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Federal Executive Institute



The Federal Executive Institute (FEI) develops visionary leaders to improve the performance of government agencies. We challenge executives to cultivate the skills, attitudes, and behaviors critical to dynamic and transformational public-sector leadership. 

Our Programs

Learn about leadership development courses and programs for:

We also offer customized leadership programs for groups, organizations, and agencies. 

Why FEI?

Built upon foundational public service values and competencies, our programs support federal executives in understanding their role within the government’s constitutional framework. By encouraging introspection through small group work, executives build learning communities with our faculty, where everyone is both a teacher and learner.

About Us


OPM founded the Federal Executive Institute in 1968 to offer learning and ongoing leadership development for senior leaders. We have served more than 30,000 senior federal leaders and deliver programs at our campus in Charlottesville, VA, and at agency sites throughout the U.S. and the world.


The Federal Executive Institute is staffed by the director, resident faculty members, and adjunct faculty members around the country who bring their rich and diverse backgrounds into our learning environment. Our adjunct faculty includes representatives from a wide range of colleges and universities including Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, Georgetown University, and the Maxwell School of Syracuse University.


Our founders anticipated a close intellectual relationship with the education community, which is part of why the campus was established near the University of Virginia (UVA). FEI and UVA partner together on various efforts, including recruitment of UVA students for graduate fellow and undergraduate intern programs.

Leadership for a Democratic Society

Target Grades: GS-15 and Senior Executive Service (SES)


The Leadership for a Democratic Society (LDS) program serves as an enduring foundation for GS-15 and SES employees' personal and professional development. The program offers an unmatched learning experience to prepare senior government leaders for today’s complex challenges.

Anchored in contemporary leadership theory, the core curriculum is aligned with OPM’s Executive Core Qualifications. 

Why LDS?

As a senior leader, you'll learn strategic leadership alongside high-performing, high-potential public servants across federal, state, local, and international governments. You'll return to your organization with increased capabilities, confidence, and commitment, ready to take on the most daunting challenges with:

  • Increased self-awareness as an individual, team member, and leader.
  • Enhanced leadership and management skills, especially in the areas of teambuilding, strategic thinking, influencing/negotiating, political savvy, and external awareness.
  • Expanded professional networks, enabling improved inter-organizational collaboration and problem-solving.
  • Broadened understanding of the U.S. Constitution as the foundation for federal public service.
  • Improved ability to leverage the diverse talents of the federal workforce.
  • Increased resiliency, mental and physical wellness, and work-life balance.

Registration Information

All registrations must be submitted on the LDS course registration page using the "Register" and "Limited" buttons next to the desired program date. If you or your agency training office have any questions about the process, please view our How to Register page, or contact or (434) 980-6232.

SES Leading EDGE

Target Grades: Senior Executive Service (SES)


SES Leading EDGE is the Federal Executive Institute’s senior executive development portfolio. This government-wide continuum of learning strengthens members of the Senior Executive Service (SES) through all phases of the senior executive lifecycle.

Our Programs

Our programs are open to career SES, Senior Level (SL), Scientific and Professional (ST), and SES Equivalent (e.g., under Title 10, Title 38, etc.) members from across Federal Government.

  • OPM Senior Executive Orientation Briefings: orient new senior executives to their enterprise-wide role and environment, providing practical advice on navigating unique challenges they face. Offered for all federal agencies' benefit, these briefings examine senior executives' important role as the major link between top presidential appointees and the federal workforce.
  • Senior Executive Forums: hone executives’ enterprise leadership skills by offering strategies, lessons learned, and practical tips. These interactive development programs focus on specific ECQ competencies, while also providing an opportunity for senior executives to expand networks.
  • Senior Executive Leadership Labs: generate new perspectives and approaches to a 21st century strategic “hot topic.” In these immersive, interactive programs, senior executives dialogue with colleagues, facilitators, and subject matter experts to enable continued development and networking.

Why SES Leading EDGE?

Our government-wide programs complement agency-level executive development and support effective executive development plans by:

  • Advancing the enterprise leadership of multiple networks of Senior Executives across government to deliver excellence in the face of constant and accelerating change
  • Promoting cross-agency collaboration and innovation     
  • Producing stronger performance across government     
  • Delivering increased value to taxpayers     
  • Elevating esprit de corps and ideals of federal service

Contact Us

Federal Executive Institute

1301 Emmet St. N

Charlottesville, VA 22903


Leadership for a Democratic Society (LDS):

SES Leading EDGE Program:


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