On July 27, the Robertson Foundation for Government and the Rosenthal Fellowship program co-sponsored a roundtable on “Democracy in the Middle East” featuring Shadi Hamid of the Center for Middle East Policy and Amira Maaty of the National Endowment for Democracy.

After election day, the victorious presidential candidate will need to fill thousands of key government positions. If you’re interested in working in a presidential administration, the newly-launched Ready to Serve website has all the information and guidance you need to navigate the complex process. With fewer than 90 days until the election, it’s not too early to get a head start.

Learn more

Editor’s note: The following article first appeared on the Partnership for Public Service’s We the Partnership blog.

Federal employees cite many reasons for entering public service, including economic opportunity, the chance to do work they’re passionate about and job security. For many federal employees, however, one motivation stands above the rest: the desire to give back.

That was the theme that arose from a survey we sent in May, which received responses from 130 public servants at 45 federal agencies serving at all levels of government.

For Gary R., his upbringing inspired him to serve. His parents fled Germany after World War II to find new opportunities, and he wanted to give back to the country that gave them a fresh start. He served in the military but then headed to the private sector. However, federal service called to him once again, and he is now a curriculum manager at the Department of Homeland Security.

Elizabeth J. grew up with English as her second language but because she didn’t have access to ESL classes, she spent much of her time sitting silently at her classroom desk.

“I said if I ever got the chance to change this that I would,” Elizabeth wrote. She’s now in a position to do so. As an employee of the Department of Education, in the Office of English Language Acquisition, Elizabeth works to make learning easier for ESL students across the country.

The military is often a pathway to a lifetime of public service, which was the case for Sharon M. at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. She served in the military for six years and then in the Naval Reserves, while also running her own business. After 9/11, her sense of patriotism and desire to help soldiers in harm’s way led her to return to full-time public service.

“I serve because I want to make a difference, and I want to help the soldiers and sailors in harm’s way,” Sharon wrote. “I understand their situation; I was there.”

Other federal employees joined public service after working in the private sector because of the federal government’s mission. Kirtida P. from the Food and Drug Administration had a high-paying corporate job where she saw unsafe products being sold to hospitals and used by staff. She left to work for the federal government, making it her mission to protect the public from dangerous health products.

Kyle B. began work at the General Services Administration to support America’s 244-year-old legacy, which has made him feel like he is part of something greater than himself.

“A private company is only accountable to its shareholders and gets to pick its customers via what type of product or service it sells,” he wrote. “Public service does not get that luxury. Everyone is its customer. But this is why public service is so important to me; it matters.”

To share your own experience of working in federal government, including why you entered public service, take the #WhyIServe survey.

This post is by Jake Satisky, an intern on the Partnership’s Communications team.

The IBM Center for The Business of Government is pleased to announce a Challenge Grant competition to solicit essays describing how existing and emerging technologies will transform how government works and delivers services to the public in light of the impact of COVID-19. Topics to explore include:

  • Changing the nature of work – government jobs best suited to shift virtually, the new “work-day,” best practices, government as a model workplace, and workplace health, safety, and privacy.
  • Reimagining how government delivers services and products to the public – citizen engagement, public-private partnerships, resilient delivery ecosystem, and federal, state, and local government relationships.
  • Managing risk and building resilience – Enterprise Risk Management, cybersecurity, data privacy, information sharing across agencies, AI, and physical, digital security of home office.

Initial applications are due September 10, 2020.

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In 1793, a young John Quincy Adams published a series of political essays under the pseudonym “Marcellus.” In these essays, he argued the fledgling United States should maintain neutrality in the war between France and Great Britain. President George Washington sought to uncover the identity of “Marcellus.” A year later, Washington appointed Adams U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands. Adams’ thought in these essays and elsewhere would have a lasting impact on U.S. foreign policy.

The John Quincy Adams Society has developed the Marcellus Policy Fellowship to help the next generation of U.S. foreign policy leaders follow in young JQA’s footsteps. By combining knowledge of foreign policy, the craft of effective policy writing, and the ability to publicize his ideas, Adams launched a career shaping U.S. statecraft. The Marcellus Policy Fellowship will do the same, helping our fellows develop the ideas and skills necessary to guide American foreign policy in the twenty-first century.

Over the course of several months, Marcellus Policy Fellows will wrestle with ideas that can animate a prudent foreign policy. They will hone their writing skills under expert guidance, crafting a detailed policy paper and a related policy memorandum and op-ed. All this will strengthen their candidacy for roles in an increasingly competitive foreign policy career space.

The Society will select 8-10 Fellows for our inaugural Fall 2020 cohort. The Fellowship is open to current students (graduate and undergraduate) as well as those with 0-1 year of employment in the foreign policy space. (Internships and paid internships do not count against the one year limit, nor does any amount of prior work in other fields.) The Fellowship is for those who are in, are pursuing, or intend to pursue in the near future a career shaping U.S. national security policy in fields like government service, the media, academia, think tanks, advocacy, and so forth. U.S. citizenship is not required.

Applications will be open through August 16, 2020. The Fellowship will run from September to November, with remote sessions up to twice per week (Tuesday and Thursday evenings) which Fellows must attend. Fellows will receive a $750 stipend. Apply at this link. If you have any questions, contact Ryan Nuckles via email.

Women are vastly underrepresented in leadership roles within the federal government, especially in the national security field. In this Transition Lab episode, Jamie Jones Miller and Nina Hachigian discuss their careers,how they handled uncomfortable situations and the importance of bringing more women into leadership positions.

Listen now

Read highlights from the episode on the Center for Presidential Transition blog.

Congratulations to Treasury Department employees Corvelli McDaniel and Lorraine Cole for winning the 2020 Service to America Medals People’s Choice award.

The duo created an innovative mentoring program in which large U.S. commercial banks provide small and minority-owned banks with management and technical assistance to enhance their ability to serve low-income communities.

To learn more about their achievement, see the Service to America Medals profile on them.

RFG is a proud sponsor of the Service to America Medals (Sammies).