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Today the President honored the incredible innovation, energy, and commitment of the senior leaders of America’s Federal workforce. These public servants come from all walks of life and from every corner of America to carry on the proud tradition of dedicating their careers to serving others.

In his address, the President highlighted the extraordinary contributions senior leaders make every day to public service, and he called on leaders in the Federal workforce to continue their focus on the most important elements of leadership: investing in our people and engaging our workforce; maintaining a focus on achieving agency missions; encouraging diversity and inclusion; encouraging innovation; and delivering quality customer service. 

A high-performing government relies on an engaged, well-prepared, and well-trained workforce.  Whether defending our homeland, restoring confidence in our financial system, providing health care to our veterans, conducting diplomacy abroad, providing relief to victims of disasters, or searching for cures to the most vexing diseases, we are fortunate to be able to depend upon a skilled workforce committed to public service.

As part of the President’s Management Agenda, the Administration is focused on developing and unlocking the full potential of the Federal workforce to drive greater effectiveness and efficiency within government and better harness taxpayer resources to spur economic growth for the American people. That is why, today, the President also announced three new initiatives to recognize outstanding service and provide new opportunities for aspiring senior leaders to develop the skills needed to better serve the American public:

  • White House Leadership Development Program for Future Senior Career Executives.  As part of the President’s continued commitment to training and developing our government’s high performers and strengthening the next generation of leaders who comprise the Senior Executive Service (SES), the Administration is launching the White House Leadership Development Program.  Through this program, top civil servants and SES candidates will participate in rotational assignments across agencies to gain valuable experience by working on the Federal government’s highest priority, highest impact challenges that require the coordination of multiple Federal agencies to succeed.    The program is a step toward fulfilling the vision of the Senior Executive Service and developing senior civil servants with critical skill sets such as leading change, building coalitions, working across government to solve problems, and performance management.  Furthermore, these emerging leaders will play a key role in addressing critical management challenges facing the Federal government and delivering lasting results.  The first cohort will start in 2015.
     
  • White House Advisory Group on Senior Executive Service (SES) Reform. The White House Advisory Group will play a key role in providing input on the core components of Administration’s efforts to strengthen the SES corps.  The group will be comprised of individuals recommended by agency leadership as highly effective SES, Senior Level, and Senior Technical professionals, as well as aspiring SES, that will provide a broad set of advice on the current and future state of the senior career leadership. The group will play a key role in improving the way the Federal Government recruits, hires, develops, and retains top senior career leaders.  They will also help develop accountability mechanisms for senior leaders and identify improvements to management practices among the SES. The breadth of experience from this group will ultimately help ensure the best practices across agencies are used to inform future reforms.

  • Customer Service Awards Program.  In order to focus SES and employees on outcomes and improving the quality, timeliness, and effectiveness of the services they provide to the American people and American businesses, the Administration is creating a Customer Service Awards Program that is designed to:
    • Recognize, promote, and reward service excellence, professionalism, and outstanding achievement by individual Federal employees and teams at all levels in the organization;
    • Provide opportunities for the Administration to highlight outstanding customer service and initiatives leading to customer service improvements; and
    • Identify effective practices which can be replicated.

The awards, which are non-monetary, will recognize outstanding individuals and teams that regularly interact with customers as well as highlight initiatives that have directly improved services for the American people through the application of technology, improvements in operations, or other innovations.  The program will include two levels of awards: Secretary Customer Service Awards given out by agencies, and a limited number of Presidential Customer Service Awards.

Katherine Archuleta is the Director of the Office of Personnel Management.

Beth Cobert is the Deputy Director for Management at the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Director Archuleta Stands at Podium with OPM Seal on It

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