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Federal Executive Institute



Welcome to the Federal Executive Institute (FEI). We improve the performance of government agencies by working with federal executives who are exceptional leaders, understand their constitutional role, possess a broad corporate view, and take pride in serving the American people.

Learn about:

Our history

We were founded in 1968 by OPM to offer learning and ongoing leadership development for senior leaders. We have served more than 25,000 senior federal leaders and deliver programs at our campus in Charlottesville, VA, and at agency sites throughout the U.S. and the world.

Through the years, our mission has been consistent: challenge executives to cultivate the skills, attitudes and behaviors critical to dynamic and transformational public sector leadership. We achieve this mission by re-grounding executives in the constitutional framework of the Federal Government and encouraging introspection through small group work. We build learning communities between participants and faculty in which everyone is a teacher and everyone is a learner.

There is no federal appropriation for FEI. Our operating funds come from our training fees.

Our staff

The Federal Executive Institute (FEI) is staffed by the FEI director, resident faculty members, and we call on up to150 adjunct faculty members around the U.S. who bring their rich and diverse backgrounds into our learning environment. Our adjunct faculty includes representatives from a wide range of U.S. colleges and universities including Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, Georgetown University, and the Maxwell School of Syracuse University.

Our partners

The founders of FEI anticipated a close intellectual relationship with the education community, which is why we established the FEI campus in close proximity to the University of Virginia (UVA). FEI and UVA continue to work together as partners including FEI participant and faculty use of UVA research and athletic facilities, as well as recruitment of UVA students to serve as graduate fellows and undergraduate interns.

Leadership for a Democratic Society

Join your colleagues from around the world in the Leadership for a Democratic Society (LDS) program. Learn strategic leadership alongside high-performing, high-potential U.S. and international public service executives: federal, state, and local government officials (GS-15, Senior Executive Service members, or their equivalent). LDS recently opened its doors to executives from the corporate, education, and non-profit sectors as well.

LDS prepares senior-level leaders for today’s complex challenges, including:

  • Increased self-awareness as an individual, team member, and leader
  • Enhanced leadership and management skills, especially in the areas of team-building, 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

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

Industry, local governments, not-for-profit, and education executives can now enroll.

Join the elite cadre

  • Executives return to their organizations with increased capabilities, confidence, and commitment, ready to take on the most daunting challenges
  • LDS preparation reduces the time spent on the learning curve for those entering SES; they can “hit the ground running”
  • LDS prepares executives for challenges and provides the tools for success on the job, which aids in retention and saves turnover events
  • An LDS executive’s network saves time and money in solving agency problems
  • Each LDS executive’s two action learning projects contribute to solving current problems in the workplace

How to enroll

Registering for FEI Courses

Contact the registration office at or 434-980-6232 for more information on the registration process.

Arrange your attendance through your agency training office. FEI terminates acceptance of nominations to FEI or substitutions four weeks prior to each session. The Institute does not refund charges if agencies must cancel attendance.

SES Leading EDGE


SES Leading EDGE, the Federal Executive Institute’s (FEI) Senior Executive Development Portfolio, is a government-wide continuum of learning that strengthens the Senior Executive through all phases of the SES life cycle, starting with entry into the SES. SES Leading EDGE programs complement agency-level executive development and support effective executive development plans. Senior Executives refers to career SES (Title 5), SES-equivalent (e.g. Title 10, Title 38, Title 42), Senior Level (SL) and Senior Scientific or Professional (ST) members.

Government-wide programs in the portfolio seek to:

  • Advance the enterprise leadership capacity of continuing networks of Senior Executives to deliver government excellence through constant and accelerating change     
  • Promote cross-agency collaboration and innovation     
  • Produce stronger performance across government     
  • Deliver increased value to taxpayers     
  • Elevate esprit de corps and ideals of Federal service

SES Orientation Briefings are offered for the benefit of all Federal agencies. Each SES Briefing orients new Senior Executives to their enterprise-wide role and environment, provides practical advice on navigating unique challenges new SES members face, and examines the career SES role as the major link between top Presidential appointees and the rest of the Federal workforce.  The overall theme for each Briefing is Being Future Ready:  Leading America’s Workforce.

SES Onboarding Forums are designed to be interactive development programs related to specific ECQ Competencies. The Forums accelerate success of new Federal Senior Executives in their first two years of executive service through offering strategies and practical tips.  Seasoned Senior Executives are also welcome to attend. 

SES Enterprise Leadership Labs support government-wide continuous development and networking among Federal Service Executives.  Each Lab is an immersive, interactive program to generate new perspectives and approaches to a 21st century strategic “hot topic” in dialogue with colleagues and subject matter experts.

For more information email

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