Convergence Center For Policy Resolution

Meeting the Mission: Diverse Experts Release Blueprint for Action on Modernizing the Federal Civil Service

The actionable solutions recommended by the Convergence Roundtable on Civil Service Modernization will support the federal workforce in meeting ever-changing demands.

Washington, DC, January 25, 2024Convergence Center for Policy Resolution released a new Blueprint for Action with practical solutions for creating and retaining a federal civil service workforce that can meet the modern mission and skill demands of today and the future. Featured in Government Executive, the report represents the culmination of the Convergence Roundtable on Civil Service Modernization’s deliberations, an 18-month-long incubator for diverse stakeholders – scholars, practitioners, researchers, labor leaders, and agency leaders – to delve into the tensions and shared interests that must be addressed to achieve meaningful consensus-driven reform and modernization of the federal workforce. As the civil service faces increasing internal and external challenges and the conversations become increasingly politicized, the need to get underneath the rhetoric and division to provide real solutions has never been greater. 

Roundtable participants developed the following consensus principles to guide their conversations and solution-seeking: 

  • Prepare the federal workforce for the challenges of the coming decades.  
  • Build upon the talents and strengths of the current federal workforce while recruiting and retaining new entrants.  
  • Ensure a workforce that reflects the diversity, talent, and capacity of the people of the United States.  
  • Maintain the merit-based approach to the U.S. civil service.  

Participants discussed many aspects of how the federal workforce and the systems that recruit, staff, develop, and manage the workforce could be strengthened. “The diverse expertise in the group led to a focus on current and projected skills needs that could generate actionable solutions for different cohorts, specifically: how should government think about prospective and current workers through a planning lens?” noted Caroline Chang, who directed the Roundtable. Solutions are focused on:

  • Gen Z Recruitment and Retention; 
  • Veterans’ Recruitment and Retention; 
  • Retiree Hiring; and  
  • Cyber Training and Reskilling 

Across these solution areas, cross-cutting themes aligned with phases of the employee lifecycle emerged as a foundation for continued deliberation and solutions: On Ramps (attraction and recruitment), Mobility and Career Pathways (onboarding, development, and deployment), and Retention (retention, separation, and re-employment). 

“The increasingly complex challenges of the modern world are putting new demands on the civil service to keep the U.S. safe, stable, and running smoothly,” said Convergence Interim CEO and seasoned consensus-builder, Mariah Levison. “The Convergence Roundtable on Civil Service Modernization’s Blueprint for Action offers a clear roadmap for a wide audience of changemakers — practitioners, lawmakers, and those whose daily work is impacted by the federal workforce – to experiment and collaborate on ways to align human capital practices with this increasing pace of change so that our civil service is ready to meet the challenge.” 

The Convergence Roundtable on Civil Service Modernization would not have been possible without the support of the Hewlett Foundation and Democracy Fund. 


About Convergence Center for Policy Resolution   

Convergence is the leading organization bridging divides to solve critical issues through collaborative problem-solving across ideological, political, and cultural lines. For more than a decade, Convergence has brought together leaders, doers, and experts — many who never thought they could talk to one another — to build trusting relationships, identify breakthrough solutions, and form unlikely alliances for constructive change on seemingly intractable issues. Our process is improving the lives of Americans and strengthening democracy for a more resilient and collaborative future. For more information, visit convergencepolicy.org.  


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