Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Memorandum Concerning a Career Executive Development Program in All Departments and Agencies.

February 05, 1960

To the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies:

Our government faces the possible loss of two-thirds of its top career managers over the next ten years. A survey of 751 career officials in grades GS-16, 17 and 18, indicates that two out of every three will be eligible for retirement during the next decade. Further, two out of every five will be eligible for retirement by 1963. In addition, of course, there will be certain losses because of death, disability and resignation. This situation emphatically and clearly points to the importance of instituting a positive program which will assure the filling of the anticipated vacancies with persons of outstanding leadership ability, creative imagination and sound judgment.

Upon each of us rests the responsibility for seeing to it that the critically important functions of the top career management positions continue to be carried out by persons of the highest competence. Nothing less will satisfy our obligation to the American people for effective and efficient administration of their government's programs.

To properly discharge this responsibility, careful planning will be needed in each agency and on a government-wide scale. Employees with executive potential in positions below the top career levels must be identified, trained and developed over a period of time to increase their capacity to perform the complex functions of career managers.

The success or failure of our efforts to identify, select and develop competent career managers will determine the future effectiveness of government operations, both here and abroad. I have asked my Special Assistant for Personnel Management to provide leadership to the departments and agencies in taking such steps as may be necessary to see to it that we continue to have the best available executive talent for these top civil service posts. He will work with you and the Civil Service Commission toward this goal.

In the last analysis, however, the results of the quest for topnotch administrators in the career service will depend on the steps each agency takes to find persons of executive potential and to train and develop them for the responsibilities that lie ahead. I know each of you shares my concern that the ablest persons are selected for top career civil service positions. I expect you to give personal leadership towards the achievement of this objective within your organization.


Note: See also Items 27 and 28.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Memorandum Concerning a Career Executive Development Program in All Departments and Agencies. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/235181

Simple Search of Our Archives