Nathanial Buss and Kathy Webb Farley, both 2011 graduates of the Center for Public Administration and Policy , part of the School of International and Public Affairs in College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech, have been named Presidential Management Fellows by the Office of Personnel Management. The honor makes the pair among the roughly 10 percent of applicants to the fellowship program to be named a Fellow nationally.

The Presidential Management Fellow program is described by the Office of Personnel Management as “the flagship leadership development program at the entry level for advanced degree candidates.” The three-decade old program seeks to train future government leaders by giving fellows 160 hours of formal classroom training in leadership, management, policy, and other topics and then places them in positions in a federal agency. Fellows are mentored and given feedback on their work over the two years of the fellowship.

The Center for Public Administration and Policy nominated seven students in total for the PMF program for 2011, and four were named semi-finalists.  A total of 850 individuals nationwide have been named finalists out of 7,482 nominees and 1,530 semi-finalists, making the performance of the center's applicants a notable success, with 57 percent of its nominees reaching the semi-final stage, and 28 percent named finalists, both nearly three times the national average.

Buss, who received his master of public administration degree this year, has accepted a position as a management and program analyst with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis. Farley, who received a Ph.D. in public administration and public affairs, will be working for the Federal Transit Administration as a budget analyst. Both interviewed with more than a dozen agencies before making their choices.  Both praised the highly structured PMF preparation the center’s faculty provided as critical to their success in the rigorous finalist selection interviews and and competition for available positions.

The Center for Public Administration and Policy, in the School of Public and International Affairs, offers the Ph.D. in Public Administration and Public Affairs in Blacksburg and Alexandria, and the Master of Public Administration degree in Blacksburg, Alexandria, and Richmond.  It is ranked in the top ten percent of public affairs programs nationally, and is ranked 13th nationally in the public management administration specialty, according to U.S. News & World Report.



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