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National Commission Explores Public Service Policy Options at Two Hearings

Posted: May 21, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service held two hearings on May 15 on the topic of public service.

The morning hearing addressed challenges within current civil service personnel systems. Commissioners and panelists discussed options to bring the next generation of talented Americans to public service. The afternoon hearing addressed special workforce challenges in high-demand fields—such as cybersecurity, IT, health care, and STEM—as well as the competitiveness of employee benefits. Panelists and Commissioners also discussed options to attract and retain civil servants with critical skills.

“The Commission has learned recruiting and hiring practices are out of touch with realities of the modern workforce and are insufficient to meet personnel needs,” said Vice Chair for National and Public Service Mark Gearan. “Federal hiring processes are too slow and USAJOBS does not meet anyone’s needs. For those who aspire to join the civil service, making it through the hiring gauntlet is a noteworthy achievement.”

These hearings came on the heels of Public Service Recognition Week (May 5-11), which is held annually since 1985, to honor the men and women who serve our nation as federal, state, county and local government employees.

READ: Staff Memorandum: Public Service

Panelists for the hearing, Improving Basic Hiring Processes

  • Melissa Bryant, Chief Policy Officer, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)
  • Kimberly Holden, Deputy Associate Director, Employee Services, Talent Acquisition and Workforce Shaping, U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
  • Brett Hunt, Executive Director of Public Service Academy, Arizona State University (ASU)
  • Jacqueline Simon, Public Policy Director, American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE)
  • Max Stier, President and CEO, Partnership for Public Service

Panelist testimony can be found here.

Panelists for the hearing, Critical Skills and Benefits:

  • Terry Gerton, President and CEO, National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA)
  • Eddie Hartwig, Deputy Administrator, U.S. Digital Service (USDS)
  • Travis Hoadley, Senior Advisor, Office of Chief Human Capital Officer, Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • Jessica Klement, Staff Vice President, Advocacy, National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE)
  • Dr. Elizabeth Kolmstetter, Director of Talent Strategy and Engagement, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Panelist testimony can be found here.

The Commission is holding 14 hearings through June 2019. Each hearing provides an opportunity for the Commission to receive testimony on key topics within the Commission’s mandate. Members of the public have an opportunity to provide comments at each hearing following the conclusion of testimony.

The National Commission on Military, National and Public Service is an 11-member bipartisan commission tasked for the first time in American history, with comprehensively and holistically reviewing the Selective Service System, along with military, national, and public service. The Commission hopes to ignite a national conversation about ideas of service as it develops recommendations for the Congress, the President, and the American public by March 2020. The Commission invites the public to share comments on its website and join the digital conversation on service on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram