Top-Performing Executives to Advise Policymakers on Improving Government Performance

Senior Executives Association and Volcker Alliance create network of Presidential Distinguished Rank Award winners.

Here’s a thought: Maybe the people who have been awarded the highest honor given to senior federal executives might have some expertise to offer to policymakers, government officials and academic institutions.

That’s what the Professional Development League of the Senior Executives Association and the Volcker Alliance think. SEA and the alliance -- an effort launched by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker aimed at helping restore trust in public institutions by improving government performance -- have banded together to create the Distinguished Executives Alumni Network, or DEAN’s List.

Members of the group will offer confidential advice and expertise to policymakers and make themselves available to researchers studying government performance issues.

The network will be made up of past winners of the Presidential Distinguished Rank Award, given each year to the most accomplished senior federal professionals and members of the Senior Executive Service. Only 1 percent of senior executives may be awarded the honor in any given year. They receive bonuses equal to 35 percent of their basic pay.

The DEAN’s List also will serve as a way for distinguished executives to connect with each other and share ideas and advice.

“For far too long, the government has failed to take advantage of the invaluable resource these awardees represent,” said SEA President Carol Bonosaro. She noted that creating the network has been “a longtime dream of the association.”

“The DEAN’s List promises to be a great resource … by engaging the top 1 percent of the most highly regarded senior executives and senior professionals in the federal government and allowing elected officials, appointees, other government leaders and researchers to access their invaluable expertise,” said Volcker Alliance President Shelley Metzenbaum.

One of the first DEAN’s List initiatives will involve members providing advice to academic institutions on how they can best prepare students for service in government.