Christopher Paul, MPA '18
Alumnus Christopher Paul has been appointed to the Federal Transit Administration (a sub-agency within the U.S. Dept of Transportation) as part of the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) 2018 Cohort. Created by an Executive Order in 1977, this prestigious leadership development program is designed to identify and select aspiring graduate students into positions of leadership within the federal government. Once hired, PMFs enter a two-year appointment with a federal agency and can participate in a six-month rotational opportunity with a separate agency of their choosing during their second year. Fellows also receive 160 hours of formal interactive training in leadership, management, and policy and an additional developmental assignment during the course of their appointment. Upon completion, participants are eligible for a non-competitive conversion to a permanent or term position.
Chris highly recommends the PMF program for individuals who are considering a career in federal public service. “The program is a great way for graduate students to enter directly into a leadership position while also receiving valuable training and developmental opportunities,” Chris explains. However, Chris advises interested students to approach the PMF program as supplemental to other potential career paths, as only about 6% of applicants become finalists and only about half go on to become fellows. Additionally, once the finalist list is announced, it can take several months before an individual actually begins service with an agency due to the complexities of the federal hiring process.
Chris credits his MPA training with preparing him for his new role with the Federal Transit Administration. “I have found that there is a direct tie-in with many of the analytic skills and competencies gained from the MPA program that I’ve applied to my current position,” he notes. Since becoming a PMF, he has discovered that there is more direct application from the MPA coursework in contrast to a bachelor’s course of study. “The MPA is a valuable tool in helping to prepare aspiring students to step into leadership roles in public service.”
The faculty, staff, and students of the Truman School extend our sincere congratulations to Chris on his achievement and look forward to watching him excel in his new role.