Executive Development Programs for Public Managers


The following links go to web sites for executive development programs designed for public managers. If you are aware of any excellent programs that are not listed here, please contact us and we will be happy to add it to the list.



  • OPM's Center for Leadership Development

    The OPM's Center for Leadership Development is dedicated to developing great leaders for the Federal Government. Their faculty, trainers, and facilitators are drawn from America's elite corps of leadership development professionals. For over 50 years, the Center for Leadership Development has worked to: create, share, and apply knowledge and skills to address the challenges faced by public sector organizations; develop the values and competencies that are the foundation of public service, transcending individual professions and missions; and offer state-of-the-art learning experiences in world-class learning environments. Their students are high-performing aspiring leaders, supervisors, managers and executives who attend the courses to enhance their leadership and management skills. They may do so at any stage of their career from first line supervisor through the Senior Executive Service. The Center also offers customized programs at their training centers, agency locations, or at designated offsite venues. They also offer coaching and consulting services.

  • Graduate School USA's Leadership Development Program

    The Graduate School USA's Leadership Development Program has a number of long-term leadership development training programs for managers (and aspiring managers) at all levels. The very rich course curriculum generally includes team activities, developmental work assignments, and executive shadowing/interviews. There are 3- to 9-month programs for aspiring leaders and new managers, as well as 12-month programs for mid-level managers and executives. These courses require participants to be away from their regular jobs about half the time over the length of the program. Nomination by your supervisor or agency is required for admission to the long-term programs. The Leadership Development Program also has several 1-2 week courses for members of the Senior Executive Service and those who aspire to be.

  • Partnership for Public Service

    The Partnership for Public Service offers numerous leadership courses including the highly rated Excellence in Government Fellows Program, custom courses, and specific leadership curriculum for various job specialties (e.g. acquisition, HR, IT, and financial management professionals).   The year-long Excellence in Government Fellows Program includes some classroom instruction, executive coaching, benchmarking, and networking with executives from other agencies.  It is structured in a way that promotes immediate on-the-job application of the course material in order to facilitate leadership learning and achieve real results at the same time.  The program primarily targets high-potential GS-14s and GS-15s, but exceptional GS-13s may also apply.

  • Public Sector Consortium

    The Public Sector Consortium has created an innovative learning curriculum for public leaders.  The formal programs are only one part of a system of learning which includes a community of practice, on-site consulting, and coaching.  Courses are delivered on-site and can be designed and tailored to meet the needs of your organization.  Some of the offerings include: Systems Thinking, Achieving results with Organizations that Learn, Leadership Through Productive Conversation, Managing Your Time as a Leader, Strategies for Facilitative Leaders, and Succeed in Any Conditions Using After Action Reviews. Contact info@public-sector.org for information on how to schedule one of these programs on-site.  Also check out the Public Sector Consortium's systems thinking analysis of public leadership, The Leadership Dilemma in a Democratic Society.

  • The Power Lab

    The Power Lab is a week-long executive development program that features a total immersion experience involving a three-class community with distinct differences in wealth and power. Participants are "born" into one of the three classes. In this setting all the critical issues of power and leadership emerge clearly, and participants are confronted with these head on. Participants get to take a good look at their usual ways of handling these issues, explore new approaches, and test their limits. The program combines this intense total immersion experience with expert in-the-action coaching, personal and system reflection, and system frameworks.  For a taste of the learning from The Power Lab, see the article "Total System Power" by Power lab founder Barry Oshry.

  • Center for Creative Leadership

    CCL is considered by many to be one of the the top-rated organizations in the world dedicated exclusively to leadership research and executive development.   Their programs are built on a developmental model of assessment, challenge and support, using both 360-degree feedback and individual assessment. Many of their courses offer post-program development in the form of a three-month goal setting process and follow-up; an assessment of behavioral change; and/or one-to-one interaction with a certified CCL coach.

  • Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education

    Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government offers a number of leadership courses for government managers and executives that range in length from two days to four weeks.  Courses are usually given at Harvard, but they also have a number of online courses and custom two-day courses that can be taught at government agency locations. 

  • Management Concepts

    Founded in 1973, Management Concepts provides a wide range of leadership and management courses for government managers and executives. Individual courses are typically 1-3 days, and they offer Certificate Programs on both leadership and supervision. Training is available for individulas or teams. Management Concepts' primary training locations are in Washington, DC, and Tysons Corner, Virginia, but they offer courses at many other locations around the United States as well.

  • The Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University

    The Government Affairs Institute's main course for federal managers is the Congressional Operations Seminar. It provides a look at congressional processes and organization, and at how Congress affects the daily operations of every department and agency in the executive branch. It is open to participants from all government agencies and is designed to help federal personnel better understand how to manage in response and relation to congressional action. They also offer a more advanced course called Working and Communicating More Effectively With Congress.

  • American Management Association

    AMA offers a wide variety of courses in leadership and management with a curriculum specifically tailored to the needs of government managers.  Leadership courses are 2-5 days in duration and are offered at their training center in Washington, DC.  They can also provide on-site training at agency locations.

  • American University/OPM Masters in Public Administration

    The highly rated Key Executive MPA program offered by American University and OPM is designed for high potential government employees at approximately the GS-13 level.  The 22-month program consists of three 2-week residential sessions at OPM's Eastern Management Development Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, and 16 weekends of intensive course-work at American University in Washington, DC. 

  • Brookings Institution

    Brookings offers a number of one week training programs on public policy and leadership for mid-level government managers and senior executives.  They also have a Masters of Science in Leadership specifically tailored for members of the Senior Executive Service. 

  • George Washington University Center for Excellence in Public Leadership

    GWU's Senior Executive Development program is designed to prepared candidates for the Senior Executive Service.  This 80-hour open enrollment program is designed for senior managers in the Federal government (GS-13 through SES level), military officers, and state and local officials.

  • National Leadership Institute

    Part of the University of Maryland University College, NLI offers three and five-day leadership courses based on the curriculum and research of the Center for Creative Leadership.  Services include leadership assessment tools and executive coaching.

  • National League of Cities

    The National League of Cities provides seminars for elected local leaders to help them develop practical leadership skills needed to lead change and innovation in their communities.  Their main program is the organization's annual Leadership Summit.  They also offer a variety of regional training programs that address specific leadership competencies.  Participation in these programs can lead to a Certificate of Achievement in Leadership.

  • National War College

    The National War College has a 1-year program to prepare future leaders for high-level policy, command, and staff responsibilities.  The curriculum emphasizes the joint and inter-agency perspective. Three-quarters of the students are drawn from the military services, and the remaining 25 percent from the Department of State and other foreign affairs agencies.  If you work for a participating agency, check with your training or career development officer to find out how to apply.

  • The Performance Institute

    The Performance Institute offers conferences, training, and certification programs for government managers.  Their curriculum includes a wide variety of courses related to improving the performance of government, including a course on leadership and change management.  The courses are held in a variety of locations in the United States and Canada.

  • The Rocky Mountain Program

    The Graduate School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado at Denver, offers a one-week residence program for elected officials and upper-level managers from the federal, state and local levels of government.  The course focuses on enhancing the participants' leadership skills and encourages the use of innovative approaches to governance.  Offered twice a year.