Management fellows seek agency assignments

The head of the Office of Personnel Management addressed hundreds of young people Wednesday in an event designed to recruit and retain talented public servants.

In a speech before graduate students selected as finalists for the Presidential Management Fellows program, OPM Director Linda Springer cited a need to recruit and retain talented workers in the federal government, especially as it faces a potential wave of retirements during the next decade.

The PMF program targets the best and brightest in graduate programs from many of the nation's top universities. The program provides students designated as finalists with a two-year fellowship that involves extensive classroom training and rotational assignments with various federal agencies.

Over the next two days, finalists will meet with agency officials to discuss potential opportunities. The program, formerly known as the Presidential Management Intern program, has its largest group of finalists this year, and Springer said there are plenty of spaces in agencies to accommodate them.

Springer said she felt compelled to join public service after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, but was unsure about how to attain a career in federal service.

But by becoming finalists in the PMF program, students "have chosen an effective way" to break into the government, Springer said. "You've been able to get through that red tape."

Springer encouraged finalists to pick an agency that "really is in line with something [they] believe in," whether that is caring for the environment, ensuring government accountability or working for the nation's veterans.

"What you will be doing is important," Springer said. "What all of the 1.8 million people [who work for the federal government] do is important."

Springer noted a study OPM conducted last fall with the Gallup Organization to determine what the next generation of potential employees is seeking in a federal career. With the study, Gallup assessed the "brand recognition" of federal agencies as well as what interest an individual would have in working for that agency.

"We don't have a brand the same way Google has a brand," Springer said.

But she said every agency has "a very important mission whether or not it is well known to the general public."

Springer hopes students will seek careers in federal service that are above and beyond their two-year fellowship. "You know the posters that say 'Uncle Sam wants you?' Well, we want you," she said.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.