Thursday, August 12, 2010

PMF Success Stories

This just arrived in my inbox today. In conjunction with the new site launch, the PMF program is going to highlight what it calls "PMF Success Stories," the experiences of current PMFs with remarkable stories. The full text of the email is below (with identifying details redacted, of course). The question to the community is whether this is something that would be useful for any of you who are looking to apply or who are still looking for appointments?

Dear [Redacted],

The PMF Program will soon launch a new program website ( The homepage will include a section entitled “Highlights” and will randomly show a program highlight or success story, and photo of a current/former PMF.

We would like to hear from current and former PMFs who can share a remarkable PMF experience or success story so we can prepare your postings for when the new website launches (scheduled for September 15, 2010).

All submissions will need a release form (see attached) filled out and submitted to the PMF Program Office.

Please follow these instructions for your submission:

1. Send an email to [redacted] with the subject of “Highlights”, to include the following:
a. Your first and last name
b. PMF Class Year
c. Agency/Sub-Agency
d. A couple paragraphs of your program highlight/success story
2. Attach a graphic of your photo or a graphic related to the posting
3. Attach a signed release form or fax it to [redacted]

All entries will be reviewed, and potentially edited for space, prior to posting. If you have any questions please reply to this email.

We look forward to hearing from you and showcasing your experience on the PMF website!


PMF Program Manager

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Define Presidential: A Contest

The PMF Program Office is looking for suggestions from current PMFs about the meaning of "Presidential" in Presidential Management Fellows. They are accepting 60 second videos starting August 9, and the deadline to get them in is August 31. The terms are available on a special new portion of the web site, which also has an updated URL:

Videos will be judged on clarity, content, and style, and must be uploaded to YouTube.

Putting aside the idea of a video contest, there's the whole question of what it means to be "Presidential" in the first place with respect to such a program. Since most of my visitors are prospective PMFers, you'll undoubtedly have your own concept of what this means, so I am certainly interested in what it means to you. As a current PMF, I have my own ideas about this, and amazingly (or not), it's not just about how we PMFs perceive ourselves. Tied up in all of this, though, are issues of prestige, rigor and exclusivity getting into the program, treatment of PMFs at the hands of agencies, and the expectations of PMFs with respect to the program requirements, both from the PMF Program Office and from the agencies in which PMFs serve. There are also perceptions that the PMF program has lost its way over the years, failing to reach a diverse enough audience and allowing agencies to treat PMFs as yet another expedited hiring authority (i.e., another way to avoid the burdens of Veteran's Preference, which applies in a slightly different way in the PMF program).

Simply put, I doubt I could fit in 60 seconds what presidential means, because it has so many other dependencies. What do you think?