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Research Summit

In the middle of image there is the text OPM Research Summit in white and gray with the logo on top, three overlapping triangles, first a medium light yellow triangle, and a small dark orange triangle, and last a large blue triangle. Underneath is the text #OPMResearchSummit

On June 7, OPM, in conjunction with American University School of Public Affairs, hosted the 2nd Annual OPM Research Summit. The theme of the summit “Transforming Human Capital Management Policy through Research, Innovation, and Analytics” set the tone for an energy-filled, jam-packed day full of innovative ideas, conversations, and collegial debate with one main goal in mind - to identify potential ways to improve Human Capital Management Policy.

The Summit brought together more than 300 Federal practitioners, academic researchers, non-profits, and industry leaders, representing 56 Federal agencies, 13 universities, 49 companies and the general public. The Summit continued to build and strengthen relationships across these sectors.   

This year’s summit featured two keynote speakers, Steve Goodrich and Dr. Anjali Forber-Pratt, individual presentations, panel sessions, roundtable discussions, and a symposium, all in which focused on four specific human capital management policy areas: (1) Analytics and Technology, (2) Diversity and Inclusion, (3) Performance Management, and (4) Workforce Reshaping. 

The Federal Government is challenged to do “more with less” but manage to do it better, and to do it faster, and to be more efficient. One way we can accomplish such an enormous challenge is to bring more ideas, experiences, evidence, data, and research to the table. The Summit attempted to do this by encouraging, fostering, identifying, and gathering insights and perspectives among stakeholders from multiple communities. When we draw on the knowledge of a diverse workforce, we are better able to distinguish the best possible way to serve our customers, the American citizenry. 

The Research Summit is just another exceptional example of what can be accomplished when the Federal Government, academia, and private industries engage one another in order to develop new ideas and implementations through research.

I look forward to next year’s Research Summit and building new partnerships.

Thank you to all who were in attendance, and for a job well done. 


At the Office of Personnel Management, every day we work to support the President’s Management Agenda’s goal to recruit, hire, and retain a world-class workforce. We develop human resources policies for everything from benefits to employee engagement to performance management to diversity and inclusion. And we believe strongly that the policy decisions we make must be grounded in research.

Connecting research to policy is so important to us that it’s a goal in OPM’s Strategic Plan. This week, OPM partnered with American University to host its first research summit. We brought together researchers and policy experts from 20 Federal agencies, 19 colleges and universities, and partners from industry and the non-profit sector. We focused on six specific human capital policy areas: work/life issues; benefits; performance management; diversity and inclusion; leadership; and employee engagement.

Our goal was to determine the current state of research in each of these areas.

At this summit, we wanted to determine where there are gaps in the research we need to make the best informed decisions about human resources policies for Federal employees. We looked at the challenges to closing those research gaps and what research we need to best inform our policy decisions over the next several years.

This summit will lead to enhanced collaborations. OPM already works with researchers around the country as they look at human resources issues in depth. We provide researchers will access to selected OPM data. For example, by accessing the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey data, which contains insights on employee engagement, productivity, innovation, and other employee concerns, researchers have written at least 60 academic papers in recent years.

We must plan and make policy for the Federal workforce of the future. The way we all work is constantly changing. Employees are teleworking more. Workspaces are becoming more open and collaborative. We are asking employees to be more innovative and to think out of the box.

By making sure that our human resources policies are informed by the most rigorous and up-to-date research, OPM can better design more effective human resources policies and help the Federal Government move to the forefront as an employer of choice.

The ultimate goal of this summit and of the work of OPM’s Office of Planning and Policy Analysis is to use these collaborations to help us establish a research agenda for Federal human resources management that will shape human capital policy for years to come.


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