This week, the Partnership for Public Service released the Public Service Leadership Model, which identifies the core values leaders must prioritize, and the critical competencies they must master to achieve their agencies’ missions and desired impact.

The model identifies four key leadership competencies that government leaders can use to best serve our country in the 21st century. These competencies that the model emphasizes complement and add to the Office of Personnel Management’s Executive Core Qualifications, providing fresh direction to address today’s challenges.

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Ivanka Trump, the daughter of the president and a senior White House adviser, announced a new global effort [in February] to help 50 million women in the developing world by 2025.

“This new initiative will for the first time coordinate America’s commitment to one of the most undervalued resources in the developing world — the talent, ambition and genius of women,” Trump wrote in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal that announced the news. For the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, the U.S. government will team up with several private companies such as UPS and Pepsi to “facilitate complementary private-sector investments to achieve our shared goals,” Trump said.

Tom Babington (UMD, Class of 2016), acting USAID spokesman, emphasized that the agency had always worked on issues related to women’s economic empowerment. What’s different about the new project is that it would allow better coordination with other agencies, Babington said. “This results in better alignment of U.S. government efforts, which in turn increases leverage, resources and impact through better-aligned programming.”

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The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University is once again ranked #1 in the nation for graduate education in public affairs, according to the latest U.S. News & World Report reputational survey. This year, the Maxwell School shares the #1 ranking with Indiana University Bloomington. Maxwell has consistently ranked among the top schools since the category was created in 1995.

“This is an exciting time to be part of the Maxwell School and Syracuse University,” says Dean David M. Van Slyke. “As a student-centered college of social science and public affairs within a top-tier R1 research university, the School is uniquely positioned to examine and prepare graduates to manage across the spectrum of contemporary and emerging policy issues.”

Among specialty areas, Maxwell remains #1 in Public Management and Leadership, and #2 in the areas of Nonprofit Management as well as Public Finance and Budgeting. The School also ranked highly in nine other specialties including excellence in Information and Technology Management (#4), International Global Policy and Administration (#6), Public Policy Analysis (#7), and Environmental Policy and Management (#8), among others.

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Tucker Boyce (UMD, Class of 2020) was selected to participate in the International Nuclear Facilities Experience program, which is funded by a National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) grant to Texas A&M University and Argonne National Laboratory. He will travel to Europe for the program with a group of graduate students and national laboratory employees. Their trip will be focused on nuclear safeguards, a part of broader nuclear nonproliferation focused on ensuring nuclear materials are used exclusively for peaceful, civilian purposes. They will visit a number of sites including the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria.

Read more about the program

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) awarded two early-career employees – Jessica Lillo of the Office of Nuclear Material Removal and Kyle Fowler (Bush, Class of 2015) of the Domestic Uranium Enrichment Program – with the 2019 Linton F. Brooks Medal for Dedication to Public Service this month in a ceremony at DOE Headquarters.

This annual award recognizes NNSA employees with less than five years of federal experience whose actions and deeds exemplify former NNSA Administrator and Ambassador Linton Brooks’ spirit of commitment and achievement.

In his remarks, Ambassador Brooks praised Lillo and Fowler, and emphasized the strong qualities of their generation –early-career professionals in the Nuclear Security Enterprise. “Men my age are supposed to be grumpy about ‘the young’ and how they don’t measure up to what we were ‘when we were their age,’ ” Brooks said. “I’ve spent a lot of time with early-career professionals since leaving government and that’s pretty much nonsense. … Ronald Reagan often said that America’s best days are ahead of us. The more time I spend with early career professionals, the more I am certain that he was right.”

Fowler’s work has substantially improved NNSA’s strategy and readiness to meet its enriched uranium requirements, covering both technical and policy options to find a lasting solution. He and his team – part of the Office of Defense Programs – took the lead in developing an analysis of alternatives amid large staff turnover. He was recognized for his guidance of other colleagues during this process and commitment to embracing this responsibility and challenges.

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A recent National Association of State Chief Administrators report concludes that “as the public and private sectors battle for talent, government is falling too far behind in preparing for the workforce of the future.” One statistic from the NASCA report suggests that the public sector is already well along the way to losing that battle: Since 2013, job applications submitted to state agencies have declined by 24 percent.

The aging government workforce makes the challenge particularly acute for government. According to the most recent data, 30.9 percent of the public-sector workforce (excluding law enforcement and other public-safety occupations) is age 55 or older, compared to 23.1 percent in the private-sector workforce.

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The nonprofit, nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service announced in late May the 2019 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal (Sammies) finalists – 26 federal employees and teams from more than 20 federal agencies and 15 states as well as Washington, D.C. and Haiti.

The Sammies have earned a reputation as the premier awards program recognizing America’s best in government.

“Following the longest government shutdown in history, it’s imperative that we celebrate and recognize the important and critical work of our nation’s civil servants,” said Max Stier, president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service. “The 2019 Service to America Medalsshowcase our remarkable federal workforce who serve the public good and address many of the country’s greatest challenges.”

The 2019 finalists’ achievements include pioneering and perfecting a modeling program that predicts where people lost at sea will be found, cutting search and rescue times and saving thousands of lives; implementing facial recognition systems that simplify and fortify airport security; developing a way to quickly locate and assist chronic healthcare patients who are at risk of losing life-sustaining equipment due to widespread power outages; and uncovering and prosecuting the largest bribery and corruption scandal in the history of the U.S. Navy.

Other finalists include those who have revolutionized scientific research and our understanding of the long-term effects of concussions in veterans and athletes; transformed the historic Kennedy Space Center into a globally distinguished multiuser launch site for government and commercial space exploration; discovered six different genetic origins of kidney cancer and provided the foundation for the development of targeted therapies that have saved thousands of lives; and strengthened our nation’s defenses against nuclear and radioactive threats by developing performance standards and tests for detection systems that screen nearly 7 million cargo containers entering U.S. seaports each year.

Read more and vote for the People’s Choice award