The Foreign Service Journal - April 2014 - page 19

APRIL 2014
so doing, should consider a few steps to
enhance it. This might include increas-
ing the size of the program, though the
Fellows I’ve spoken with all point to
the small group dynamic as crucial to
the program’s success. But State could
run three different “classes” each year,
bumping the number to 36 participants
a year.
The program could also give partici-
pants a more active role, along the lines
of the Excellence in Government Fellow-
ship. Each group of Fellows could tackle
a specific project to improve a particular
aspect of the State workplace—showing
their capacity, as one put it, “to be cur-
rent, not future, leaders.”
Another idea is to establish a mentor-
ing program for Powell Fellows during
the year following their participation in
the program. Each would be paired with
a senior department leader, and the two
would meet throughout the year.
Regardless of whether changes are
made, it is clear that the end of the Pow-
ell Fellows Program, and the absence
of any initiatives to replace it, has left a
significant gap. The program gave State
flexibility in identifying its strongest
performers, something it currently lacks.
The program also gave mid-level officers
something to strive for, and enhanced
their skills, knowledge and understand-
ing of what it takes to be a leader in the
Foreign Service. And it did all that for
just $50,000 a year.
The department needs to become
more involved in the process of pro-
actively identifying its future lead-
ers—and then equipping them for roles
of increasing responsibility within our
organization. The Powell Fellows Pro-
gram is one step toward accomplishing
that admittedly daunting task. It worked
before, and it can work again.
1...,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18 20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,...76
Powered by FlippingBook