Presidential Management Fellows Program
|Purpose||A paid two-year fellowship at a U.S. government agency for U.S. citizens with advanced degrees.|
|Affiliations||Office of Personnel Management, President of the United States (E.O. 13562)|
|U.S. Presidential Management Internship (1977-2003)|
The U.S. Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) program is a prestigious two-year training and development program at a United States government agency, administered by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), for U.S. citizens with a recent graduate degree. Applicants undergo an arduous multistage assessment and testing process. After completing the program, agencies may place PMFs as permanent federal civilian employees.
The PMF Program was established by Executive Order in 1977, and amended by Executive Order in 2003 to attract to the Federal service outstanding citizen-scholars from a variety of academic disciplines and career paths who have a clear interest in, and commitment to, excellence in the leadership and management of public policies and programs. Program regulations were amended again in December 2010 by Executive Order establishing the PMF program as one of the three student Pathways to federal employment. By drawing graduate students from diverse social and cultural backgrounds, the PMF Program provides a continuing source of trained men and women to meet the future challenges of public service. The PMF program was formerly referred to as the Presidential Management Internship (PMI) program. In September 2013, OPM added a new STEM track to the PMF process to increase opportunities for science and technology students and meet the demand for qualified candidates for these roles in government.
There are two situations where graduate students may be eligible to apply to the PMF program. Graduate students from all academic disciplines who expect to complete an advanced degree from a qualifying college or university by August 31 of the academic year in which the competition is held are eligible to become Fellows. Alternatively, those who have completed an advanced degree (masters or professional) from a qualifying college or university during the previous 2 years from the opening date of the PMF Program's application announcement are eligible. Individuals who previously applied for the program, but were not selected as a Finalist, may reapply if they meet eligibility requirements. Finalists come from a diverse range of graduate institutions, but the schools with the most PMF Finalists in 2014 include American University, Harvard University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, Columbia University, and Johns Hopkins University.
The multi-step application process is highly selective and requires a series of résumé submissions, an online assessment examination, and an in-person assessment. Potential fellows should demonstrate breadth and quality of accomplishments, capacity for leadership, exceptional oral and written communication skills, and a commitment to excellence in the leadership and management of public policies and programs. The initial application occurs during autumn of each year; OPM announces finalists names in early spring the following year. Those who are nominated as finalists remain finalists for one year, unless appointed by an agency during that year. Finalists may reapply to the Program before the year of appointment eligibility ends; however, status as a current Finalist is forfeited upon accessing the on-line assessment.
The program is extremely competitive, for the PMF Class of 2013, there were 663 finalists (eligible for appointment as Fellows), who were selected from well over 12,000 nominees, an acceptance rate of approximately five percent.
Fellows are hired at the civil service ranks of GS-09, GS-11, or GS-12 (or equivalent pay band, depending on agency) with Excepted Service appointment status at the beginning of the Fellowship. Following satisfactory completion of each year of the Fellowship, Fellows are eligible for promotion to the next GS level (or equivalent pay band, depending on agency) but cannot be promoted higher than GS-13 during the Fellowship. After successful completion of the Fellowship, agencies may noncompetitively appoint Fellows to permanent positions and grant Fellows career or career-conditional status.
Gaining agencies must provide Fellows at least eighty hours of formal classroom training each year of the Fellowship that addresses the core competencies required of the occupation or functional discipline in which Fellows will most likely be placed upon completion of the Fellowship.
Gaining agencies must allow Fellows at least one developmental assignment ("rotation") of four to six months in duration in any occupation at any U.S. government agency, pending gaining agency approval. It is not uncommon for gaining agencies to prohibit Fellows from completing rotations outside gaining agencies.
PMFs are individually assigned a personal mentor during the Fellowship. Mentors must be senior leaders and ideally from outside a Fellow's chain of command. Mentors assist Fellows with completing the requisite Individual Development Plan, identifying valuable developmental assignments, providing career advice, being a confidential sounding board, and act as advocates for Fellows.
As employees of the U.S. government, PMFs earn annual leave, sick leave, and paid Federal holidays. PMFs are enrolled in the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). Upon appointment, PMFs may elect life insurance, health insurance, and Thrift Savings Plan options.
U.S. government agencies are authorized to repay student loans under the Federal Student Loan Repayment Program, as provided by Part 537 of Title 5, Code of Federal Regulations. The amount repaid by an agency is subject to limits of $10,000 per employee per calendar year and a total of $60,000 per employee. Student loan repayment varies widely by agency.
The non-profit Presidential Management Alumni Group (PMAG) was organized in 1981 to advance the professionalism of public service and augment the education and career development of those who have served in or assisted the PMF Program. PMAG is not sponsored by OPM. The membership comprises former and current Fellows, and other individuals interested in recruitment and development of Federal Government career managers. PMAG sponsors professional and social activities, maintains a network among the over 3,500 former Fellows, and provides support to maintain the PMF Program as the Federal Government’s premier mechanism for recruiting future managers.
- Kenneth S. Apfel - 13th United States Commissioner of Social Security
- Matthew Auer - Public Policy scholar, currently serving as Dean at Bates College
- Barbara Favola - State Senator for Senate of Virginia
- Kyle Foggo - former Executive Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
- Alan Friedman - American journalist covering finance and foreign affairs
- Colleen Hartman - Deputy Director at NASA for the Goddard Space Flight Center, Professor at Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University
- Brendan Kyle Hatcher - American diplomat
- Betsy Markey - former U.S. Representative for Colorado's 4th congressional district,
- Jeff Merkley - U.S. Senator from Oregon
- Sean O'Keefe - Chairman and CEO of aerospace giant Airbus Group, Inc., former Chancellor of Louisiana State University and the Administrator of NASA from 2001-2004
- Anne C. Richard - Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration at the United States Department of State
- Dan Seals (politician) - business consultant and a Democratic political candidate from Illinois
- Dan Tangherlini - Administrator of General Services Administration
- Will Tiao - actor and television writer
- Official Presidential Management Fellows site
- Presidential Management Alumni Group site
- PathtoPMF - Unofficial "Guide to PMF process" plus discussion board on PMF
- PMF Fellow - Unofficial discussion board and resource on PMF
- "PMF". Pmf.gov. 2013-11-01. Retrieved 2014-04-30.
- "Presidential Management Fellow Information Page". Retrieved 19 August 2014.
- "Executive Order". Georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov. Retrieved 2014-04-30.
- "Students & Recent Graduates". Opm.gov. Retrieved 2014-04-30.
- "PMF | BECOME A PMF | Eligibility". Pmf.gov. 2013-10-01. Retrieved 2014-04-30.
- "List of PMF Finalists" (PDF). Retrieved 19 August 2014.