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White House Leadership Development Program

Posted Jun 23, 2015

Introducing the White House Leadership Development Program – Building Enterprise Leaders across Government and Delivering Results on High-Priority Goals

By Jenny Mattingley, Director, White House Leadership Development Program

Over the past several years, I had the privilege of working on federal workforce policies, but from outside government. Recently, I was given the opportunity to channel my belief in the benefit of public service and passion for strengthening the federal workforce into helping stand up the recently created White House Leadership Development (WHLD) Program.

The WHLD Program was called for by President Obama in his December 2014 address to the Senior Executive Service. President Obama talked about the future of federal service and highlighted some of the challenges facing the civil service – increasingly complex challenges that span agencies and jurisdictions, that require employees to collaborate and leverage networks on a greater scale than in the past, and that necessitate employees working outside organizational boundaries to ensure the government can succeed in implementing shared policies and services.

What sold me on the WHLD Program is that it is a chance to look at leadership development from a different, whole of government perspective. The goal of the program is to not only build the bench of future career Senior Executives, but to place Program Fellows in challenging rotational assignments. They will work on high-visibility, cross-agency projects to develop the skillsets and networks that enterprise leaders need – specifically collaboration among stakeholders and organizations with diverse cultures and goals, working across boundaries without formal authority, and working outside traditional agency structures. Additionally, WHLD Program Fellows’ cohort will engage in an innovative development program that is targeted at the competencies, networks, and experience required of enterprise leaders.

An added benefit of the program is that it will require WHLDP Fellows to leverage their training to implement mission-critical programs (such as the Cross-Agency Priority Goals) and deliver long-term strategic results. Because the WHLD Program works closely with the PIC, WHLD Program Fellows will develop a specific understanding of the importance of organizational performance and measuring impact and results.

It is my personal goal to ensure that the White House Leadership Development Program is a unique opportunity to build a cohort of senior employees who can leverage the skills and networks they develop during the program on behalf of their home agencies’ priorities and to provide developmental experiences that set them on the path to future leadership roles.

The WHLD Program is a competitive program open to career GS-15 and equivalent employees. During the pilot year, agencies may nominate up to three employees for consideration into the program. The first cohort will run the duration of FY16 and will begin the program on October 1, 2015. Please direct any program questions to me at, or click here for more information.