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An official website of the United States Government.

Our Director Director's Blog

Posts By: Katherine Archuleta

I love visiting with Federal workers!

This past week I had the special opportunity to travel to Ft. Meade, Maryland to meet and share donuts and coffee with some dedicated OPM employees from our agency’s Federal Investigative Office and the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO).


I met such talented and engaged employees like Elaine Bosserman, who has been at OPM for 8 of the 12 years she’s worked for the Federal government. Elaine is a FIS investigative case analyst who evaluates personnel security and suitability background investigations to make sure they meet our national security and quality standards. And I visited with Cassandra, who has served her country as a Federal employee for 33 years. For the past 8 years, Cassandra has supported OPM’s mission by overseeing a team that performs a number of record checks in connection with FIS background investigations.

My trip to Ft. Meade was my first visit in 2014 with OPM employees in the field, but it won’t be my last. One of my highest priorities as Director of OPM is to be a champion of Federal employees all across this great country. And I hope to carry that message personally to as many people in our Federal family as I can.



Every January, Americans celebrate the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by stepping up and spending the holiday named to honor him by performing service in their communities. This year we will pay tribute to this great civil rights leader’s vision and accomplishments on Monday, January 20.

The MLK Day of Service is a way for us to do our part to create Dr. King’s “Beloved Community.”  Each of us in our own way can reflect on his life by reaching out to those who need our help. We can do our part to carry on Dr. King’s dream of justice, equality and human rights for all Americans.

Federal workers serve this great country each and every day. And on this special holiday we can showcase our involvement and investment in our communities. The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President's national call to service initiative. It asks all Americans to participate in our nation’s recovery and renewal by serving their communities in ways large and small. 

I ask you to visit www.MLKDay.gov to find a project you would like to participate in. Also, if you have your own project in mind, the website provides toolkits that will help you with your effort. 

And please, let’s not limit our community service to this one day. Let your service on this Federal holiday be a springboard for coming to the aid of your neighbors all through the year.

The MLK Day of Service is a time when you can honor Dr. King’s legacy through service.  Remember, this is not a day off, but a day on.


As our busy Federal workforce is beginning its work for an exciting and challenging 2014, I want to remind you that it is not too late to contribute to the Combined Federal Campaign.  Remember, the deadline for this year has been extended until Wednesday, Jan. 15.

I want to thank everyone who has already generously donated and who have participated in the many events that agencies have held across the government to build interest in this worthwhile campaign.

The generosity of Federal employees is tremendous.  I appreciate that these are tough times for many of us, but even a small donation can have an impact on the charities that are part of the CFC.

So as you are finalizing your 2014 personal budget, please consider including a CFC contribution in your planning. The money you contribute can help make “the impossible” possible.

For assistance in making a pledge, please contact your CFC key worker.


January is National Mentoring Month and it’s a perfect time to spread the word about the values and possibilities of mentoring and celebrate the Federal workers who take the time to teach, inspire and help guide their colleagues in their careers.

Throughout the Federal government, agencies are finding innovative ways to foster the goals of National Mentoring Month, which are embodied in the President’s proclamation: “America is at its best when we lift each other up, when we pursue our individual goals while never forgetting that we are bound as one nation and as one people…”

I know I have been fortunate to have wonderful mentors along the way in my career and hope that colleagues whose lives I’ve touched have benefitted from my mentoring.

At OPM, we are convening a roundtable discussion next week for employees to share their experiences and backgrounds and hopefully meet someone they can mentor or who can mentor them.

The governmentwide Flash Mentoring Program, which the Chief Human Capital Officers Council coordinates, has provided opportunities and programs at agencies throughout the government to help employees get tips on mentoring and to learn about the benefits of mentoring. In fact, a Flash Mentoring session is scheduled for next week at the Department of Education.

Since the Flash Mentoring Program’s first session in the fall of 2011, more than 600 federal workers have been mentored by more than 100 mentors and 27 agencies have participated in mentoring sessions.

But mentoring doesn’t require a formal program. Look around you. Find someone who you believe can help you develop your career, someone who may have a skills expertise that you would like to acquire. And look for someone who you can help reach his or her potential, who you can partner with and coach.

The President’s goal is to create a culture of mentorship throughout the Federal government. Let’s start now during National Mentoring Month and keep going during the year. Let’s make mentoring a way of life throughout this great Federal workforce.

 


As we work on fulfilling our personal New Year’s resolutions, it was good to hear from Federal workers across the government about what their hopes and expectations are for OPM in 2014.

Let me tell you about some of my priorities for the coming year and share one of your colleague’s stories that epitomizes the dedication and compassion of our Federal workforce.

2014 is going to be an exciting year at OPM. We have a dynamic new strategic plan in the works and our 100-day plan to modernize our IT systems is well underway.

This will also be a year that we champion the Federal workforce. As I travel around the country visiting Federal workers, I will be listening to them and sharing their accomplishments, their vision and their commitment to their communities and their country.

One of you has given me a perfect example.

In answering my call to share New Year’s resolutions, John Lee, an OPM colleague who works at our Boyers, Pa. facility,  suggested that we all get more involved in the community, in helping our fellow citizens in need. John and some of his colleagues did more than just talk about such service; they embodied it over the Christmas holiday. Here’s John’s post:

In his memorandum six months ago on expanding national service, the President called on all Federal agencies to promote national service and volunteerism across the Federal government.

Employees like John and his colleagues embody that call. My thanks to the Boyers team for their service and thanks to John for sharing.

I appreciate all the responses to our call for New Year’s resolutions. Please keep your feedback coming. We want to hear from you on Facebook, Twitter or via email.


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