Senior Executives Association

Welcome to the Senior Executives Association

Senior Executives Association (SEA) is the professional association for career members of the Senior Executive Service (SES) and equivalent positions. SEA is not only the voice of the SES through a strong advocacy program, it empowers senior leaders across government by providing the tools, resources and connections they need to succeed in the 21st century.

SEA's membership spans across government agencies, missions and functions, giving SEA a unique whole of government perspective and the ability to connect to the skills, tools and people (both public and private sectors) that senior leaders need. SEA members receive access to research and news, strategic networks, and connections to the good practices across government that they may not receive on the job.

Above all else, SEA is guided by dedication to public service and to helping career federal leaders better serve the American people.

SEA invites you to the 2018 Presidential Rank Awards Leadership Summit at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. Spots are limited, reserve your seat today. Learn More >

SEA - Empowering Career Leaders For Success

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SEA Releases Report on Results of Member Survey on At Will Employment in the Senior Executive Service

Click here to read the full report.

Washington, D.C. – The Senior Executives Association report, "At Will Employment in the Senior Executive Service: Promoting Accountability or Threatening Federal Government Effectiveness and Senior Management Capability?" is based on a survey of SEA members from August 20 to September 19, 2014. The survey was undertaken following the enactment of legislation with regard to career SES employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs, and in response to continued conversation in Congress about making the federal workforce generally, and the SES specifically, at will employees.

SEA has vigorously opposed Congressional "at will" employment (AWE) legislative proposals both at the Department of Veterans Affairs and government-wide. The report highlights the negative consequences of an at will employment system in the federal government.

The results of SEA's survey evidence high degrees of fear, frustration and demoralization regarding the notion of at will employment and the prospects that further erosion of employment security for career Senior Executives and Senior Professionals could take place if Congressional proposals become law. Many current career executives and professionals responding to the survey commented that they would seek (and in some cases already have initiated action) to retire, move to the private sector or even search for a lower level career position (e.g., GS-15) if AWE is enacted. Many also indicated they could not, in good conscience, advise talented subordinates and other high potential prospective candidates for future career SES and SP jobs to pursue them if AWE legislation is passed. In many cases, retiree survey respondents remarked that things have generally gotten worse for career Senior Executives and Professionals since their departure from government. Some also commented that if AWE had been in place during their tenure, they would have retired earlier or never signed up to serve in their demanding positions.

SEA's detailed survey analysis reflects five major key findings that are supported by data and respondents' written comments. In most instances, survey responses and sentiments among current employee respondents and retiree respondents are very similar and reinforcing in nature. The five major key findings are as follows:

• At will employment legislation is overwhelmingly viewed as a bad idea

• Enactment of at will employment legislation would have a highly damaging impact on career SES recruitment and retention and further erode morale within the government's executive ranks

• At will employment would lead to politicization of the SES system, subjugation of career executives and suppression and deterioration of relationships between career managers and political appointees as well as other government stakeholders

• At will employment would be harmful to the efficiency, effectiveness, integrity, productivity, innovation and operational stability of government, as well as the public's confidence in it

• Current laws, government-wide regulations and agency management tools and flexibilities provide ample authority for holding career executives accountable for satisfactory performance and conduct

The Senior Executives Association (SEA) is a professional association representing Senior Executive Service members and other career federal executives. Founded in 1980, SEA's goals are: to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and productivity of the federal government; to advance the professionalism and advocate the interests of career federal executives; and to enhance public recognition of their contributions. The SEA Professional Development League (PDL) is a nonprofit educational organization committed to advancing the professionalism of career federal executives through the sponsorship of training, recognition, and research activities.

Our Corporate Advisory Council

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Special thanks to SEA's Corporate Advisory Council, helping to support a federal career executive corps of excellence.
Looking for SEA's partners? Check out the organizations we partner with.

Business Hours

The Senior Executives Association is
available eight hours a day during normal business hours.

Monday-Friday: 9am to 5pm 
Weekend: Closed

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