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Washington, D.C. - U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Acting Director Dan G. Blair today welcomed the finalists of the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) program at a special job fair designed to bring PMFs together with agency hiring officials to recruit, select, and hire graduate-level talent for federal civil service.
"Let me say this - you have some big shoes to fill," said Blair. "Your predecessors have worked in the White House, the Congress, and in virtually every agency. These Fellows once sat where you are sitting - not just watching history in the making - but being a part of it. I can sense pride, promise, commitment, motivation, and patriotism in the room today."
From the original 3,073 nominations, 639 were selected by OPM as finalists after successfully completing a rigorous review and selection process. Academic leaders from the nation's top graduate schools receive PMF nomination requests from their graduating students who have demonstrated an interest in and a commitment to leadership in the federal civil service. Selection is based on either or both academic excellence and demonstrated leadership ability. Due to the competitive nature of the program, only the best qualified of these eligible students are nominated by their respective academic leadership.
Blair spoke of the tradition they would be continuing as fellows in the prestigious program, and emphasized the need now more than ever for committed civil servants to do the work of the American people. Blair emphasized the PMF finalists didn't get to be finalists in the distinguished program by being average. He stated, "If you are not an agent of change, the federal civil service is not for you," thereby challenging the perception held by some that civil servants just mark time rather than accomplishments.
"Take time to talk to agency representatives - find out why they work for America - find out why public service has been their chosen path, and I'll bet you'll be surprised by the stories you hear," Blair stated.
In a November 2003 Executive Order, President George W. Bush instituted the PMF program updating an older program and expanding participation to all executive branch agencies, and making the program more competitive by strengthening program standards and including demonstrated leadership potential as a criterion.
Our mission is to Recruit, Retain and Honor a World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People. OPM supports U.S. agencies with personnel services and policy leadership including staffing tools, guidance on labor-management relations and programs to improve work force performance.