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Presidential Management Fellowship Application – for SIS grad students finishing degrees by August 31, 2010

August 12, 2009

Please note: Students from other AU schools should contact the school PMF representative. If you don’t know who that person is, please contact Travis Sheffler in the AU Career Center: 202-885-1804.

From: Sharon K. Weiner, SIS PMF Nominating Official

RE: The Presidential Management Fellowship (PMF)

What is the PMF?
The U.S. Government’s Office of Personnel Management describes the Presidential Management Fellows Program as “a stepping stone to highly visible and respected leadership positions in the federal government.” This two-year full-time fellowship is a leadership development program designed to groom recent graduates for careers in federal service. The fellowship includes 80 hours of training a year, rotations with different government agencies, and accelerated promotions. Most fellows start at a Grade 9 level, and receive full federal employee benefits. After the first year, PMFs are eligible for promotion GS-11 to GS-13. Federal agencies must offer fellows a permanent full-time position upon successful completion of the fellowship. More than 90 percent of PMFs convert to regular government service at a GS-12 level or above.

Who is eligible for the PMF?
Students who will graduate from American University with an advanced degree (an MA, PhD or JD) between September 1, 2009 and August 31, 2010.

How well have A.U. students done in the past?
Very well, indeed! Since 2005 AU has ranked among the top five institutions for PMF finalists. SIS is also among the top schools for PMF finalists, ranking number one in some years and in the top five in other years.

How are Presidential Management Fellows selected?
To be eligible to compete for the PMF you must:
 Complete your graduate degree between Sept. 1, 2009 and August 31, 2010.
 Be a U.S. citizen or expect to receive citizenship before the start of the fellowship.
 Be nominated by SIS

The PMF selection process is as follows:

1. The first step is to attend one of the information sessions. The AU Career office will offer an information session on Wednesday, August 26th, from 5:00-6:15 PM in the Butler Boardroom. SIS will offer three sessions, each conducted by Professor Sharon Weiner, the SIS Nominating Official for PMF. All three take place in Clark 130:

Thursday, August 27, 7:30-8:30 PM
Tuesday, September 1, 6:30-7:30 PM
Thursday, September 10, 6:30-7:30 PM

Please note: Each school at AU has its own unique competitive selection
process for the PMF. Therefore, you are strongly encouraged to attend one
of the SIS information sessions. Although attendance is not required, it is
highly beneficial. If you are not able to attend one of the SIS information
sessions due to residence overseas or outside of the DC metro area, please
contact Professor Sharon Weiner ( for information
about the PMF selection process.

2. The second step is to submit your application to the SIS competition. Applications are due by 5:00 pm, Monday, September 21, 2009. They must be submitted by email to Professor Sharon Weiner at

The SIS application consists of:

o Your resume, not to exceed 2 pages, including your name, address, daytime phone number and at email address that will be valid for the next six months and which you will check regularly.
o Your graduate cumulative grade point average.
o An essay describing your interest in public service and documenting your qualifications for such a career. This essay must be no longer than 500 words and must be thoroughly proof read for spelling and grammar errors.

Although the SIS process is competitive, all interested students are encouraged to apply! You will be notified about your nomination by SIS by Friday, September 25.

3. If you are nominated by SIS, the 3rd step in the PMF application process is to submit your application on-line with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The application to OPM consists of your resume, a set of qualification questions, and a nominating form from your school. The details are:
 Between Thursday, October 1 and Thursday, October 15, 2009 the PMF application will be available from OPM. You must apply on-line via a link from the PMF website: This link will ask you to use an Application Manager which will guide you through the process. The process is as follows:
o Upload your resume. You may (and should!) begin building your resume at as soon as possible. Please note: will help you build your resume according to a specified format by prompting you for specific information. Some of this information is detailed and the process of building your resume can be quite lengthy. You are strongly encouraged to begin building your resume as soon as possible. This resume may also be used to apply for other jobs with the federal government via the USAJOBS link.
o Next, you will be asked a series of questions about your qualifications for federal employment (the Qualifications Questionnaire). These questions are straightforward and involve information about your background.
 The questions are available via the PMF application link and you are strongly encouraged to look at them in advance.
o If you are a veteran, you will next be asked to submit supporting documents allowing you to claim the veterans’ preference.
o Finally, after your resume and qualifications questionnaire (and veterans’ preference, if applicable) have been uploaded using the Application Manager, you will need to download the PMF Nomination Form. This Form should be pre-populated with information you have already provided.
 Make sure all of the necessary information is printed on this form including the vacancy announcement, your name and social security number, your degree, and the name of the SIS nominating official: Sharon K. Weiner,
 This form must then be submitted to Professor Weiner. Please put it in her mailbox in SIS headquarters. DO NOT hand this form to Professor Weiner or put it under her office door.
 Your PMF application is not complete unless Professor Weiner endorses this nomination form and submits it on your behalf.
 Your nomination form is due to Professor Weiner by Friday, October 16, 2009 at noon.

Please note:
 You must complete the PMF on-line application by Thursday, October 15, 2009.
 You must submit your PMF nomination form to Professor Weiner by Friday, October 16, 2009 at noon.

4. The final step is to take the PMF competitive exam. All students who are nominated by SIS will be invited to take a multiple choice assessment test that evaluates their analytical problem solving ability, written communication skills, and competency in selected areas as identified by the PMF program. Note: the PMF process always places a high priority on competency in international and public affairs!

OPM will notify nominated applicants about their options for taking the assessment test, which will be offered in January 2010. The test is offered only at test sites in the United States; there are multiple options for taking the test in Washington, DC.

How can I get more information?

1. Contact Prof. Sharon K. Weiner, SIS Nomination Official, at
2. Visit the PMF web site at www.

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