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Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

Trump Uses Major Foreign Address to Bash Bureaucracy

President Trump on Thursday used a major foreign address to rail against those in his government back home, using anti-bureaucracy rhetoric as a common Western democratic rallying cry.

In a speech in Warsaw, Poland, Trump spoke of the shared values between the United States and its allies. Part of that collective identity was a mutual disdain for red tape and public servants who stand in the way of national prosperity, the president said while listing a series of threats to the Western way of life.

“Finally, on both sides of the Atlantic, our citizens are confronted by yet another danger, one firmly within our control,” Trump said. “This danger is invisible to some but familiar to the Poles: the steady creep of government bureaucracy that drains the vitality and wealth of the people.”

He went on to endorse what has been a defining policy of his presidency so far: deregulation. 

“The West became great not because of paperwork and regulations but because people were allowed to chase their dreams and pursue their destinies,” Trump said.

Trump has signed multiple executive orders to reduce federal agencies’ regulatory authority; one requires agencies to slash or streamline two existing regulations for every new...

Doing Bold Work? Share Your Story

Last year, in the inaugural weeklong Fedstival, Government Executive and Nextgov convened leading federal officials and thinkers to share ideas about tackling government’s biggest challenges.  

Now we’re deep into planning for Fedstival 2017, which will take place from Sept. 18-22 in Washington. The series of events culminates in Bold Friday, during which federal innovators from all corners of government tell about the important work they’re doing in a series of rapid-fire presentations.

At last year’s Bold Friday, experts from the National Defense University, the Office of Management and Budget, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the National Park Service and many other federal organizations shared stories of their cutting-edge work. This year, a new group of federal leaders, selected by a panel of Government Executive and Nextgov editors, will take the stage to tell their peers and colleagues how they’re making a difference in technology, management strategy and workforce development across government agencies.

If you or someone you know fits that bill, we want to hear about it. Nominations are now open for this year’s Bold Friday presentations. This is your chance to highlight the important work you’re doing, share your ideas...

Honoring Great Ideas in State and Local Government

Last year, Government Executive’s sister publication Route Fifty, which focuses on state and local government, debuted the Navigator Awards to identify and highlight ideas and innovations that are being put into practice across the country.

The Route Fifty team carefully evaluated a pool of team and individual entries, choosing 50 finalists, and then 10 winners. They were honored at a special event in Pittsburgh in November 2016.

Route Fifty is bringing the Navigator Awards program back in 2017 and is actively seeking a new crop of great individuals and teams to honor in the following categories:

  • State and Local Executive Leadership
  • IT and Data Innovators
  • Agency and Department Leadership
  • The Next Generation
  • Government Allies and Cross-Sector Partners

Winners will be chosen on the basis of demonstrated ability to turn a great idea for improving public sector services at the state, county or municipal level into reality.

As Route Fifty Executive Editor Michael Grass notes, the program focuses “not just on good ideas in state and local governments, but how those ideas have been implemented and the impacts they’ve had.”

After finalists are identified, 10 winners will be announced in a ceremony in Charlotte, North Carolina, during the National...

A Tell-All About Working At Freddie Mac During the Housing Crisis

When Congress slogged through the post-recession enactment of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act, lawmakers basically punted on how to handle the government-sponsored enterprises known as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

Both were taken into emergency conservatorship by the Treasury Department (costing taxpayers some $187.5 billion before they returned a profit to the Treasury). But a stalemate over the next step continues. Some conservatives press for privatization, and others for greater transparency. Some liberals favor re-routing the GSE profits into underserved housing markets.

Just released from Johns Hopkins University Press is perhaps the first juicy insider account of an executive’s experience during the 2008 financial meltdown at one of those private mortgage funding companies that many think of as quasi-government agencies.

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 “Days of Slaughter: The Fall of Freddie Mac and Why it Could Happen Again” is a non-technical narrative and diagnosis of capitalist greed by Susan Wharton Gates, a 19-year Freddie Mac employee who resigned mid-recession as vice president of public policy (she now teaches business and public administration at Georgetown and Virginia Tech universities).

Her blow-by-blow account of Freddie Mac’s boardroom...

A Chemist at a Federal Agency Wins Miss USA

A federal employee working at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was named Miss USA on Sunday evening, and pledged to spend her year with the crown encouraging more women to join government and eventually, agency leadership ranks.

Kara McCullough, a 25-year-old chemist in NRC’s Office of Nuclear Security and Incident Response, represented Washington, D.C., in the annual competition. McCullough grew up in the federal ranks as a military brat, with her father serving as a Navy chief petty officer. In addition to her NRC employment, McCullough volunteers annually at a science fair hosted by the Food and Drug Administration as a judge.

McCullough said she would be an ambassador to bring more women into government science, technology, engineering and mathematics positions. She noted that in her experience in federal service, women are often underrepresented.

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"Personally, I want to see more women possessing leadership positions in private and government energy and health sciences agencies; not just conducting laboratory research,” McCullough said after her victory. “As a woman scientist in the government, I have witnessed and been in many meetings where the ratio of men to...