Four one-week residential sessions (attendance required)
Through recognition and promotion you have been recognized by your agency as a high performing employee, but do you have the knowledge and experience to lead your organization through change? Graduate School USA offers a one year training program designed to help senior leaders understand and meet the challenges facing today’s federal workforce. Through personal and professional development, The Executive Potential Program builds leadership capacity through strengthening the competencies needed to help today’s leaders create a work environment prepared to meet changing agency initiatives.
EPP 2016-1: Cancelled
EPP 2016-2: Filled/Closed
NOTE: Program dates and locations are tentative.
The Executive Potential Program is strategically designed around three program components:
Participants are required to attend four one-week residential training sessions beginning on Sunday evening and ending each week at noon on Friday. Key training is developed under the Executive Core Qualifications designed by the Office of Personnel Management with an emphasis on Leading Change. Being a change agent requires skills in multiple ECQs to include Results Driven and Building Coalitions. Through a variety of training and exercises, participants work to learn how to identify and solve real organizational problems. They learn to think and work strategically to meet the visions and goals of their organizations. Emphasis is placed on the study of best practices used in government and non-government organizations.
Program participants work with a diverse team of federal employees to create high performing teams that design and deliver quality products. Participants learn to diagnose systemic problems and lead others to identify and implement change efforts. Through program activities that address current issues facing leaders in the federal workforce, the team platform gives way to strengthening individual leadership and interpersonal skills.
Personal growth and development is the responsibility of the participant. Through a variety of developmental assignments, the participant has the opportunity to strategically target career opportunities to create personal and professional growth. These activities are created under the following program requirements:
Leadership Development Planning. Participants complete the Graduate School USA’s Leadership Effectiveness Inventory (LEI), a 360 assessment, to determine strengths and developmental needs. Through feedback, each participant develops a Leadership Development Plan designed to strengthen leadership competencies. Support and final approval for this plan are coordinated with the first-line supervisor and agency program coordinator.
Mentor. Federal employees at this level should have a mentor and prepare to mentor others. To strengthen this essential leadership role and build skills, participants are required to have a mentor during the program. The mentor provides the support and encouragement to reach program and career goals.
Developmental Work Assignments. Each Executive Potential Program participant is required to complete two eight-week developmental assignments. One of the strongest ways to develop new ideas and thinking is through a developmental assignment. The learning outcomes are powerful for the self as well as the organization. Developmental work assignments are designed to provide exposure to different leadership/managerial experiences and perspectives. Assignments are to be completed during the yearlong program.
Shadowing Assignment. Participants complete a three-day assignment "shadowing" a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES). By observing executives in action, participants gain exposure to managerial duties, responsibilities and various leadership styles. They observe how the concepts learned in the program are applied in real-world situations.
Executive Interviews. Participants interview five or more federal senior executives, flag rank officers, or high-level executives who work in a private sector or non-profit organization. The executive interviews provide the opportunity to interact at the highest levels of management and gain critical information for long-term networking and career planning.
Book Reviews. Participants read and review two or more books on leadership and management issues. This component helps broaden knowledge of the field and strengthen analytical skills.
Application Procedure Completed application packages should be sent by mail or other service (e.g., FedEx, UPS) to:
Executive Potential Program Center for Leadership and Management Graduate School USA 600 Maryland Avenue SW, Suite 330 Washington, DC 20024-2520 Phone: (202) 314-3580
Or via email to
The nomination package must be received by the nomination deadline and must include:
A completed Executive Potential Program Application that includes information about the applicant, the applicant’s immediate supervisor, and the program coordinator at the applicant’s organization. The program coordinator is the person who will maintain records of the applicant's developmental activities and serve as a liaison between Graduate School USA and the participant.
A statement from the applicant indicating the purpose for applying and how participation in the Executive Potential Program will support the applicant’s career goals
The applicant’s current resume, signed and dated by the applicant
Payment must accompany the application before it will be processed.We accept:
Credit cards (American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, and VISA)
Government purchase cards
Organization purchase order; a completed and signed government training authorization form (e.g., SF182) can be submitted in lieu of a purchase order
Cash, Money Orders, Checks, or Cashier’s Checks
Applicants are advised that their organizations may have different requirements and different deadline dates for submitting applications. Please check with agency coordinators to determine if there is an internal competitive process before submitting an application to the EPP.
If you have questions or need additional information, please contact staff in the Center for Leadership and Management.
Executive Potential Program Center for Leadership and Management Graduate School USA 600 Maryland Ave, SW, Suite 330 Washington, DC 20024-2520
Darlene Young (202) 314-3434
Individuals should be nominated based on both their leadership potential and their motivation to fully participate in and complete all program requirements. To complete the Executive Potential Program, participants will be absent from their positions of record for a minimum of five months (four one-week training sessions and two eight-week required developmental assignments). Participants must finish all program components— NO exceptions will be made. Additional work time will be needed to complete some team activities and other program requirements. Please carefully consider these time requirements before submitting a nomination package.
Withdrawals and Substitutions
Withdrawals and Substitutions are accepted at no cost if made more than 14 days before the program begins. For cancellations less than 14 days before the program begins, there is a $1000 processing fee if no substitution is made. There will be no refund for withdrawal after the orientation session begins. Because of the amount of time necessary to complete the pre-assessments, substitutions will only be accepted 14 days prior to the program beginning.
Graduate School USA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. We make every practical effort to ensure that our programs are accessible to physically challenged participants and participants with special needs. Upon acceptance into the program, students requiring assistance and accommodation should complete a Special Accommodation Request form and submit it to the Office of the Registrar. The Special Accommodations Coordinator may be reached at (202) 314-3349 or
and by TDD at (888) 744-2717.