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This post is the first in a series of seven detailing the three pillars and three drivers of the President’s Management Agenda (PMA).

Most Americans may not think about the federal government every day—but when they need government services, they expect them to work. As the President has affirmed, “at all levels of government, our public servants put our country and our people first. The hard work of our mail carriers, teachers, firefighters, transit workers, and many more, creates an environment that allows individuals and companies to thrive.” The President’s Management Agenda (PMA) enables the government to work more effectively and efficiently to serve all Americans.

The American people count on the federal government every day —from national security to infrastructure to food and water safety—government must have clear and aligned structures that allow federal programs, staff, and agencies to deliver the outcomes the public expects.

The President’s Management Agenda lays out a long-term vision for modernizing the federal government in key areas that will improve the ability of agencies to deliver mission outcomes, provide excellent service, and effectively steward taxpayer dollars on behalf of the American people. These are the three core objectives or “pillars” of the PMA: Mission, Service, and Stewardship.

In this first blog, I want to focus on the “mission” aspect of the PMA. The President’s Management Agenda lays out a long-term vision for modernizing the federal government in key areas that will improve the ability of agencies to deliver mission outcomes. Federal agencies will modify everything they do toward accomplishing these important mission outcomes.

Public servants are accountable for mission-driven results, and therefore must also have the necessary tools and resources to deliver. The President's Management Agenda helps accomplish this mission. The government must enable senior leaders and front-line managers to align staff skills with evolving mission needs. This task is something I am heavily involved in.

Modern technology is necessary to achieve mission outcomes efficiently. By pairing the right workforce with the right tools, anything is possible.

OPM is committed to implementing the PMA to deliver on results. We are adapting the federal workforce to effectively meet mission demands and public expectations. In the end, the work of the Federal Government must be centered on its mission. Through the PMA, we can make that happen.

To learn more about the President's Management Agenda, click here.

Each February, our nation celebrates the heritage, history, and achievements of African Americans as we usher in African American History Month.

In 1926, Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded what has now become National African American History Month to remember and celebrate African American history. He initially selected the second week of February, as it lands between the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

The week eventually became known as African History Month and has been recognized by every U.S. President since 1976.

The theme for African American History Month in 2019 is “Black Migrations,” which highlights the literal migration of millions of African Americans from the rural South to cities in the industrialized North during the Great Migration, as well as the movement of peoples of African descent from poverty during the time of slavery to the national stage over centuries of American life.

This month, we commemorate the achievements of African Americans, many of whom have faced inequality, prejudice, and discrimination in the past. These challenges have proven no match for the resourcefulness, strength, and determination of the African American community, made up of individuals who continue to pursue their own dreams and inspire Americans of all ethnic and social backgrounds.

Today, achievements made by African Americans can found in across American culture, including in sports, politics, literature, science, the arts, and beyond.

  • During the 1936 Olympic Games, Jesse Owens not only became the first African American to win a gold medal, but also became the first American to win four track and field gold medals at the Olympics. African American sports legends like Jesse Owens continue to challenge and inspire us to rise above the obstacles in our midst and fight to achieve our goals.
  • African American civil rights leaders including Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks have made significant and lasting contributions to the fight for freedom and racial equality. Because of their hard-fought victories, today Americans of all nationalities and ethnicities enjoy greater freedoms, equality, and economic and social opportunity.
  • NASA employee and African American mathematician Katherine G. Johnson worked on trajectory analysis for Alan Shepard’s 1961 Mission Freedom 7, which was America’s first time launching a manned flight into space. In 1962, she prepared calculations of orbital mechanics for a mission John Glenn, who became the first human sent into orbit. The success of this mission underscored a turning point in the competition between the U.S. and the Soviet Union in space. For her outstanding work with NASA, President Obama awarded Johnson the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015.

Today, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management celebrates the achievements of the African American community both to our Federal workforce and to our nation as a whole.

As President Trump has said in his 2019 African American History Month proclamation,

National African American History Month is a call to each and every citizen of our great land to reflect on the cultural, scientific, political, and economic contributions of African Americans, which are woven throughout American society. We remember, learn from, and build on the past, so that, together, we can build a better and more prosperous tomorrow.

You can read the full presidential proclamation here.

This month, I hope you take time to reflect on the achievements and contributions made by African Americans throughout our nation’s history.

I also encourage you to learn more about the life, traditions and culture of African Americans by visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture in person or online. Happy National African American History Month!

As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends this week, I hope you take a moment to pause, reflect and give thanks for the many blessings in our lives. 

This year, I am particularly grateful for the opportunity to serve alongside all of you, and for the warm welcome so many have extended me this fall. I am honored to be a part of OPM and to work with and learn from such dedicated civil servants.  

Since starting at OPM, I have witnessed the hard work, integrity and commitment to mission exhibited by so many in the Federal Service – and it continues to inspire me. 

As we move forward during this period of modernization and change through the President’s Management Agenda (PMA), please know that our mission remains the same.

Our core objectives of mission, service and stewardship will continue to guide us to improve the way we serve our fellow citizens. Our vision for OPM, a vision of stability, sustainability, and service for agencies and the American people, remains constant. 

Your work is vital to the future of OPM as we continue to build a Federal workforce ready to tackle challenges and meet the demands of the 21st Century.

Thank you again for all you do in service to the American people

I wish you and your loved ones a wonderful start to this holiday season and I look forward to continue working side by side in the months ahead. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

40 years – that’s how long the Presidential Management Fellows Program has given entry-level professionals the opportunity to be a part of a meaningful public service opportunity. The PMF program allows highly-skilled graduate students to be matched with Federal agencies to develop a cadre of potential Government leaders. PMFs are appointed to a temporary, two-year Federal positions, where they build on their existing skills while engaging in leadership development programs that can include classroom, cohort, and rotational experiences. These Fellowship may lead to a permanent career appointment at a Federal agency.

These men and women make a difference for our country They identify problems, develop strategies, and implement solutions to help build a better America. They bring fresh, new ideas and a willingness to take on challenges never dreamed possible. It is wonderful to see them in action.

That is why I am excited to announce this year’s PMF finalists. The Class of 2019 is a strong and diverse one. This year, there were 4,045 applicants. There are now 351 impressive finalists, all of whom should be extremely proud. They come from 113 separate academic institutions, representing 56 disciplines, and 12% are veterans. These individuals signify the potential of our people and our Government. I cannot wait to see what they accomplish.

Looking at this list of Americans gives me confidence that the program will continue to benefit the country for years to come. It reminds me of why I decided to answer the call to serve in Government: To make a difference for the American people.

Not everybody can be President, but many can be presidential. Being a PMF means impacting the world. As Acting Director of OPM, it is a great honor to be a part of this process.

To find out more about the PMF Program, please check out the program’s website at

Every November 11, we recognize our Nation’s veterans for the sacrifices they have made for this great country. These men and women are among the best this world has to offer. They set aside everything to serve. Many have seen long deployments away from their families, some have seen combat, but all have given something.

We observe Veterans Day because we as a nation have a responsibility to recognize those who have served to preserve our freedoms. Last year, the President described it as “a time to pay due respect to our veterans, who have passed the torch of liberty from one generation to the next.” Here at OPM, we don’t take this responsibility lightly. Veterans Day is about honoring people who made a commitment to this country. To the veterans out there, we want you to know that OPM is committed to honoring you.

Veteran talent is critical to enacting the President’s Management Agenda which will address 21st Century challenges throughout the Federal workforce. Veterans know what it means to serve a purpose bigger than themselves and that is what working in the Federal Government is all about. They work hard and have invaluable experience not found anywhere else. Without them, our civil service is not the same.

We know from experience working alongside them and their families, that veterans represent the greatness of America. OPM’s Veterans Services Office, works with veterans, transitioning service members, Federal agencies, Veterans Services Organizations, and other stakeholders to support veteran hiring in the Federal Government. Even after their call to service in the military has ended, many continue to serve the American people as members of the Federal Civil Service.

OPM thanks all those wonderful Americans who have served or currently are serving in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard. You make this country and its government possible. Thank you for your service. And I send a special thank you to all of the Federal employees who after answering the call in the Armed Services, decided to continue to serve America as dedicated and faithful servants in the Federal workforce.

I'll close with a quote that best summarizes the reason for our celebration of Veterans Day:

“Our first thought…is to acknowledge the obligation which the Nation owes to those who served in our forces afloat and ashore, which contributed the indispensable factor to the final victory. Although all our people became engaged in this conflict, some in furnishing money, some in producing food and clothing, some in making munitions, some in administering our Government, the place of honor will always be accorded to the men and women who wore the uniform of our country – the living and the dead.” - President Calvin Coolidge

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