Modernizing Civil Service

Modernizing Civil Service

A highly functioning democracy that meets the needs of its citizens, relies on an effective civil service. Today’s U.S. civil service embodies missions as far-ranging as space exploration, protecting citizens from cyber warfare, advancing cancer research and addressing generational poverty. Yet, our civil service system was designed a half-century ago to meet different employee needs, attract different skills, and address challenges from well before modern computers and artificial intelligence entered the workplace.

There is widespread agreement that modernizing the U.S. civil service would help the federal government meet the contemporary challenges and needs of our public and the world around us. However, for decades, disagreement about what form those changes should take has stymied meaningful reform.

Convergence, the leader forging innovative solutions through collaborative dialogue across differences, is taking on this challenge of civil service modernization. Through dozens of candid interviews with stakeholders from within and outside of government, Convergence is currently mapping the complex interests, ideas, and opportunities for civil service transformation. In addition, Volcker Alliance and The Partnership for Public Service, both vanguards of civil service efficiency and accountability, are thought partners for this Convergence project.

Over the next year, Convergence will convene the Convergence Dialogue on Modernizing Civil Service to engage policymakers, practitioners, advocates, and other experts across diversities of views and experiences through interviews, small group conversations, and a series of dialogues. By building trust between dialogue participants and exploring potential areas of common ground, we aim to foster innovations in problem-solving to prepare the U.S. civil service system for the next generation.