This program is used to attract outstanding men and women to federal service 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. The PMF Program, administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), is the Federal Government’s cornerstone succession planning program to help agencies meet their critical need for leadership continuity.
For the 2022 PMF application cycle, OPM updated their assessment to improve the process in a variety of areas including addressing concerns around equity in all stages of the process. They also enhancing their recruiting efforts with greater outreach to diverse communities, expansion of their engagement with Minority Serving Institutions, enhanced recruitment through the alumni network, and use of strategic recruitment platforms.
Since 1977, the PMF Program has helped Federal agencies meet their workforce and succession planning needs by attracting outstanding master’s, law, and doctoral-level students to Federal service. Executive Order 13318, modernized the Presidential Management Intern (PMI) Program, in keeping with the emphasis on the strategic management of the Federal Government’s human capital. With this Executive Order, the name was changed to the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program to better reflect its high standards, rigor, and prestige. Students can use this two-year fellowship as a stepping stone to highly visible and respected leadership positions in the Federal Government.
This rigorous two-year paid fellowship includes:
- Formal classroom training of 160 hours,
- Mandatory four to six month developmental assignment,
- Optional rotations of one to six months in duration,
- Challenging work assignments,
- Potential for accelerated promotions, and
- Opportunities to network with other future leaders.
Many Federal agencies partner with the PMF Program Office to hire Fellows annually. Fellows engage in solving domestic and international issues including, but not limited to:
- Public Administration,
- Foreign Policy,
- Criminal Justice,
- Health, and Financial Management.
Once a finalist is appointed as a Presidential Management Fellow, the OPM regulations outline the requirements for successful completion of the two year fellowship. To successfully complete the PMF Program and convert to a permanent Federal position, during the two-year fellowship, a Fellow must receive:
- An agency-approved Individual Development Plan (IDP);
- A minimum of 80 hours of formal classroom training each year of the fellowship, for a total of 160 hours;
- At least one developmental assignment of four to six months in duration;
- A performance plan and annual review; and,
- A certification of successful completion of the program by the appointing agency’s Executive Resources Board (ERB), or equivalent, at the end of the fellowship.
Upon successful completion of the fellowship and non competitive appointment to career or career-conditional employment under section 315.708(c) of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, the Fellow does not serve a probationary period and acquires competitive status immediately upon conversion. Successful completion of the PMF fellowship is regarded as completion of the probationary period. After permanent appointment, Fellows are not subject to the 90-day service rule in section 330.501 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations (general restriction on movement after competitive appointment), and they do not serve the probationary period applied to Federal positions that are filled through open competition, as outlined.
The PMF selection process consists of four parts
- Assessment and Finalist Selection
- Agency Placement as a Fellow
The PMF Program solicits students annually. Deadlines are listed in the “How to Apply” section below, under “Timelines”; but may be subject to change. Eligible applicants apply to the PMF Program via a vacancy announcement on USAJOBS. Eligible applicants will be required to link a resume and complete a qualifications questionnaire during the application process. Applicants claiming veterans’ preference will also need to provide supporting documentation.
Students may contact their school guidance office, career planning and placement office, teachers, or Federal agency employment office where they are interested in working.
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