Partnership for Public Service, Inc.
About the Grantee
Government is most effective when its employees are trustworthy, nonpartisan, and fiscally responsible. They must seek to drive change, take strategic risks and deliver results; and promote a culture of learning, leadership, collaboration, inclusion, and respect.
With this in mind, Samuel J. Heyman founded the Partnership for Public Service in 2001, building on the premise that hiring, developing, and retaining the best people in public service results in better government.
The Washington, D.C.-based organization engages, informs, and mobilizes influential leaders—across government and among the education, philanthropic, and corporate sectors—to promote a more effective public sector.
“We exist, not to do the job of government, but to help government do its job better,” said Max Stier, CEO of the Partnership for Public Service.
Over the past 10 years, the Partnership has emerged as the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving federal government performance. Since 2003, it has published its rankings of the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government, evaluating employee satisfaction and commitment across nearly 300 agencies and subcomponents. And each year, it awards the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals—nicknamed Sammies—to dedicated individuals in the workforce who make high-impact contributions to the country through commitment and innovation. These highly successful programs increase transparency and accountability for results in government and share compelling examples of best practices.
“We believe that good government starts with good people,” said Stier, who has been with the Partnership since the beginning. “This is why we champion and pay tribute to our federal employees who are making our nation safer, greener, and more financially secure.”
In October 2009, the Partnership for Public Service gathered a group of foundation and government leaders at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s Pocantico Center to begin a dialogue about how the broader foundation community could find innovative and collaborative ways to help government reach its full potential. As a result of the conference, they produced a report: Toward Common Ends: The Foundation Sector and the Federal Government.
“We realize that the complex problems of the 21st century require our country’s best and brightest—both in and outside of government,” Stier said. “We are committed over the long term to help our government improve through ongoing cross-sector collaborations that will provide a collective framework to ultimately sustain families, strengthen communities, and bolster the global marketplace.”
Another outcome of the 2009 Pocantico conference was the 2010 launch of a three-and-a-half-year program with the U.S. Department of Education. The goal of the program is to transform its leadership and build a more innovative, collaborative, and results-oriented department.
In October 2011, the Partnership held a similar conference at The Pocantico Center, this time partnering with a cross-section of for-profit business and government leaders.
“The annual thought-leadership conferences we host in collaboration with the RBF help us to continue building relationships with key stakeholders in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, to help reach our ultimate goal of a more effective government,” Stier said.
Looking forward, the Partnership will begin to narrow its programmatic focus around five critical leverage points: talent, effective workplaces, leadership, performance systems, and key constituencies.
“The Partnership has batted pretty close to a thousand since we started a decade ago, but our government faces new challenges that didn’t exist back then,” Stier said. “It is our job to adapt to these changes in order to continue improving it.”