Partnership for Public Service

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Partnership for Public Service
Partnership Logo.jpg
Formation2001; 18 years ago (2001)
TypeGood Government Nonprofit
Headquarters1100 New York Avenue NW
CEO and President
Max Stier

The Partnership for Public Service is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in Washington, D.C. whose mission is to inspire a new generation of civil servants and transform the way government works.

Two of the Partnership's most visible programs are the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals,[1] which honor outstanding federal employees for exceptional civil service, and the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government Rankings, an annual survey that ranks federal agencies based on employee satisfaction.[2] The Partnership is led by President and CEO Max Stier.


The Partnership was founded by New York businessman Samuel J. Heyman in 2001 on the premise that: "Building, energizing and maintaining a high-quality workforce is the key to success for any organization—and the federal government is no different".[3] Heyman founded the group in 2001 with a gift of $25-million. In 2006, he committed an additional $20-million over the next five years.[4]

Heyman began his career at the Justice Department under Robert F. Kennedy after graduating from Harvard Law in 1963.[5] Many years after his move into the private sector, Heyman created the Partnership in an effort to reestablish public service as a desirable career and to attract talent into the federal workforce.

In 2005, the Partnership merged with the Private Sector Council—an organization founded by David Packard in 1983, which engages the expertise of the private sector to improve the business of government by connecting experts from America's top corporations with federal leaders.

In February 2009, the Partnership absorbed the majority of the Council for Excellence in Government, another D.C. based good-government group who had ceased operations after 25 years due to the poor economy. The Partnership took over the Excellence in Government Fellows, Strategic Advisors to Government Executives and Public Service Recognition Week programs from the Council.[6]


Call to Serve[edit]

Call to Serve is a joint initiative of the Partnership for Public Service and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). It is a national network of more than 700 colleges and universities and 75 federal agencies committed to educating young people about federal job and internship opportunities. Call to Serve works to eliminate barriers to federal service through various training programs, speaker presentations, federal internships and fellowship programs and other resources.

Call to Serve activities include:

  • Call to Serve Innovation Grants[7]
  • Annenberg Speakers Bureau
  • Making the Difference Campaign[8]
  • Federal Career Advisor Trainings
  • Federal Service Student Ambassadors[9]

FedExperience and FedRecruit[edit]

FedExperience works with baby boomers who are approaching retirement or who are already retired and helps them to enter the federal civil service for an "encore" career. The program also works with federal agencies to help them recruit, hire and retain experienced talent.

FedRecruit is a pilot project focusing on the recruitment, hiring and onboarding of entry-level talent in mission-critical occupations, such as contracting, information technology[10] and nursing.

The Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals[edit]

The Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals (Sammies) awards program honors outstanding federal employees who have made significant contributions to address the country's most important challenges. Service to America Medals have gone to public servants with achievements in fighting nuclear terrorism, cancer research, weapons technology,[11] nuclear waste cleanup, foreign affairs, public housing, and helping wounded soldiers use technology to re-enter the workforce through the world's largest electronics accommodations program.[12]

Public Service Recognition Week[edit]

Celebrated since 1985, Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW) is designated by the President and Congress the first full week of May to honor the men and women who serve the nation as federal, state, county and local government employees and to educate citizens about the ways in which government serves the people. PSRW includes events and activities across the country.[13][14] PRSW formerly also included a four-day exhibition on the National Mall. However, the 2011 United States federal budget (Public Law 112-10), which was belatedly enacted on April 15, 2011, contained no funding for that year's event, forcing the event's cancellation.[15]

Center for Government Leadership[edit]

The Center for Government Leadership (CGL) offers training programs for federal employees to "prepare federal leaders to solve national challenges by driving innovation, inspiring employees and delivering results."[16]

Current CGL activities include:

  • Excellence in Government Fellows program: strengthens the leadership skills of GS-14 and GS-15 federal employees through a proven combination of innovative coursework, best practices benchmarking, challenging action-learning projects, executive coaching and government-wide networking.
  • Partnership Leadership Seminars: develops participants' leadership skills and help federal agencies build the long-term, in-house capacity to innovate and solve management problems.

Best Places to Work[edit]

The Partnership's Best Places to Work report is a ranking of federal government organizations,[17] drawing on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management's Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey of more than 200,000 executive branch employees.

Strategic Advisors to Government Executives[edit]

Strategic Advisors to Government Executives (SAGE) connects senior-level executives in government with their predecessors and private-sector counterparts to improve performance of government leadership. SAGE activities currently involve Chief Acquisition Officers, Chief Financial Officers, and Chief Information Officers.

Center for Presidential Transition[edit]

As chief executive of the Partnership's CPT, Steir commented about vetting of appointees and the transition from "campaign context" in the first month of the Trump Administration in 2017.[18]

Advocacy efforts[edit]

The Partnership's government affairs efforts encourage congressional oversight and legislative reform to improve federal workforce management.[19] The Partnership testifies frequently on Capitol Hill and has supported legislation to improve the civil service, including the Chief Human Capital Officers Act that established senior human capital leaders in major federal agencies, the scholarship-for-service Roosevelt Scholars Act,[20] and the Federal Hiring Process Improvement Act.

Partnership and The Washington Post[edit]

The Partnership collaborates with The Washington Post to produce several features within the Post's print and online editions. Fed Faces and Federal Players are "profiles of little-known federal workers who have left a big impact"[21] and appear weekly. The Partnership and The Washington Post also launched a new section within its "On Leadership" page called The Federal Coach, which is a three-times-a-week federal leadership column and blog hosted by Tom Fox, director of the Partnership's Center for Government Leadership.

Finance & external stakeholders[edit]

ProPublica reports the organization took in $14,394,406 Total Revenue in 2015, and revenue over the previous 5 years fluctated between approximately $8.5 million and $17.0 million. 2015 Revenues were 49% from "Program Services," 44% from "Contributions," and the rest spread across multiple other sources.[22]

Corporate sponsors (44 listed in March 2018) dominate its lists of affiliates and supporters. The organization reports that "The Partnership receives support from and collaborates with corporations that share our commitment to effective government. Their generous support makes our work possible." These sponsors included some of the nation's leading accounting-and-consulting firms, investment banks, defense contractors, and others with heavy involvement with—and/or regulatory sensitivity to—federal and state governments. By comparison, few academic, civic or labor organizations are listed.[23]

Many of the Partnership's programs are made possible through foundation support. Notable examples include the Annenberg Foundation, which has funded the Annenberg Leadership Seminars, Annenberg Speakers Bureau[24] and other projects. In 2016, the Annenberg Foundation awarded a $4 million grant, over 4 years, to the Partnership for various programs named for Mr. & Mrs. Annenberg.[25]

The Partnership works with other philanthropic foundations that focus on public service issues such as the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Peterson Foundation, and Atlantic Philanthropies,[26] among others.

In addition, the Partnership receives support from many private-sector companies who sponsor programs, projects and events. National sponsors for the 2009 Sammies included GEICO, DuPont and the Graduate School.[27] The Partnership also works with corporate partners on its many research projects. In 2009, the Partnership and Booz Allen Hamilton collaborated to produce reports analyzing the challenges facing the federal cybersecurity workforce[28] and examining the state of the Senior Executive Service.[29] Monster Government Solutions and Aon Consulting provided support for the Partnership's Where the Jobs Are 2009 report.[30] In a second collaboration with Booz Allen Hamilton in 2014, the Partnership published a report entitled "Building the Enterprise: A New Civil Service Framework," which calls for major reforms to the federal government's decades-old civil service system and lays out a plan to modernize areas that include the outdated pay and hiring policies.[31]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Barr, Stephen (27 February 2007). "Honoring the Stars of Government" – via
  2. ^ USA News
  3. ^ About the Partnership for Public Service Archived 2008-07-04 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-10-25. Retrieved 2010-01-25.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-10-08. Retrieved 2010-01-25.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Davidson, Joe (2009-02-10). "Joe Davidson's Federal Diary". The Washington Post.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-24. Retrieved 2010-03-08.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Go Government" Archived 2008-07-04 at the Wayback Machine, PPS. Renamed PPS website, program. Retrieved 2017-02-20.
  9. ^ "Student interns head back to college to tout Energy Department".
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-07-30. Retrieved 2010-03-08.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ Newsweek
  12. ^ "High-performing civil servants honored at black tie gala".
  13. ^ "Public Service Recognition Week" in official website of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Retrieved 2010-02-25.
  14. ^ "Public Service Recognition Week" Archived 2010-01-31 at the Wayback Machine in website of Partnership for Public Service. Retrieved 2010-02-25.
  15. ^ Harwood, Markie (2011-04-21). "Public Service Recognition Week events on National Mall cancelled". Federal Times. Gannett Government Media Corporation. Retrieved 2012-04-05.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-03-14. Retrieved 2010-03-12.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-08-29. Retrieved 2008-07-07.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  18. ^ Baker, Peter, and Julie Hirschfeld Davis, "Trump, an Outsider Demanding Loyalty, Struggles to Fill Top Posts", February 18, 2017. Retrieved 2017-02-20.
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-05-06. Retrieved 2010-03-08.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ Dionne Jr, E.J. (2009-11-16). "E.J. Dionne Jr. on a call to government service". The Washington Post.
  21. ^ "The Fed Page". The Washington Post. 2012-03-04.
  22. ^ "Partnership for Public Service" in Nonprofit Explorer, by ProPublica, retrieved March 10, 2018.
  23. ^ "Corporate Partners", on the website of The Partnership for Public Service, retrieved March 10, 2018.
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-01-08. Retrieved 2010-03-07.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  25. ^ Press release:"Annenberg Foundation Awards $4 Million Grant to Partnership for Public Service," March 25, 2016, Annenberg Foundation, retrieved March 10, 2018.
  26. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-06-13. Retrieved 2010-03-07.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-02-24. Retrieved 2010-03-07.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  28. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-05-14. Retrieved 2010-03-07.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  29. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-09-26. Retrieved 2010-03-07.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  30. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-01-11. Retrieved 2010-03-07.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  31. ^ "Publications and Media Library". Partnership for Public Service. Retrieved 2015-10-10.

External links[edit]