Civil Service Loses a 'Notable Advocate'

November 1996


Civil Service Loses a 'Notable Advocate'

Arthur S. Flemming, for many in government the embodiment of public service, died Sept. 7. He was 91.

Flemming entered government in 1939 when he was named to the Civil Service Commission by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Flemming fought for a merit system and helped mobilize civilian employees during World War II. President Eisenhower named him director of the Office of Defense Mobilization in 1953. He served on the President's Advisory Commission on Government Organization from 1947 to 1961, including three years as chair, during which he also served as Eisenhower's secretary for Health, Education and Welfare. He was a member of the Peace Corps advisory commission during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations.

Flemming's passions included civil rights, health, assisting the elderly and preserving Social Security. He chaired the 1971 White House Conference on Aging, was Commissioner on Aging until 1978, worked with the Save Our Security Coalition, Families U.S.A. and the Citizens Commission on Civil Rights and helped with the Social Security Administration's modernization project. He was an adviser to First Lady Hillary Clinton on health reform. She recalled, at a Sept. 14 memorial for Flemming, his desire to help people. In 1994, President Clinton awarded Flemming the Medal of Freedom.

A Washington Post editorial called Flemming a notable advocate. "He did not rail against those he was trying to persuade, but impressed even those with whom he disagreed by his modesty and gracious demeanor." President Clinton said Flemming "transcended party, generation and race in search of consensus."

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 G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


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