July 19, 2024

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FACT SHEET: Marking the Three-Year Anniversary of the National Security Memorandum on Revitalizing America’s Foreign Policy and National Security Workforce, Institutions, and Partnerships

Letter to the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate on the Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to Hostage-Taking and the Wrongful Detention of United States Nationals Abroad

Three years ago, on February 4, 2021, President Biden signed the historic National Security Memorandum on Revitalizing America’s Foreign Policy and National Security Workforce, Institutions, and Partnerships (NSM-3). Our foreign policy and national security institutions are staffed with more than one million committed professionals and patriots who selflessly serve the Nation and our fellow Americans. […]

The post FACT SHEET: Marking the Three-Year Anniversary of the National Security Memorandum on Revitalizing America’s Foreign Policy and National Security Workforce, Institutions, and Partnerships first appeared on Social Gov.

Three years ago, on February 4, 2021, President Biden signed the historic National Security Memorandum on Revitalizing America’s Foreign Policy and National Security Workforce, Institutions, and Partnerships (NSM-3).

Our foreign policy and national security institutions are staffed with more than one million committed professionals and patriots who selflessly serve the Nation and our fellow Americans. A prepared, professional, and diverse workforce is essential to protecting the homeland, advancing America’s interests abroad, and projecting our core values. Ensuring that members of our national security workforce have the necessary tools, training, and support to fully realize their potential is a key priority for the Biden-Harris Administration, and why one of the first directives President Biden issued was NSM-3. 

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration marks the three-year anniversary of NSM-3 by recognizing the tremendous achievements made to revitalize and strengthen this critical workforce.

Over the last year three years, the interagency NSM-3 Working Group has operated with the necessary urgency to meet its tasks and goals. The Principal Deputy National Security Advisor chairs this group, with vice chairs from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Office of Science and Technology Policy as co-chairs, to support implementation by its twelve member agencies. Since the signing of NSM-3, additional agencies with foreign policy workforces, including the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and newly-established offices and White House policy councils, like the Office of the National Cyber Director (ONCD) and the Gender Policy Council, have joined the effort.

The NSM-3 Working Group has prioritized leveraging, aligning, and integrating their efforts with the continued implementation of other government-wide initiatives with similar goals, including the President’s Management Agenda (PMA), workforce-related Executive Orders (e.g., Executive Order 14035: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce and Executive Order 14100: Advancing Economic Security for Military and Veteran Spouses, Military Caregivers, and Survivors), Presidential Memoranda, and the National Cyber Workforce and Education Strategy (NCWES). Many of the initiatives, mentioned in the context of agency accomplishments in this Fact Sheet, are cross-government implementation efforts.

Highlights of actions taken by NSM-3 departments and agencies include the following:

Expanding pathways to recruit and hire, removing barriers, and better retaining and supporting current employees and their families.

  • Increasing the number of paid internships across the national security workforce, hundreds of which are broadly accessible through the “Intern Portal” on USAJOBS at https://intern.usajobs.gov/.
    • For example, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is set to double the number of Pathways interns for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 from last fiscal year, resourcing approximately 137 domestic and 10 overseas summer intern positions.
  • Expanding scholarship-for-service programs, including the Department of Defense (DOD) Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship-for-Service Program, which aims to create a diverse and technically proficient flow of new STEM talent into the DOD. To date, the SMART Program has awarded over 4,700 scholarships.
  • Establishing new and expanded paid fellowship programs.
    • For example, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is preparing to launch its second cohort of the DHS Intelligence and Cybersecurity Diversity Fellowship Program, a paid program that aims to help DHS recruit, retain, and reward the best and brightest in the fields of intelligence and cybersecurity. The program is intended for currently enrolled freshmen, sophomores, or juniors at an institution of higher learning, with a particular focus on Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), specifically, Historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCUs).
    • The Department of State established two direct recruitment pathways into the Foreign and Civil Service seeking individuals from all segments of society. The William D. Clarke, Sr. Diplomatic Security Fellowship leads to a Diplomatic Security Service Special Agent career in the U.S. Foreign Service and the Colin Powell Leadership Program prepares future civil service leaders. Additionally, the State Department expanded the Pickering and Rangel Fellowships, which are direct recruitment pathways for Foreign Service Generalists, by 50%, accepting 90 fellows annually. The Foreign Affairs IT Fellowship, which leads to IT careers in the Foreign Service, increased by 200% to 15 fellows per year.
    • USAID doubled the number of Donald M. Payne Fellows annually. The Payne Fellowship is a unique pathway to USAID Foreign Service and encourages the application of individuals from historically underrepresented groups in the U.S. Foreign Service as well as those with financial need.
  • Expanding our efforts to recruit and retain a more diverse and inclusive workforce, including hiring Chief Diversity Officers and Senior Advisors on Workplace Safety and Sexual Harassment; creating and implementing agency-specific diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) strategic plans; implementing the Presidential Memorandum on Supporting Access to Leave for Federal Employees; and launching significant new partnerships.
    • DOD funded a new university-affiliated research center with a consortium of HBCUs, led by Howard University, and has partnered with several MSIs to cohost seven successful “Taking the Pentagon to the People” (TTPTTP) program events designed to help advance the development of the nation’s full human capital potential and provide information about DOD employment, contracts, grants, scholarships, and research and development opportunities.
    • The Intelligence Community (IC) developed tools, like the IC DEIA Maturity Model, to increase accountability and measure and track the effectiveness of DEIA programs and initiatives. It also implemented policies to promote a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace, irrespective of gender identity, transgender status, gender expression, and perceived gender through IC Directive 125, Gender Identity and Inclusivity in the Intelligence Community.
    • The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) held an HBCU president’s conference, developed a multi-faceted MSI outreach strategy and participated in 107 outreach events at various MSIs.
    • Departments and agencies have bolstered leadership for employee associations and resource groups—voluntary, employee-led groups focused on support and information sharing about collective interests, backgrounds, or demographics. For example, to better understand and address employee issues, many DHS top leaders are required to engage quarterly with various employee associations.
    • CIA created and staffed the role of Neurodiversity Program Manager, who partners with IC and private sector organizations and participates in outreach events to establish neurodiverse talent pipelines to the agency. The agency appointed its first Chief Wellbeing Officer and improved employee wellbeing programs, support, resources, and services, including expanding workplace flexibility options and enhanced healthcare support through regional health bases. It also launched an outreach campaign to re-hire eligible former agency officers.
    • In November 2023, the Department of Energy (DOE) was named “America’s Best Employer for Veterans” by Forbes Magazine.  This designation reflects DOE’s continued commitment to maintaining an engaging and inclusive workplace culture that includes recognizing the critical contributions made by its U.S. Military Veteran employees.
    • USAID has a long-standing relationship with university partners and institutions of higher learning all over the world. The agency prioritizes working via Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with U.S. MSIs who serve underrepresented students and populations such as HBCUs, Hispanic Serving Institutions, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and Asian American and Pacific Island Serving Institutions. Beyond hiring and recruitment, MOUs also leverage the innovation happening at these universities. For example USAID’s Acquisition Workforce Certification Fellows Program (AWCFP) leverages a partnership with Fayetteville State University, while Delaware State University supports partnership engagements with USAID/Jamaica to address emerging issues in the Caribbean region.
  • Improving methods to attract and retain persons with disabilities by improving physical and electronic accessibility across departments and agencies.
  • The Department of State opened its Access Center, which provides tools, resources, and support to employees with disabilities, contributing to the Department’s broader effort of cultivating a culture of inclusion and building a more accessible Department. The Department of State recently reported an increase of 1,000 employees with disabilities from FY 2021 to FY 2023, now comprising 18 percent of its workforce. The increase was due to the growing willingness of employees to self-identify their disability, including non-apparent disabilities, as well as increased hiring under the Schedule A hiring mechanism for persons with disabilities. Careers & the disABLED magazine cited an employee of the Department as an Employee of the Year in 2021, 2022, and 2023.
  • CIA officers hired in FY 2022 and FY 2023 include the highest percentage of persons with disabilities since 2007. CIA’s efforts to increase recruitment of persons with disabilities has been augmented by a dedicated Persons with Disability Program Manager, who coordinates and attends recruitment events, and a Talent Broker liaison, who works with applicants on accessibility requests during the hiring process. CIA opened an Accessibility Storefront to provide employees with hands-on access to try accessible technology options and reasonable accommodations equipment.
  • USAID joined the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) through the Department of Labor and prioritized the use and awareness of the Schedule A and Disabled Veteran non-competitive hiring mechanisms. In 2023, the agency opened its first-ever Disability Resource Center which better supports and empowers current and prospective colleagues with disabilities to ensure the workplace is reflective of their needs and lived experiences.
  • Expanding the tools available to hiring leads and managers to attract, recruit, and retain diverse talent, including more regularly analyzing data on diversity trends within organizations; expanding sources to better recruit top diverse talent; and creating more robust support mechanisms for existing employees to better retain top talent into the senior ranks.
    • The Department of State established a Retention Unit to lead data collection and analysis on attrition and retention drivers. The data analysis informed several new initiatives to improve employee experience and retain a diverse workforce.
    • The Department of the Treasury established an enterprise recruitment team and is piloting “stay surveys” to better address retention challenges.
    • DOE refined and released targeted hiring goals for Veterans and persons with disabilities to track and report on progress.
    • The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) established a public-facing Workforce Dashboard that displays key metrics related to hiring, retention, and diversity to track progress towards department goals. Additionally, VA champions employee retention through its Stay in VA (SIVA) initiative; an employee-centered strategy designed to improve employee retention by focusing on the employee experience through direct engagement. SIVA provides regular touchpoints for employees and their supervisors that create a trusting environment with open communication that addresses issues that might otherwise affect retention. Further, VA has established a New Employee Buddy Program that supports onboarding, connects new hires with colleagues, and facilitates acclimatization into the Department.
    • CIA’s recruitment metrics team guides talent acquisition plans, including outreach and engagement strategies.
    • DHS launched “Jump Teams,” comprised of experts from across headquarters and component offices, that deploy to field locations to learn about and help resolve issues in resources, IT, management, facilities and any other areas that may be impacting the ability of employees to accomplish the mission. DHS also conducts quarterly pulse surveys to better understand employee experiences. Supervisors, managers, and leaders receive guidance and learn best practices to address issues raised in the surveys.
    • USAID successfully launched and completed its inaugural DEIA survey with full results received in Spring 2023. Data points from this survey include expanded demographics and identity categories across the entire workforce, including U.S. Direct Hires, Personal Service Contractors, and other staffing mechanisms. The agency made survey data available via a DEIA Survey Dashboard and Operating Unit Snapshots.
    • Responding to feedback from its Foreign Service (FS) workforce of nearly 2,000, USAID overhauled and streamlined FS performance management, assignment and promotions processes and introduced new tools and strategies to increase employee satisfaction and ensure that USAID has a FS workforce that inclusively represents the American people in its work abroad.
  • Shortening hiring timelines.
    • Shortening hiring timelines is a Director of National Intelligence (DNI)-stated goal that aims to reduce the median, end-to-end hiring timeline to no more than 180 days. The IC has made progress towards meeting this goal by enhancing virtual recruiting capabilities, utilizing IC-wide hiring authorities to create synergies across IC elements, and focusing on investments in end-to-end processing capabilities that will integrate security, medical, and suitability assessments into the overall hiring process.
    • The Federal government as a whole continued to make progress in reducing security clearance timelines, which can affect broader hiring timelines. thanks to vetting policy and operational reforms achieved through Trusted Workforce 2.0. Top Secret and Secret clearance timelines are averaging 189 days and 78 days, respectively, as of the end of Fiscal Year 2023, down from their peak in 2018. New aspirational targets have been set to further improve end-to-end timeliness: 40 days for Secret (currently 74 days) and 75 days for Top Secret (currently 114 days). These time reductions have been tied to broader workforce hiring improvement strategy goals to transform the job applicant experience, to include a new Personnel Vetting Questionnaire that includes simpler language and helpful explanations, making the background investigation process less daunting for applicants.
    • CIA continued to make significant strides in reducing the application to cleared processing timeline. At the end of FY 2023, CIA reduced the median processing time from application to cleared by 23 percent, and the application to final job offer is now under 180 days. Its transition to an “Invitation to Apply” model in early 2023 has increased interest in agency employment and allows for resumes to stay on file for future consideration as new job opportunities arise.
    • USAID established an onboarding team for the Civil Service, expanded hiring approaches to build a pipeline of candidates for the Foreign Service to quickly fill attrition and hiring targets; and transitioned to virtual platforms for recruitment, hiring, and onboarding. USAID’s Office of Human Capital and Talent Management designed and launched the Navigate tool to quickly onboard all U.S. direct-hire employees. USAID’s Chief Information Office also launched Work-Ready Progress Dashboards to provide an at-a-glance view and traceability of direct-hire candidates going through the onboarding process.
  • Streamlining open opportunities for job applicants by creating new branded search pages at STEM.usajobs.gov for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics-related positions across the Federal government, CyberCareers.gov for cyber-related positions, and NatSec.usajobs.gov for opportunities within the national security and foreign policy workforce.
    • The IC launched the first centralized site for IC recruitment at IntelligenceCareers.gov.
    • DOD continued to leverage https://www.DODciviliancareers.com/, to promote the DOD Civilian Employer brand, highlight diverse career and internship/scholarship opportunities, advertise job fairs, and give top talent access to DOD jobs. Through this platform, DOD hosts virtual hiring events to fill critical skills positions, including STEM, cyber, medical, prevention workforce, and skilled trades and labor positions. In addition, DOD uses the site to post an annual consolidated list of DOD scholarships and employment programs.
    • VA promotes employment opportunities on VA Careers, Digital Careers, VA Police, and the VA for Vets websites. To further promote career opportunities in VA, VHA developed Total Reward$ brochures with generalized information that reflects potential monetized value of a full VA compensation package for certain full-time positions.
  • Supporting family members overseas.
    • Recognizing the valuable contributions of employee families, the Department of State and USAID provide a variety of programs and services to Foreign Service Eligible Family Members (EFMs) while they are overseas and when returning to the U.S. The Department of State’s Global Community Liaison Office (GCLO) hosts a Global Employment Initiative and employs Global Employment Advisors to support EFMs. USAID developed an EFM Employment Registry for those applying for Federal jobs using Non-Competitive Eligibility (NCE).
    • CIA opened the Family Engagement Center (FEC) in July 2023 to continue its enhanced support of families going to the field.
  • Supporting Military-Connected Families.
  • OPM issued guidance to agencies in support of Executive Order 14100, Advancing Economic Security for Military and Veteran Spouses, Military Caregivers, and Survivors reinforcing the use of flexible work arrangements that support the needs of military-connected families including telework and remote work, administrative leave, and workforce retention tools such as the opportunity to request reassignment and relocation. 
  • Also pursuant to EO 14100, DOD and DHS provide consultation, advice, and assistance to military families regarding employment at overseas locations. This includes assistance in navigating complex employment requirements related to Status of Forces Agreements, other agreements with host nations affecting family member employment, and working remotely for U.S. based entities while a service member spouse is stationed overseas. Additionally, DOD and the Department of State are considering work options for spouses when reevaluating or entering into Status of Forces Agreements and other related arrangements with host nations. 
  • DOD continues to provide robust career support for military spouses including those that are, or seek to be, employed within the Foreign Policy and National Security Workforce. Its Spouse Education and Career Opportunities program includes several initiatives that support careers for military spouses, including providing expert career coaching, Federal employment support, and more.
  • Domestic Employees Teleworking Overseas (DETOs) – DETO arrangements help us retain Federal employees who wish to relocate overseas to remain with their spouse or sponsor employed in the national security, defense and foreign policy workforce. The Departments of Defense and State have taken actions to strengthen the DETO program to ensure equitable opportunities for servicemember and foreign service spouses so that resilient and talented civil servants are retained and families may stay together.
  • Last year, DOD and the Department of State signed an interim Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to clarify residential security and safety requirements for military and foreign service spouses employed by the Federal government and working overseas through the DETO program, and are working towards a permanent MOA expected in March 2024.
  • As directed by the Executive Order on Advancing Economic Security for Military and Veteran Spouses, Military Caregivers, and Survivors, the State Department is coordinating with Federal agencies across the government to improve awareness about the program, centralize points of contact for DETO at each agency, and set common standards to strengthen the program. These actions will support an increasing number of Federal employees—including, but not limited to, military spouses—to remain in the Federal workforce while teleworking from overseas.

Better recruiting and retaining technical and specialized talent, and improving professional development to close mission critical gaps

  • Improving hiring outcomes through pooled hiring and skills-based assessments.
  • Pooled hiring is a coordinated, cross-agency approach to strategic talent acquisition where multiple agencies with the same staffing need can run one hiring process for interested candidates. It is a critical tool in enhancing the hiring experience for both candidates and agencies, as pooled actions allow a single application to be reviewed by multiple agencies and a single hiring action to yield many hires.
  • OPM’s Hiring Experience Group, which serves as a hub for agency talent teams to improve hiring outcomes through innovation, is helping agencies navigate the deployment of strategic hiring tools designed to support expanded recruiting efforts, increased hiring manager satisfaction, and reduced applicant burden and agency hiring timeframes. Through pooled hiring actions, agencies benefit from access to shared certificates of qualified candidates who have completed rigorous assessments, thereby reducing the need for agencies to post multiple hiring actions for the same position.
  • As part of the pooled hiring process, OPM and subject-matter experts from multiple agencies work together to identify the required skills and competencies, develop appropriate assessments with support from subject matter experts, and identify high quality candidates to fill critical needs. This process results in a much higher rate of selection and gives candidates multiple opportunities for similar roles. For example, from a single hiring effort for data analysts at the Department of State, more than 100 selections were made. At DHS, successful selections have been made in the following occupational series: 0201 Human Resources Specialist, 1102 Contract Specialist, 0101 Program Evaluator, and 2210 Information Technology Program Manager positions. In early CY 2024, pooled actions underway include key data and IT management and analyst positions.   
  • OPM is also working closely with agencies to best position Federal recruitment strategies to harness private sector tech talent possessing critical skillsets needed to protect, defend, and bolster the nation’s infrastructure.   
  • Targeting critical staff through robust use of flexible and scalable hiring and pay authorities focused on mission-critical skill-sets. With options to more agilely identify critical skills that are in high demand or low supply, agencies will be able to design more effective and robust recruitment and retention strategies including skills incentives for highly-skilled workers.
  • DHS launched its Cybersecurity Talent Management System that allows for skills-based hiring, market competitive compensation, and specialized career development opportunities. 
  • In conjunction with the launch of the National Cybersecurity Strategy, ONCD, OPM and OMB partnered to develop a legislative proposal to support agencies in recruiting, hiring and retaining the cyber workforce. ONCD, OPM, and OMB are leveraging the Federal Cyber Workforce Working Group to socialize the proposal, set cyber workforce development priorities, and share agency leading practices.
  • DOE expanded retention incentives for specialized skills, including cyber.
  • VA leveraged the expanded Special Salary Rate (SSR) authorities afforded by the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act to authorize an SSR for its technology and cybersecurity personnel in Information Technology Management (2210), Computer Science (1550), and Computer Engineering (0854) occupational series. This is an important step towards closing the growing gap between industry and Federal government salary rates for technology and cybersecurity roles. The SSR represents an average increase of 17 percent in basic pay for VA’s highly skilled technical workforce.
  • VA partnered with DOD to hire transitioning military personnel to civilian police occupations within VA while they are still on active duty under the Skillbridge Program. This creates law enforcement-specific career development pathways to provide developmental skills needed to achieve the next level of leadership. VA has also worked with OPM to obtain approval for SSRs to support recruiting and retaining Police Officers, and has authorized a national Critical Skills Incentive strategy to further enhance recruitment and retention.
  • VA’s Office of Information Technology helped innovate Federal talent acquisition approaches by actively recruiting laid off tech workers to fill Department vacancies in software development, product management and cybersecurity.
  • OPM established the Tech to Gov Initiative, a multipronged strategy that aims to bring laid off tech workers into the public sector to support various IT modernization efforts. This effort consists of government-wide job fairs and a working group of HR, technologists, and hiring managers who work to systemically improve the hiring process for technologists across government. By participating in the job fair and the working group, Federal agencies can leverage special hiring authorities, shared hiring certificates with other Federal agencies and streamline recruitment strategies to ultimately onboard top talent quickly.
  • The IC uses existing and new authorities to attract highly-skilled candidates to the IC with in-demand skills. Expanded use of incentives, such as NSA’s STEM/Cyber pay scale, allows elements to be better compete in a fiercely competitive job market.
  • The Department of State offers skills incentive pay (SIP) in the amount of up to 15% for eligible IT employees and up to 25% for certain Cyber employees for receiving and utilizing certain certificates or credentials.  As a result, the Department of State is better positioned to retain highly skilled IT and Cyber employees in order to accomplish foreign policy objectives.
  • USAID stood up a Crisis Operations Staffing initiative in FY 2023 with the intention to shift up to 350 existing contractor crisis response positions to new time-limited direct hire positions, determined by programmatic agency needs. These positions enable the agency to resource its crisis response bureaus and ensure that the agency can recruit and retain staff in the short- and long-term to prevent or respond to foreign crises and contexts with growing instability.
  • Expanding the use of incentives and flexibilities available to recruit, retain, and support employees, at a time of strong national job competition, including childcare subsidies, student loan repayments, and retention bonuses.
  • DOD implemented a standardized minimum 50 percent child care discount on the first child of direct-care staff members.
  • DOD implemented Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts for active duty servicemembers, allowing them to contribute up to $5,000 per household per year to a pretax account for eligible dependent care services.
  • USAID redesigned and is piloting a new, improved version of its Child Care Subsidy Program, which raised the total family income limit to $150,000 to make the program accessible to a wider range of USAID employees.
  • The Department of State is piloting an open enrollment of its Child Care Subsidy Program that allows employees to enroll in the program upon the birth or adoption of a child and for foreign service employee’s assumption of a domestic assignment. The Department raised the total family income limit to $170,000 which allowed more employees to receive up to $5,000 per year in childcare subsidy benefits.
  • The Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) has over 170 participants at USAID and over 1,000 at the Department of State who each receive up to $10,000 in student loan repayment annually in exchange for a service commitment. The SLRP program is open to career conditional civil service and foreign service employees in over 20 mission critical and STEM positions, and in some of the more challenging overseas posts, and includes Parent Plus loans, which are loans that parents take out for their children’s education.    
  • Approximately 40 percent of CIA employees are leveraging a newly expanded Official Time for Health and Wellbeing policy to spend three hours per week for health and wellbeing activities. CIA offers financial incentives to attract and retain employees specialized skill sets, such as foreign language skills. CIA is reviewing the effectiveness of existing incentive pay programs for STEM and foreign language, including a long-term compensation study to assess internal pay equity and external competitiveness with the private sector.
  • Bringing together for the first time 25 national security education institutions to create the National Security Educational Consortium, which will work to better provide meaningful learning and career growth opportunities for the national security workforce, particularly for critical skills. As a first effort, the Consortium compiled a shared catalogue of over 7,500 courses across critical skill areas, which can be used to share future resources focused on critical skill development needs.
  • Facilitating critical skills development for current and future employees and mission enablers.
    • The Defense Language and National Security Education Office (DLNSEO) continues to lead the National Security Education Program (NSEP)/Boren Scholars and Fellows Program, providing opportunities for U.S. students to study critical foreign languages overseas under the David L. Boren National Security Education Act of 1991. DLNSEO also manages the National Language Service Corps (NLSC), which provides a readily available group of language volunteers with proficiency in over 500 languages and dialects to provide foreign language services to U.S. Federal agencies.
    • The Intelligence Community Centers for Academic Excellence (IC CAE) Program offers grants to academic institutions to enhance the recruitment and retention of an ethnically and culturally diverse IC workforce through curriculum and/or program development (e.g., areas of study including national security, STEM, and less commonly taught foreign languages), faculty development, laboratory equipment or improvements, and faculty research.
    • State issued its first Learning Policy to promote career-long learning with a core curriculum for mid-career employees and 40 hours of annual learning for employees above and beyond mandatory training.  State also is adding dozens of new detail, fellowship and academic programs for employees focused on critical mission priorities.
    • USAID launched its Foreign Service National (FSN) Empowerment initiative to expand opportunities for professional growth and increase retention of its 4700-strong network of local experts serving in its missions worldwide. This includes creating additional senior-level positions that create new pathways for high-performing employees along an expanded career ladder, while boosting mission effectiveness.
    • The VA Office of Information Technology launched an interactive development resource that enables VA employees to explore cyber work roles defined by the NICE Workforce Framework for Cybersecurity and the Defense Cyberspace Workforce Framework. Work roles are the guiding principle of the cybersecurity development technical track, which consists of skills-based profiles, day-in-the-life videos, qualification indicators, curated curriculum, on-the-job training, and just-in-time resources, all aligned to the tasks, knowledge, and skills required for each individual role. By exploring role-driven development resources, employees are able to explore career options by role, develop new skills/or refine existing ones, discover alternate career pathways, and access resources, including meaningful learning and development opportunities, necessary for achieving career goals.
    • OPM has established a Federal Rotational Cyber Workforce Program, designed to spearhead the development of critical cyber skills and to foster environments where employees have ongoing learning and development opportunities. Fourteen Federal agencies submitted approximately 70 rotation assignments across the government. Agencies are actively interviewing candidates with selections forthcoming.
    • OPM tracks agency progress to close hiring and staffing gaps in mission critical occupations (MCO) and DOD, State, and DHS successfully met over 90 percent of their staffing targets for their MCOs, while USAID met over 80 percent.  
  • Expanding development and outreach to the Human Resources practitioners who are key to implementing these efforts, including creating new training programs, coursework and guides as well as establishing new communities of practice to encourage the exchange of leading practices and innovative ideas in Federal human resources management.
    • DOD’s Human Resources Functional Community (HRFC) is charged with prioritizing and elevating HR talent through several communities of practice, as well as through the Chief Human Capital Officers Council Elevating HR Working Group; HR technical area credentialing and development programs and training; and central repositories that offer HR practitioners information on available training, best practices, tools, developmental opportunities, and other resources. In coordination with OPM, the HRFC is currently partnering with nine other Federal agencies to pilot a Federal HR career path in support of the President’s Management Agenda within DOD. The HRFC publishes quarterly a newsletter to communicate and socialize DoD-wide HR news, events, initiatives, and best practices to the more than 24,000 HR practitioners supporting the Department.
    • VA established an HR intern program, hiring over 1000 HR professionals into the program in the first year.

Moving forward, we will continue to work to implement these and other NSM-3 actions, with a particular focus on enhancing public outreach; improving hiring, expanding skills-based hiring and maximizing the utilization of hiring authorities and innovations; leveraging expert hiring and talent surge initiatives; improving workforce rotational and detailee experiences, and agency utilization; enhancing training and upskilling in critical occupational areas; and continually improving critical skills recruitment, hiring, development, and retention.
Our country’s future and the strength and safety of our people and communities rely on the success of our national security and foreign policy workforce and the partnerships we build today to educate, support, and motivate the next generation of talented and dedicated Americans to pursue careers in public service.
The President has never been more confident that the U.S. government and the American people are up to this enormous task, and we remain committed to meeting this moment in history with the best the country has to offer.
Additional information about department and agency actions to support NSM-3 can be found at the following:

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Official news published at https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2024/02/06/fact-sheet-marking-the-three-year-anniversary-of-the-national-security-memorandum-on-revitalizing-americas-foreign-policy-and-national-security-workforce-institutions-and-partnerships/

The post FACT SHEET: Marking the Three-Year Anniversary of the National Security Memorandum on Revitalizing America’s Foreign Policy and National Security Workforce, Institutions, and Partnerships first appeared on Social Gov.