government Coach since 2009, Feli also works with a variety of Federal, local, and non-profit organizations. Active in the community, Feli serves on the Board of Trustees of The Horizon Foundation, and is the former President of Conexiones of Howard County. A graduate of Leadership Howard County, Feli has been named to the Maryland Top 100 Women and inducted in 2014 to the Howard County Women’s Hall of Fame.

Leah Kedar

Leah has over 20 years of experience as a consultant, facilitator, workshop trainer, and executive leadership coach; helping teams, managers, office directors, CEOs, leaders, and organizations in diverse organizational environments, including government, corporate, not-for-profit, political and academic, in both domestic and international settings. In a transient and ever-changing work environment, Leah specializes in supporting leaders as they are called to collaborate and partner within their organizations as well as across organizations.

Leah provides consulting and coaching services, both individually and collaboratively, to many organizations including National Institutes of Health, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Department of Commerce (DOC), Economic Research Group-USDA, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA), NASA, United Nations Foundation, Democratic National Committee, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Department of Health and Human Services: Office of AIDS Policy, Office of Women’s Health, and Human Resources Service Administration HIV/AIDS Bureau, Department of Education. Private sector clients include InfoVista, KaBoom, Inc., Genpact Europe, Chemonics International and J. LaSalle.

Leah holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Linguistics from the University of Maryland (1978), M.S./AbD in Sociolinguistics from Georgetown University (1982). She is a Newfield-trained ICF coach, and is a certified facilitator for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and the LPI, CCL Skillscope, and EI 360-degree assessment tools. She is also a certified Results Based coach and facilitator and an Action Learning Team coach/facilitator. Over the last three decades she has participated in numerous Leadership and Organization Development, Communication and Coaching programs. Her publications include “Power through Discourse” and “Voices of the Community: AIDS Orphans in the District of Columbia.” She served on the faculty of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Maryland for fifteen years.

Leah is the recipient of the 2009 and 2010 ICF Prism Award for Coaching Excellence with National Institutes of Health Clinical Center and The National Geospatial Intelligence Agency.

Monica Thakrar

Ms. Thakrar’s expertise builds on over 15 years of experience focused on strategy, organizational change management, leadership development, training and executive coaching. Monica brings to all of her work a deep understanding of human and organizational development based on years of working with large-scale organizations, executives, mid-managers, and individuals on leading change, building strong relationships, creating high-functioning teams, enhancing leadership capacities, and working across organizational silos.

She has worked with individuals and organizations to enhance their effectiveness, realize greater efficiency, and develop increased capacities in leading people, leading change, and building relationships. Monica has worked with clients in the private sector (Marriott, Lucent, Cable and Wireless, Cannon, Hanley Wood, MedStar), the public sector (US Department of Homeland Security, US Department of Education, US Agency of International Development, US Department of Agriculture (NIFA and NRCS), US Department of Energy, US Department of Health and Human Services (NIH, SAMHSA, and ACL), NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the US Postal Service) and abroad (Central Bank of Jordan and Greater Amman Municipality).

Ms. Thakrar is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and has a Masters in International Trade and Business from Columbia University. She is a graduate of Newfield Network’s organizational coaching program. Ms. Thakrar’s is an ACC certified coach through the International Coaching Federation and is certified in the Myers Briggs assessment, the DISC assessment, the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) 360 Assessment Suite, the LEI 360, the EQ-I 2.0 assessment, the Change Style Indicator, and the Healthy Leader Profile.

Sheryl D. Phillips, M.A.

Sheryl, a leadership consultant and executive coach, has partnered with leaders for over 25 years to create more effective and forward-thinking organizations. She works at the individual, team and system level providing executive coaching, leadership development, organizational development and strategic and business planning. Sheryl is on the faculty of the internationally acclaimed Georgetown University’s Leadership Coaching Program (since 2001) and the newly formed Institute for Transformational Leadership at Georgetown. Prior to beginning her own practice in 2001, Sheryl spent a decade as a Senior Executive, which allows her to understand the challenges of leaders, particularly within large, complex settings.

Sheryl works extensively with leadership teams to develop their capacity to communicate and coordinate action and to create both strategic and operational plans. She also provides Executive Coaching to individual leaders and has worked with hundreds of clients across the public, non-profit and corporate sector, in the US and internationally.

Sheryl has her Master’s degree from the College of William and Mary and a Bachelor’s degree from Auburn University. She is a Certified Professional Coach by the Newfield Network; and a certified Somatic Coach by The Strozzi Institute. She has a certificate in Organizational Learning from George Mason University and is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School’s program for leadership practitioners. She is a qualified Myers-Briggs Administrator and is certified in leadership assessment instruments from the Center for Creative Leadership, The Hay Group, Lominger and The Leadership Circle. She is a contributing author to On Becoming a Leadership Coach (Palgrave 2008).

Sheryl’s recent clients include Capital One, PriceWaterhouse Coopers, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), CFPB, FINRA, Fannie Mae, Treliant Risk Advisors, MedImmune, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), National Science Foundation (NSF), NASA, Department of Transportation (DOT), NAEYC, and many others. She also regularly donates her services to nonprofit boards and leaders.

Sioux Thompson

Sioux Thompson is a seasoned leader with 30 years of increasingly responsible Organization Development, Learning and Talent Management experience. She has a broad and extensive business background in high-tech, government, association, scientific/research, and financial firms; and is a trusted advisor to C-level staff. She has worked with client groups in Korea, Singapore, Australia, Denmark, Ireland and the UK. 

Sioux recently retired from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, DC as the head of Talent Management where she provided direction and support to the Talent Acquisition, Learning & Development, and Organization Development functions, and supervised a team of 15.  She is now a senior consultant with Change Fusion in Falls Church, VA and works with government, corporate, and non-profit leaders to improve their effectiveness. 

Over the past 20 years, Sioux has worked as a leader in organizations as varied as: 

  • Sensei Biotheraputics (cancer vaccines) 
  • Texas Instruments, Inc. (hardware/software) 
  • Novell, Inc. (network software) 
  • RappCollins Worldwide (marketing) 
  • Janney Montgomery Scott (wealth management, financial services) 
  • Choice Hotels Group (hotel franchising, hospitality) 

Sioux has a Master of Science degree in Organization Development & HR from the University of San Francisco, and Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Education from Whittier College, California. 

Solly Thomas

Solly has over 30 years of experience in the leadership and management of federal agencies and programs. He has held executive-level positions in both the public and private sectors—as Executive Director, Chief Operating Officer, Chief of Staff, and Acting Associate Director for Human Capital in the Federal Government; as an Associate Partner at IBM Corporation; and as an Executive Coach/Instructor for federal leadership programs.

Solly has served as an Executive Coach/Instructor for the Excellence in Government Fellows program since 2009. His coaching experience has included interagency/open enrollment programs, cohort from the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Fellows program. Solly also serves as an Instructor for the Senior Executive Assessment Program sponsored by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

Prior to his coaching and instructing experience, Solly was a consultant at IBM Corporation where he provided Human Capital consulting, subject matter expertise and thought leadership for the federal sector. He served as project executive for delivery of services, drafted and edited Human Capital thought leadership publications, served as guest lecturer/trainer, and conducted conferences, forums and workshops.

When he retired from federal service in 2006, Solly was the Acting Associate Director for Human Capital at OPM where he led a number of government-wide programs. At OPM, he managed government-wide human capital programs under the President’s Management Agenda with an emphasis on leadership development, succession planning, talent management and performance management, including pay for performance. He also managed the Senior Executive Service selection, performance management and certification programs. In addition, he was an Executive in Residence at the OPM Eastern Management Development Center where he designed and delivered leadership programs. He also served as the acting Center Director.

Solly has also held Senior Executive positions as the Executive Director of the Federal Labor Relations Authority, where he served as the Chief Operating Officer, and the Chief of Staff to the Chairman of the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Solly has a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Notre Dame.

Steven E. Jones, Ph.D.

Steven has held senior leadership positions in private and public organizations leading change efforts. He has over 18 years of experience providing facilitation, coaching and training to organizations focused on building more effective workplaces. He develops coaching and training protocols that transform people’s skills in the areas of leadership, team building, communication, systemic change and diversity management.

Steven is an executive coach to leaders of foundations, nonprofits, banking and federal government agencies including the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, the Africa Development Foundation, Shore Bank, National Cooperative Bank, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Federal Aviation Administration, Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Department of Education, National Institutes of Health, the Smithsonian Institution and U.S. Department of Commerce. Steven has been an Excellence in Government Fellows leadership development coach since 2002.

Tom Fox

Tom Fox draws upon his more than 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, executive and coach to offer leaders practical advice for making their lives—and their employees’ lives—better. Tom has worked with thousands of leaders — everyone from emerging leaders to experienced executives — in the federal government, the non-profit sector, and private sector start-ups. The leaders he supports successfully build high-performing teams, confront difficult professional conflicts, launch new initiatives and successfully navigate change, receive sought-after promotions, and finally find that elusive balance between their professional and personal lives.

Tom is an International Coach Federation (ICF)-certified coach who completed Marshall Goldsmith’s LEAD 60 coaching program and the Leadership Coaching program at Georgetown University. He is also trained and certified in the MHS Emotional Intelligence 360 assessment, a variety of Center for Creative Leadership assessments, Ken Blanchard’s Situational Leadership Model, the Strength Deployment Inventory and the DiSC assessment. For more than eight years, Tom wrote the Federal Coach column for The Washington Post where he interviewed approximately 500 leaders and regularly dispensed advice to the column’s tens of thousands of weekly readers. He’s been a regular television guest, and his work has been covered by news outlets including The New York Times, NBC Nightly News and CNN. His previous work in the public, private and nonprofit sectors also includes experience at the Partnership for Public Service, Andersen Consulting, the Government Accountability Office, the U.S. Senate and the White House.


Members from the Partnership staff will work with you throughout the Excellence in Government Fellows program to ensure that your cohort experience goes smoothly.


Q: Who is eligible to apply?

A: EIG is for GS-14 to GS-15 (or equivalent) leaders who seek to solve national challenges by driving innovation, inspiring employees and delivering results. Exceptional GS-13s are also encouraged to apply. 

You must:

  • Have a strong record of accomplishment and demonstrate high potential to fulfill OPM’s Executive Core Qualifications. 
  • Be willing and able to commit and contribute fully to the program. 
  • Have the support of your department or agency. 
  • For those participating in in-person cohorts, be capable of traveling to Washington, D.C. and other locations for sessions. For those participating in virtual cohorts, be capable to access learning technology platforms for the full duration of sessions. 

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

A: You are required to submit one letter of reference from your immediate supervisor and a copy of your resume. 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. However, your acceptance is not officially confirmed until you receive a notification from us. We do not limit the number of participants—we are able to accommodate a large and diverse group for each cohort. 

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

A: Yes, you can reapply as long as you meet the program’s minimum qualifications. However, please check with your agency before reapplying—we do limit the number of accepted participants from a single agency in order to ensure that each cohort benefits from a wide range of agency perspectives. 

Q: Is there an application fee?

A: No.

Q: How much is tuition?

A: Tuition is $11,400, which includes all course materials (e.g., books, articles and assessments), online collaboration platforms 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: Participants should arrange payment prior to the first session (we will provide the specific date 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 an Automated Clearing House transfer or check. 

We will work directly with the agency point of contact (e.g., training coordinator, human resources specialist, etc.) responsible for paying your tuition. Please 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: What should I do if I have to miss parts of a session or an entire session? Do you offer make-up sessions?

A: Graduation from Partnership programs is contingent upon full attendance and participation in our training sessions. In the event of a conflict, please notify a Partnership staff member as soon as possible, even before the first session is held. Should you miss any part of a session, we will arrange for you to attend the same session held during the following year’s program. Participants may only make up the first session of a program within the same program year. 

Q: Where will the sessions take place?

A: 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. 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.

After a kick-off session in Pittsburgh, PA, all in-person sessions will take place in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Throughout the program, there will be off-site visits to federal agencies as well as nongovernmental organizations in the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia area. Participants will be notified of these visits in advance. Fellows will choose to participate in the full program either virtually or in person. Please note that fellows will not be permitted to switch between both options during the program.

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

A: Yes, we administer and facilitate debriefs on various assessments, including the Public Service Leadership 360 assessment and the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI).