Drawing from our work with tens of thousands of leaders along with data from our 360 assessment tool, we publish original insights, commentary on best practices and policy recommendations to strengthen public service leadership.


Our research on public service leadership offers forward-thinking solutions, data-driven insights and actionable recommendations that help leaders address current challenges facing the federal workforce.

Thumbnail for Race, gender and public service leadership Major findings from 360 assessment data
In this brief, we examine how racial and ethnic identity intersect with gender to affect federal leaders’ workplace experience. Like other research, our analysis supports the need to not just focus on gender when seeking to understand this experience, but to also explore how other social identities—especially race—influence the social perception of women leaders in government
Thumbnail for Leadership Self-Efficacy and Self-Doubt
Leadership Self-Efficacy and Self-Doubt
A Look at Women in the Workplace
In this report, we sought to better understand women’s self-confidence in the federal workplace using our 360 assessment data, as well as qualitative data we collected during 13 research interviews and a focus group with women in federal leadership positions. Our data demonstrates that women tend to experience self-doubt and perceive their own performance and leadership skills less favorably than others perceive them. We also found some evidence that women are more reluctant than men to see themselves as confident leaders. We argue that addressing this issue will require structural change and collective action to shift how women are recognized in the workplace.
Thumbnail for Analysis of Federal Government Leadership Assessment Scores by Gender
In this brief—our first exploration of the data from our 360 tool—we examine federal employees’ leadership experiences based on gender, specifically for men and women serving as leaders at all levels across government.
Thumbnail for LeadHERship in the Federal Government: How Women Lead Series Introduction

After two years of data collection, we examined the differences and similarities between how women and men understand and experience their roles as public service leaders, exploring the intersections between race, ethnicity and gender in public service leadership.

Thumbnail for Trust in Government Summary for Leaders

Only 4 in 10 Americans say they trust the federal government to do what is right at least some of the time, according to a national survey conducted by the Partnership for Public Service and Freedman Consulting.

Thumbnail for Leading Together: An Exploration of the Relationship Between Leadership Type and Employee Engagement

One of the most critical elements of employee engagement is leadership. This exploratory analysis by the Partnership for Public Service’s Center for Presidential Transition® and Boston Consulting Group examined whether there is any difference in federal employee engagement if agency subcomponents are led by political appointees or by members of the career Senior Executive Service.

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The Agency Performance Dashboard offers a critical snapshot of agency operations in an easily digestible visual format. Featured topics include personnel numbers, employee demographics, political appointments, employee engagement scores, information technology maturity and social media engagement.

Thumbnail for Leading with Experience
Leading with Experience
A Framework for Customer-Focused Leadership in Government

Good leadership enables our government to more effectively respond to public needs. The Partnership for Public Service and Maximus Federal address how individual leaders can improve the federal customer experience and recommend government-wide actions agencies can take to create a culture of customer-focused leadership.

Thumbnail for Do federal civil servants trust the government?

The Partnership, with support from Deloitte, is working to better understand federal workforce trust in government and what agencies and administrations can do to improve it. After conducting surveys, roundtable discussions and interviews with federal employees, we are sharing three key findings about civil servants’ trust in civil service institutions.


We are at the forefront of identifying key leadership principles and developing best practices in government. Our various publications highlight the importance of value-driven leadership and demonstrate how public servant leaders can increase their influence and effectiveness to better serve the public.

Leading in the federal government is a unique and complicated challenge. The Partnership has created the Public Service Leadership Model to help government leaders evaluate their performance, assess their progress and chart a course to reach their leadership potential. Learn more about the model and how individuals, teams and agencies can use it to strengthen our government.

Becoming a stronger leader can seem like a daunting task. While it takes hard work and dedication, it’s helpful to break down that ultimate goal into small, daily tasks. Learn how to use our Public Service Leadership Model and our list of resources to make becoming a better leader more manageable.

360 assessments are critical tools to help leaders understand their performance. However, receiving a significant amount of feedback from others can be overwhelming.


Our country, facing a host of serious domestic and international challenges, needs federal leaders who are capable of dealing with current problems and those looming on the horizon. The administration, agencies and Congress have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build on recent innovations and set the government on a sustained path to renewal.

Thumbnail for Roadmap for Renewing Our Federal Government
Roadmap for Renewing Our Federal Government
Leadership and Stewardship Policy Recommendations

Read our recommendations to policymakers to make the Public Service Leadership Model the standard for effective federal leadership and take a whole-of-government approach to building better leaders.


We gather unique perspectives on public service leadership from experienced and qualified leadership luminaries—from our Government Leadership Advisory Council to our executive coaches and facilitators.

Thumbnail for What Makes a Public Service Leader?

Washington Post journalist Lillian Cunningham joins co-hosts Loren DeJonge Schulman and Rachel Klein-Kircher for a conversation on how to lead in government during normal times and times of crisis, as well as why the study of public service leadership is critical for our nation’s public servants. Cunningham is the creator and host of The Post’s “Presidential,” “Constitutional” and “Moonrise” podcasts. As an editor and reporter of the newspaper’s “On Leadership” section that explores leadership and management challenges in the public and private sectors.

Thumbnail for Leading the Way Toward a Better Government

Bob McDonald, former secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and Andrew Marshall, vice president of leadership development at the Partnership for Public Service, discuss why good leaders are the key to a good government. McDonald and Marshall discuss leading in the public sector versus the private sector, the impact and evolution of the Partnership’s leadership development work and how strong leaders can help rebuild public trust in our most important democratic institution.

Thumbnail for Maintaining Morale During a Crisis

Former U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen led the U.S. response to some of the most challenging modern crises including Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Allen discusses how he kept morale high when communicating with disaster recovery teams, media and the country during times of panic.

Thumbnail for The Importance of the Public Service Leadership Institute

Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland discusses the importance of the Public Service Leadership Institute,

Thumbnail for Government Leadership Advisory Council on Crisis Leadership

Members of our Government Leadership Advisory Council discuss how leaders of organizations can effectively respond to crises, focusing on the importance of good communication and sound workforce management strategies.

Thumbnail for Reflections on the Stewardship of Public Trust

Stewardship of the Public Trust is one of the two core values of the Partnership’s Public Service Leadership Model. In this video, former government leaders and leadership experts share what stewardship means to them.

Thumbnail for General Les Lyles on his leadership journey

Les Lyles, former general and vice chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force and a Partnership board member, reflects on his public service career in the military and the lessons he learned about leadership along the way.