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Senior Executive Services (SES) are high level administrators in government that are highly trained in general management, having the ability to move between agencies and handle major executive level decisions. SES are so unique they can mediate between political leaders and career bureaucrats. For example, SES are equivalent to military rank/ positions however, they work for the government. SES skills are so wide and general they can get put in high positions, managing several different specialties up under them (More et al, 2018). The mission is to promote policies and programs that empower its constituent members to accomplish their vital mission responsibilities as well as advance their personal professional development. “Forty years ago, Congress set out to fix the government’s fragmented government. It worried that the political appointees who head federal agencies didn’t have solid relationships with the civil servants below them. So, it established a new corps of government workers, called the Senior Executive Service, to be the executive branch’s expert managers, linking appointees to the rank-and-file” (Kelly, 2016).
The Office of Personnel Management administers the SES program which was created by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978. During this time SES “ensured that the executive management of the Government of the United States was responsive to the needs, policies, and goals of the Nation and other wise was of the highest quality” (Senior Executive Service-OPM, n.d.). With the current efforts at reform under the Obama Administration the SES consist of managerial, supervisory, and policy positions classified above General Schedule grade 15 or equivalent positons in the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. There are two types of positions and four types of appointments in the SES: Career reserved positions and general positions are for people in the career service; career appointments, non-career appointments, limited term appointment, and limited emergency appointments. As more senior executives withdraw, the principal test confronting the Senior Executive Service (SES) is to bridge the increasing skill gap with collaborative leadership skills.
There are some areas where increased focus could lead to improvements, possibly making the leadership corps a more eye-catching decision and aiding to enhance recruit and preserve highly experienced applicants include but not limited to culture, recognition and prestige recruit and hiring, performance management, and leadership development.