The National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service, mandated in 2017 by Congress to bring forward strategies to bolster public service in the US, released its final report in March 2020. The report, Inspired to Serve, contains specific recommendations on actions that the federal government take to encourage and empower Americans to pursue public service in its many forms. In the following open letter to the President and Congress, the Robertson Foundation for Government and other good government groups urge leaders to heed the Commissioners’ findings and act on the recommendations.

An open letter to President Donald J. Trump and Members of the 116th Congress:

We are writing to you as organizations dedicated to inspiring public service and encouraging excellence in government. We welcome the final report of the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service and its far-reaching recommendations to ensure that our government has the talent it needs to serve the public today and in the future.

Congress gave the Commission an extremely broad mandate to find ways to encourage and bolster public service, and from its earliest deliberations the Commissioners recognized that the antiquated federal civil service structure is simply unsustainable. Our government lacks a long-term strategy to retain and attract the brightest minds who can help solve our nation’s biggest problems. At no time has that been more clear than now.

As the heroic efforts to respond to the coronavirus show, we all benefit from dedicated, skilled public servants. We are not doing enough to retain top talent in government, or to build paths for young people to enter public service. We encourage you to engage with the members of the Commission about their findings, and to consider the views of the current workforce as well as young people making career choices. The Commission’s report offers a blueprint for moving forward with common-sense administrative actions and legislative improvements that could be included in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act or other legislation.

Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (ASPIA) 

Federal Managers Association (FMA)

National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) 

National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE)

National Council of Social Security Management Associations (NCSSMA)

Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) 

Partnership for Public Service 

Professional Managers Association (PMA)

Robertson Foundation for Government 

Senior Executives Association (SEA) 

The Volcker Alliance 


Bolded organizations are Institutional Partners of the Robertson Foundation for Government.