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 - Empowering Career Leaders For Success

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VA SES Weigh In On VA Proposal

A new survey underscores proposals’ shortcomings and Department’s systemic issues

Washington, D.C. – Today the Senior Executives Association (SEA) released an analysis of survey data and commentary regarding the recent proposal by Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert McDonald to move the agency’s entire career executive workforce from Title 5 to Title 38 of the United States Code.

SEA issued the survey to gauge Senior Executives’ perception of the potential impact of this recommendation, as well as the current climate and condition of the Department.

“These are the employees who witness first-hand the challenges within the agency and would directly be affected by this proposal,” said SEA Interim President Jason Briefel. “The findings, particularly the comments that participants took the time to leave, indicate a distressing leadership crisis within the Department. It is harrowing to see that ‘toxic,’ ‘fear,’ and ‘mistrust’ were often used to characterize an environment where our veterans come to seek services.”

The 236 current and former VA executive respondents answered a number of questions in relation to the proposal, in addition to questions concerning recruitment and retention efforts; VA talent pipeline; and what would fuel their potential exit from the federal workforce.

Key findings include:

• 64% do not support the proposed move to Title 38 – where career executives would have few workplace protections, but an opportunity for an increase in salary

• Frustration with Congress, VA leadership, and fear of unfair media or Congressional scrutiny are among the top factors for an executive to consider leaving the federal workforce, as well as providing pause for talented candidates considering executive roles at the VA

• 97% of VA executives expressed some degree of concern about the ability of the agency to fill SES vacancies with highly qualified candidates

The report also offers several recommendations as alternatives the Title 38 proposal, such as the full utilization of Title 5 authorities to address compensation, performance, or misconduct. This would include the use of critical pay to better compensate qualified medical professionals.

SEA previously released a one-page explainer of the initial survey findings in addition to an official position on the proposal.

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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