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News Release

Monday, January 24, 2005
Contact: Brenda Bertrand
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director Kay Coles James Announces 3,500 Applications Referred to Agencies for Selection to Senior Executive Service Federal Candidate Development Program

OPM's aggressive recruitment campaign to hundreds of organizations yields overwhelming applicant pool for SES Fed CDP

Washington, DC - U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Kay Coles James has announced that after the initial assessment screening of over 7,800 applications, OPM has forwarded over 3,400 qualified applicants to agency partners for its Senior Executive Service (SES) Federal Candidate Development Program (Fed CDP). There are 10 agency partners now assessing the applications (see list of agencies below). 

The SES Fed CDP was initiated by James as an executive preparatory program designed to reach out to all communities and draw talent to meet the leadership opportunities and retirement wave that are on the horizon for the civil service. By the application deadline date of December 8, 2004 over 7800 Federal employees and non government applicants had logged onto the OPM-administered website and submitted an application to be considered for the program.

"At OPM, we are pleased with the overwhelming response and interest in the SES Fed CDP. The response is due in large part to the efforts of Congressman Danny Davis and major stakeholder groups who have raised interest in this program. Thousands of applicants are seeking opportunities in the highest cadre of leadership in the Federal government, evidence that the best and brightest do want to serve their country." James said. "Merit is the driving principle in the selection process, and OPM has aggressively recruited candidates from traditionally underrepresented communities both inside and outside Government. OPM has worked closely with agencies to identify and meet their specific needs with regard to succession planning and hard-to-fill positions. The time is now for agencies to meet their responsibility to staff for the future."

The SES Fed CDP is a 14-month immersion program that prepares individuals for top leadership posts through exposure to competitive programs that include rotational assignments within the Executive Branch, formal training, mentoring and performance assessments.

The newly launched SES Fed CDP, created to place highly qualified applicants into the pipeline to fill Federal government's top senior executives is a partnership between OPM and participating agencies. OPM informed hundreds of organizations representing middle managers, minorities, veterans and people with disabilities about the program.

Initial screening consisted of electronic questionnaires as well as an initial automated assessment of both leadership and technical skills based on the submitted application. Currently, agencies are reviewing the applications for their specific requirements to further validate the applicant qualifications after which agencies will conduct structured interviews. Applicants will then be selected by the agencies to complete a leadership assessment tool. Results from the application, leadership assessment and interviews will be used to make preliminary program selections. The final selections will be certified by OPM prior to the candidates being hired by the partner agencies. 

The target date for the agencies to complete the structured interviews is currently scheduled for the end of February, and formal selections will be made starting during the first week of April. 

Further information about the Senior Executive Service Federal Candidate Development Program can be obtained at or go to

List of Agencies Participating in the Fed CDP:

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OPM leads and serves the Federal Government in enterprise human resources management by delivering policies and services to achieve a trusted, effective civilian workforce. By Empowering Excellence in Government through Great People, we provide leadership and support to U.S. agencies on issues including human resources policy and oversight, background investigations, federal employee benefits, retirement services, guidance on labor-management relations, and programs to improve workforce performance. For more information, visit or follow OPM on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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