‘To Publish Challenging Ideas’

Celebrating 40 years of service to the people who serve in government.

Forty years ago this month, C.W. Borklund wrote the following in his debut column as editor and publisher of a nascent magazine: "What you have here is the first monthly issue of a brand-new publication written for and about experts in running the machinery of government. Government Executive is being published as one helpful, we hope, answer to an increasingly frequent complaint by key persons both in and doing business with government: Communications both to and among government agencies needs vast improvement."

Four decades later, we hope we have done at least a little to improve the quality of those communications and to edify and entertain the "experts in running the machinery of government"-whose jobs are more important than ever.

"Our plan," Borklund wrote in 1969, "is, mainly, to publish challenging ideas no matter whose nerve ends they jar; tempered only by the demand that our work be responsible journalism."

We have endeavored to follow that creed to this day.

In 1971, Borklund personally acquired the rights to Government Executive from original owner Litton Publications Inc. He ran the operation well into the 1980s. In 1987, the esteemed Washington publication National Journal, then a part of the Times Mirror media enterprise, bought the magazine. At that point Timothy B. Clark took over as editor, a position he would hold for more than 20 years. (And he's still an active presence at the magazine, as his leadership of many of our events and his Perspectives column at the back of this issue will attest).

Then, in 1997, the magazine's history took another major turn when David Bradley purchased the National Journal Group. Bradley eventually would add another publication to his holdings - the venerable Atlantic Monthly - creating one of the most influential media organizations in the country.

Through the history of Government Executive, talented people have been at the core of what we've done. Our editorial alumni have gone on to National Journal, The New York Times, News-week, Washingtonian, Congressional Quarterly, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, and many other illustrious publications. The writers and editors responsible for the work we produce today are among the most gifted people in the field of journalism.

Likewise, our sales and marketing staffs have taken a modest magazine publishing effort and built it into an enterprise that encompasses not only a printed magazine, but two Web sites - GovernmentExecutive.com and Nextgov.com - a flagship conference called Excellence in Government, and a series of other live and online events.

Through that process, we have learned that it's not the format in which we publish our work that matters, but the quality. We remain deeply committed to that proposition. We've been on the Web-and interacting with our audience-for more than 12 years, and we pledge to continue to explore new ways to facilitate the sharing of information among government's leaders.

Government Executive was founded on the notion that the people who serve in high-ranking positions in the executive branch are worthy of being treated with the same respect and deserve the same high-quality journalism as America's corporate elite. It has been, and remains, our privilege to serve an audience whose work is so critical to the nation's future.

Borklund ended his debut column this way: "We hope to earn one day soon the same accolade George Washington granted a brand-new federal agency created in 1776: "This, like other great works in its first Edition, may not be entirely free from Error. Time will discover its Defects and Experience suggest the Remedy . . . but it was right to give it a Beginning."

We hope you agree that launching this magazine was the right decision, and that we should build on our four-decade tradition of service to the people who strive to make government more effective. We have every intention of continuing to publish responsible journalism on challenging ideas for as long as we have an audience for our work.

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 GovExec.com.
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.