Public Service Leadership Circle

The Public Service Leadership Circle is a virtual cross-agency leadership development opportunity offered exclusively to West Coast-based federal employees. The inaugural cohort is open to those with less than five years of federal experience.

Based on the Partnership’s Public Service Leadership Model, this program highlights the core values leaders must prioritize, and the critical competencies they must master to achieve their agencies’ missions and desired impact.

Through the course of this five-month program, you will:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of leadership styles, challenges and approaches among federal employees on the West Coast.
  • Enhance your leadership and communication skills.
  • Increase your knowledge of available cross-agency resources.
  • Share experiences, best practices and techniques to improve cross-agency collaboration.
  • Develop and engage with a cross-agency network on the West Coast to enhance your effectiveness.
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Quick Details


November 2020–March 2021




West Coast-based federal employees with five years or less of federal experience

Program Details PDF


For more information contact Victoria Schaefer at [email protected] or call (202) 840-6846.

How to Apply

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

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

Please note that many agencies have specific application guidelines for their employees. Before submitting your application, please ensure 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.

Application closed

Program Structure

This program meets virtually once a month for five months. Each session meets from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Pacific Time. You are expected to prepare for and attend every session. Prior to applying to the program, please review the program schedule and confirm your availability for the five virtual sessions.

In these highly interactive virtual sessions, an experienced Partnership instructor engages participants in conversations and activities around key course concepts. Prior to each meeting, participants will be provided with a curated list of readings, podcasts, videos and additional resources to review. During the first half of each meeting, participants discuss prerequisite resources and share experiences, best practices and techniques through facilitated discussion. The second half of each meeting features a guest speaker to share their leadership journey related to the session.

Guest speakers include:

  • Michael McAfee, President and CEO, PolicyLink
  • Parimal Kopardekar, Director, NASA Aeronautics Research Institute (NARI)
  • Christine Harada, Partner, RIDGE-LANE
  • Jennifer Anastasoff, Founder & Executive Director, Tech Talent Project
  • Kathrene Hansen Kin, Executive Director, Greater Los Angeles Federal Executive Board

Session 1: Nov. 17, 2020 (virtual)

Becoming Self-Aware

Becoming self-aware begins with an introspective understanding of your values, thought patterns and motivations, all of which are essential to personal development and better interactions with others. In this session, participants discuss self-awareness and how it can enable them as leaders to stay true to self and perform at their highest level in service to the American public.

Session 2: Dec. 8, 2020 (virtual)

Engaging Others

To engage others, it is important to foster an inclusive culture that encourages team members to offer constructive feedback, recognize good work and pursue professional development. This session enables participants to build a foundation for collaboration within and across federal agencies, as they learn how individuals, teams and agencies can work together to have a greater impact on government effectiveness.

Session 3: Jan. 12, 2021 (virtual)

Leading Change

Leading change in a rapidly evolving federal environment means initiating, sponsoring and implementing innovative solutions. In this session, participants discuss proven methods in leading change and how to manage change at an individual and organizational level.

Session 4: Feb. 9, 2021 (virtual)

Achieving Results

Achieving results means managing skillfully, thinking strategically and making good decisions that deliver measurable outcomes and improve the quality of life for the nation and the world. In this session, participants discuss how to build a strategic plan, delegate responsibility and deliver results.

Session 5: Mar. 9, 2021 (virtual)

Public Service Values

The final session focuses on the Public Service Leadership Model’s core values:

  • Stewardship of public trust: Given the vast and unmatched influence, power and resources of our government, which affect the United States and the world, trust in federal leaders and their integrity is paramount. Federal leaders represent the American people and must be held to the highest standard. They are stewards of the Constitution, taxpayer dollars and the workforces they lead.
  • Commitment to public good: For federal leaders to achieve their agencies’ expansive missions, they need a deep-rooted service orientation and commitment to the public good.

By the end of this session, participants will be equipped to live the model’s core values, as well as the competencies from the first four sessions.


Members from the Partnership staff will work with you throughout the Public Service Leadership Circle program to ensure that your experience goes smoothly.

Program Manager


Q: Who is eligible to apply?
 The Public Service Leadership Circle is designed for West Coast-based federal employees with less than five years of federal experience only. Employees from any GS level or wage grade are welcome to apply.

Q: What application materials must I provide to be eligible?
 You are required to submit a copy of your resume with all your professional work experience, both inside and outside of government. You must also submit a supervisor approval form.

Q: How will I know if I’m accepted?
 The Partnership will send you an email notifying you of your acceptance status within a week after the application deadline.

Q: I’m no longer able to attend, will I receive a refund?
 If sessions have not yet begun, you may defer your participation to a later cohort or transfer your enrollment fee to a colleague who can attend (pending an application review) by contacting [email protected].

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?
 Yes, you are able to reapply as long as you meet the cohort’s eligibility requirements.

Q: Is there an application fee?

Q: How much is tuition?
 Tuition is $1,200 and covers all course materials. This includes articles and management tools, online collaboration tools, and access to the Partnership’s resources, expertise and networks.

Q: When is the tuition deadline, and what are the options for tuition payment?
 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 an agency contact—such as a training coordinator or human resources specialist—who is responsible for paying tuition, and we will need you to provide us with a contact’s name, email and phone number. Your requests for tuition status updates should be sent through that contact.

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?
 Participants can make up a session the next time the program is offered.

Q: Where will the sessions take place?
 All sessions will take place online. Platforms will be determined based on participants’ preference and permissions.

Q: How does this program differ from the Partnership’s other offerings, such as Preparing to Lead and Foundations in Government Leadership?
  This program is shorter and discussion-based and offered at a lower cost, with the goal of making our training more attainable for regional employees on the West Coast.