Strengthening America’s Workforce

On Tuesday, December 9, 2014, thousands of senior government leaders gathered with the President as he recognized their achievements and announced three initiatives to strengthen the federal workforce:

1.     The establishment of a White House Leadership Development Program for aspiring senior career executives.  Beginning this fall, selectees will be invited to take on high-priority cross-agency assignments within the Executive Office of the President to help them develop skills and expertise they can use when returning to their home agencies.  A draft guide on how the program will operate will be circulated among federal agencies for comment in late March, 2015.

2.     The establishment of the Federal Customer Service Awards Program, which will recognize federal employees and teams who go above and beyond to ensure the Federal Government is providing exceptional customer service to Americans each day.  Guidance for this program, was released on March 19, 2015.  Agencies are encouraged to submit nominations for the Presidential Customer Service Award in the summer of 2015.

3.     The establishment of a White House Advisory Group on the Senior Executive Service.  On March 19, 2015 the White House announced the members of, and the President met with, this Group to hear about pilots underway at several agencies, and ideas to strengthen SES recruitment, hiring, development, and retention. During the summer of 2015, the White House will assess the pilot results and help agencies replicate the best strategies across government.

The members of the White House Advisory Group on the Senior Executive Service are:

  • Charles Addington, Deputy Associate Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior
  • Bridget Bean, Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Chief Human Capital Officer, Small Business Administration
  • John Benison, Director, Office of Departmental Equal Employment Opportunity, Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Val Bonham, Senior Attorney, Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health
  • Tia Butler, Executive Director, Corporate Senior Executive Management Office, Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Cristina Chiappe, Acting Deputy Chief Information Officer, Department of Agriculture Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services
  • Pape Cissé, IT Strategic Advisor, Department of Transportation
  • Tim  Curry, Deputy Associate Director for Partnership and Labor Relations, Office of Personnel Management
  • Molly Fannon, Director, Office of International Relations, Smithsonian Institution
  • Noha Gaber, Acting Director, Office of Internal Communications, Environmental Protection Agency
  • John Gill, Chief Human Capital Officer and Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Human Resources, Department of Health and Human Services
  • Rosemary Hart, Senior Attorney, Department of Justice
  • Hector Hernandez, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Special Operations Branch, Secret Service
  • John James Jr., Executive Director, Missile Defense Agency, Department of Defense
  • Michael Johnston, Director, Business Integration Office, Department of the Interior
  • Arleas Upton Kea, Director, Division of Administration, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
  • Alice Maroni, Acting Director, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
  • David Monroe, Director, Office of Fiscal Projections, Department of the Treasury
  • Ambassador Wanda Nesbitt, Career Minister, Department of State
  • Susan Pascocello, Deputy General Counsel, Agency for International Development
  • Patsy Reeves, Executive Director, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Department of Defense
  • Gabriel Sanchez, Innovation and Operational Efficiency Program Manager, Census Bureau
  • Andre Sayles, Principal Deputy Director, Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, Department of Energy
  • Dr. Reginald Wells, Deputy Commissioner for the Office of Human Resources, Chief Human Capital Officer and Chief Diversity Officer, U.S. Social Security Administration

If you missed the event, you can view the President’s Remarks, here, and clips of discussions between Administrator Bolden, Secretary Perez, and Secretary Pritzker (facilitated career SES, Rosemary Hart) about key challenges our leaders and workforce face at the following links:


If you have feedback on any of these initiatives, or on the event, please share your feedback here.