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Transition News

SEA Offers Valuable Advice to New Appointees: Career Executives are Key to Your Success

To support the transition to a new Administration, the Association has prepared two resources designed to enable minimizing the time it takes for the career/political team to function well and enable the administration’s agenda to be met. The first document, "The Political Appointee’s Challenge," is located on the Council for Excellence’s website and provides specific advice on the do’s and don’ts of the career/political relationship.

The second document, "The Senior Executive Service: A Management Primer," describes the basics of the SES system and the responsibilities of, and flexibilities available to, political appointees who supervise career Senior Executives. Both are available upon request in a combined PowerPoint for presentation by SEA staff.


Report of "Burrowing In" Prompts SEA Inquiry

On November 18 The Washington Post reported that according to OPM, between March 1 and November 3 of 2008, the Bush Administration allowed 20 political appointees to become career civil servants. Six of those conversions were to the Senior Executive Service.

In response, SEA President Carol Bonosaro and SEA General Counsel Bill Bransford wrote to OPM requestiong information that would help shed light on whether these appointments followed both the letter and spirit of the law.

View the Letter


Managers Coalition Objects to Obama Proposal to Cut Managerial Ranks

On December 17 the Government Managers Coalition (GMC) wrote John Podesta, co-chair of the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team to express its concern regarding the Obama-Biden proposal title, "The Change We Need in Washington." The proposal specifically states, "Barack Obama will thin the ranks of Washington middle managers."

The GMC expressed its strong disagreement that thinning the ranks of federal managers is the most effective way for the President-Elect to achieve his goals and to tackle government reform and proposed alternate solutions.

View the GMC Letter


Transition News

The First Ninety Days in Government Workshop Now Available On-Line

SEA, the Council for Excellence in Government and Harvard Business Publishing hosted Dr. Michael Watkins, author of the international best-sellers The First Ninety Days and The First Ninety Days in Government, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The webcast is now available on-line. Once at the site, click on the gray box below the image of the book that says "Video & Slides" and fill out the brief registration form.


SEA Releases Message to President-Elect

On November 12, SEA released a white paper for the upcoming transition. The paper provides a comprehensive package that explains the issues affecting career executives and provides recommendations that will enable the Obama Administration to meet its objectives through partnership with the career executive service.

View the Press Release

View the Transition Paper


SEA President's Op-Ed Urges Administration to View Executives as Resource

On November 5, SEA President Carol A. Bonosaro, wrote an op-ed, published on, detailing how the next Administration should embrace career executives as the vehicles to meet their objectives. Ms. Bonosaro argues, "No Administration would think of entering office without already having established a firm and positive 'handshake' with the nation's top military brass...exactly the same approach is needed with career civilian executives."

View Op-Ed


Let the Administration and Congress Know You Care - Join SEA Today

The Administration and Congress use the strength of the Association's membership to gauge how concerned the corps is with the issues affecting the SES - if you aren't a member, it tells them you don't care. In addition to supporting the ONLY organization representing the interests of the SES and speaking up on your behalf, membership provides many benefits such as access to free, member only events; expert information and advice; timely information on legislative, administrative and judicial issues affecting career executives and much more...

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Upcoming Events

February 11, 2009: 

SEA to host brown bag session on "Status of the Transition" from 12:00-1:00 p.m. Members are encouraged to participate at SEA's office in Washington, DC or via conference call. Please register by contacting or by calling (202) 927-7000.

February 26, 2009: 

MEMBER ONLY EVENT: Retirement Income Planning Workshop conducted by Fidelity Investments, a member of SEA's Corporate Advisory Board. The 90-minute seminar will include a complimentary lunch. Please contact Vicky at 202-927-7000 or to sign-up.

Memorable Quotes

"We're…here to celebrate an organization which has done a great deal to advance the cause of good government over the last quarter-century, the Senior Executives Association, the SEA….Twenty-five years ago, the SEA was created to represent the interests of career Federal executives… to ensure that the Government's most valued employees would be fairly treated by future congresses and administrations…." Secretary of Energy Bodman at the 2005 Presidential Distinguished Rank Award Banquet 4/21 read the entire quote...

SEA Quick Fact

SEA's members are drawn overwhelmingly from the most accomplished and elite career government employees.  Over 35% of SEA members have received a Presidential Rank Award.

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