Annenberg Foundation Awards $4 Million Grant to Partnership for Public Service

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  The Partnership for Public Service, a non-profit working to revitalize the federal civil service and improve government effectiveness, today announced a $4 million grant from The Annenberg Foundation.  The funding will finance two new initiatives over the next four years: The Walter and Leonore Annenberg Federal Leadership Institute and The Walter and Leonore Annenberg Public Service Speakers Bureau.

Gail Levin, Executive Director of the Annenberg Foundation, explained that, “The late Walter H. Annenberg served as Ambassador to England, and Leonore Annenberg is a former Chief of Protocol of the United States.  Both regarded their government service as an important opportunity to honor their country and contribute to its prosperity.  With these grants, the Annenberg Foundation seeks to educate and inspire the next generation of public servants.”

The initiatives will address two of the greatest challenges to government effectiveness – inadequate leadership skills and the lack of knowledge about federal job opportunities among young people.

Research, including the Partnership’s Best Places to Work in the Federal Government rankings, consistently shows that the federal government lags the private sector in “leadership and management skills,” two of the most critical factors in determining workforce effectiveness. Federal workers are twice as likely as those in the private sector to report their supervisors do not have the “leadership and management skills” to do their jobs effectively.  On the topic of pubic awareness about government service, recent Partnership polling found only 13 percent of college juniors and seniors feel extremely knowledgeable about job opportunities in the federal government.

The Partnership’s new initiatives will address these issues in the following ways:

• The Walter and Leonore Annenberg Federal Leadership Institute will identify promising mid-level federal supervisors in government, build their management skills and work with the participants to help improve the performance and effectiveness of their respective federal agencies.

• The Walter and Leonore Annenberg Public Service Speakers Bureau will provide distinguished speakers to college campuses and other venues to educate and inspire the next generation of public servants and help those interested in federal service to navigate the federal employment system.

The Partnership will officially launch both The Walter and Leonore Annenberg Federal Leadership Institute and The Walter and Leonore Annenberg Public Service Speakers Bureau in 2007.

“With this significant grant, the Annenberg Foundation has made an important statement that the issue of government performance and the health of our civil service is vital to our nation’s strength and deserves the attention of America’s philanthropic community,” said Partnership for Public Service President and CEO Max Stier. “We are grateful for the support.”

The Annenberg Foundation grant is the largest contribution ever given by a foundation to the Partnership. Earlier this year, it was preceded by grants to the Partnership by Atlantic Philanthropies, the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

Celebrating its 5th anniversary, the Partnership for Public Service has:

• Built the Call to Serve network of more than 570 colleges and over 60 agencies to promote government service on college campuses
• Launched Best Places to Work in the Federal Government – the first-ever rankings of federal agencies by employee satisfaction
• Overhauled the hiring process at three federal agencies
• Created the Service to America Medals, the premier awards program honoring the accomplishments of federal civil servants
• Helped establish the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Public Service Caucus which now boasts more than 40 members
• Successfully lobbied for the institution of a Chief Human Capital Officer at every major federal agency

About The Annenberg Foundation

The Annenberg Foundation exists to advance the public well-being through improved communication. As the principal means of achieving its goal, the Foundation encourages the development of more effective ways to share ideas and knowledge. The Annenberg Foundation has offices in Radnor, PA and Los Angeles, CA.

About the Partnership for Public Service
The Partnership for Public Service works to revitalize the federal government by inspiring all generations to serve and by transforming the way government works.