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Quote from Barack Obama stating 'I am committed ?to lifting up the outstanding work that is done every day and to fostering an environment where all our employees feel valued, engaged, and included.'

Federal service is public service. That’s easy to forget sometimes because so much of what Federal employees do goes on behind the scenes. But America’s workforce affects every American every day.

Each day, all across this country, many Americans are fortunate to wake up in a society where they have clean water to drink, safe food to eat, beautiful parks, affordable and quality health care, and a growing economy.

Providing these and countless other services to the American people requires a Federal workforce that is talented, well-trained, and engaged in the workplace, is led by executives who inspire and motivate, and draws from the rich diversity of the people it serves.

The President is committed to supporting the model Federal workforce. In his proclamation on Public Service Recognition Week, the President said:

“In the face of difficult challenges, public servants give new life to the values that bind our Nation together. Civil servants are scientists and teachers, social workers and first responders -- they are the leaders of today's progress and the innovators of tomorrow's breakthroughs. With determination and resolve, they defend our country overseas and work to widen the circle of opportunity and prosperity here at home. And despite tough circumstances -- including pay freezes, budget cuts, sequestration, and a political climate that too often does not sufficiently value their work -- these exceptional leaders continue to make real the fundamental truth that people who love their country can change it.

With more than 2 million civilian workers and more than 1 million active duty service members, our Federal workforce represents extraordinary possibility. Our Government can and must be a force for good, and together, we can make sure our democracy works for all Americans. We know there are some things we do better when we join in common purpose, and with hard work and a commitment worthy of our Nation's potential, we can keep our country safe, guarantee basic security, and ensure everyone has a shot at success.“

We could not agree more. Federal service attracts people who are passionate about what they do. The mission of their agencies and their commitment to serving the American people are what drives them. And they come from – and work in – every corner of the country, reflecting the rich diversity and talent of this great country.

From the recent college graduate to the mid-career professional to the soon-to-be retiree, our employees are here to make a difference and to serve their country.

As we kick off Public Service Recognition Week, we hope you’ll take a moment to reflect on how America’s Federal workforce makes your life better each and every day.  And we hope you’ll join the President in recognizing the hard work and dedication of our nation’s public servants. They deserve our gratitude and appreciation.

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.

 


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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