DEAN's List Charter

 Distinguished Executives Advisory Network (DEAN)

Charter/Concept of Operations

I. Purpose
The purpose of the Distinguished Executives Advisory Network (DEAN) is to make the experience and expertise of individuals who have been recognized for their excellence through receipt of the Presidential Rank of Distinguished Executive or Distinguished Senior Professional, available for the advancement of government effectiveness, efficiency and improvement. This cadre of individuals will be referred to as the "Dean's List."

II. Background
Each year since 1986, the Senior Executives Association Professional Development League (PDL) has sponsored a formal banquet at the Department of State Diplomatic Reception Rooms to honor the winners of the Presidential Distinguished Rank Award. In 1997, PDL began sponsoring a second event, the "Morning of Reflections," to bring the awardees together to reflect on their careers and experiences. Three monographs have been published and are available at (insert website), detailing these rich discussions and illustrating the value of these executives expertise. To date, the "Mornings," and PDL sponsored banquet have provided the only opportunity for these executives to meet and share their experiences.

PDL recognized that these executives' extraordinary achievement and documented leadership accomplishments make them uniquely qualified to provide objective, impartial and sound advice on the most pressing government problems and conceived of establishing a network, the DEAN, to utilize their views and advice, as well as enable them to connect with each other.

The DEAN was envisioned as a practitioner advisory and sounding board, and source of constructive change by providing practical, timely guidance and detailed advice on how complex federal challenges can be successfully addressed through improved government management and policy implementation and innovation.

In September, 2014, the Volcker Alliance, which seeks to rekindle intellectual, practical and academic interest in the implementation of policy and to serve as a catalyst for sustained government improvement, agreed to support initial development of the DEAN. PDL agreed to host and maintain the DEAN for 3 years and to cooperate in responding to Alliance requests for advice and information from DEAN's List members.

It should be noted that the Senior Executives Association (SEA) is a separate legal entity from the PDL. SEA's involvement in DEAN will be limited to suggesting topics of interest for consideration by PDL and DEAN.

III. Membership
Members of the DEAN will comprise the DEAN's List. All current or former federal government recipients of the Presidential Rank of Distinguished Executive or Distinguished Senior Professional, which is the highest honor given to Senior Professionals and those in the Senior Executive Service, are eligible for DEAN membership. Finalists for the Distinguished Rank in 2013, when the awards were suspended, were awardees in all respects but for the monetary award, certificate and pin. As such, they are eligible for membership.

To become a member, eligible individuals must submit an email request with current contact information to PDL or through a DEAN email address to be established.

IV. Scope/Objectives
The objective of the DEAN is to advance government effectiveness, efficiency and service by making its members' institutional and experiential knowledge more readily and easily available as a resource that can be used to enhance the operation and success of government. DEAN is aligned with the PDL and operates in a manner that is consistent with its tenets. While providing expertise, the DEAN will not put forward a group point of view, or take an official political or DEAN position. Further, DEAN does not endorse positions taken by individual DEAN members, even when presented in the course of DEAN activities.

Members of the DEAN's List can volunteer to be available to advise and assist those in government, not-for-profit organizations that advise government agencies, and academia who request assistance for reasons consistent with DEAN's purpose. This assistance may be given through a number of mechanisms including, but not limited to:

• Roundtables with both career and/or political appointees;
• Agency and outside speaker bureaus;
• Focus groups;
• Working groups set up by agencies and others to improve the functioning of government and the delivery of government services;
• Mentorship and advising programs for senior executives and those who wish to become senior executives;
• Opportunities to share Best Practices;
• Surveys and other methods of academic evaluation and investigation;
• Guest lecturing and brown bags; and
• Response to requests for advisory input/insights, as appropriate.

DEAN is aligned with the public service role of government and, as such, its members' services will be valuable to and requested by, but not limited to:

• Federal agencies;
• Offices within agencies;
• Individuals in agencies (both career and political);
• Administration political officials
• Congressional officials/agencies;
• Academia;
• Non-profit organizations which study and advise government.

Further, DEAN provides its members a means to connect both professionally and socially. Appropriate forums for such interactions will be identified.

Finally, DEAN will be open to a wide range of requests consistent with its purpose. In order to be effective, it must be able to adjust and consider response to valid requests, even those not contemplated in the original scope.

V. Roles and Responsibilities
DEAN members will provide objective, impartial, confidential, and sound advice and insights, within the realm of their expertise, to advise policy makers, and serve as a resource to researchers interested in producing high-quality, relevant research to improve the workings of the federal government. Each member is responsible for ensuring the DEAN consistently functions in a collaborative manner, adheres to its Charter, and fully supports the purpose and actions of the DEAN.

A Core Planning Group, facilitated by PDL, and comprised of a volunteer subset of the DEAN, will serve as an advisory group to consider and develop any necessary changes in governance documents for DEAN's List members' review and concurrence, and to support the operations, communications, and overall strategic direction of the DEAN. If necessary, a process for nomination and selection of Core Planning Group members will be established. The Core Planning Group may also form various subgroups as required to achieve specific objectives of the DEAN (e.g. Communications Group; Request Screening Group, etc).

VI. Responding to External Requests for Advisory Input/Insights
External requests for DEAN members' advice/insights may be submitted through:
• direct written requests to PDL via mail or a DEAN email address to be established;
• direct requests to DEAN members that would not violate the DEAN privacy/confidentiality policy; and/or
• through other mechanisms established by the DEAN.

In all cases, requesting organizations and individuals will be asked to submit a "Request for Advisory Support" form that includes the following information: summary of request; background of requester; statement of need for DEAN advice; timeframe; number of individuals/anticipated level of effort required; and any preferred expertise required. In the event of travel or in-person requests (panels or boards), indication of whether expenses are reimbursed should be included. Requesters must also certify they have read and agree to a legal disclaimer regarding the responsibilities of PDL, DEAN, requesters and responders (to be developed).

A DEAN Request Screening Group, comprised of DEAN volunteers and facilitated by PDL, will review requests on a bi-weekly basis and evaluate them for suitability for distribution. Accepted Requests will be posted on the DEAN LinkedIn group site and disseminated via the DEAN distribution list. The DEAN Request Screening Group will prioritize and filter requests if the number of requests exceeds capacity, and determine if the request is beyond the intended scope of the DEAN. DEAN members can "sign-up" as advisors for Requests via email to the DEAN email address. In order for the DEAN to officially respond to a Request, the Request Screening Group will accept responsibility for the Request, and PDL will serve as the Request Coordinator to coordinate volunteer advisors as well as evaluate outcomes. The PDL, as Request Coordinator will handle all correspondence with the requester and the volunteers.

VII. Communications
Internal DEAN communications will be accomplished through in-person meetings, conference calls, and networking events. The PDL will establish a DEAN email address, maintain a current distribution list for DEAN members, and will facilitate DEAN meetings.

An appropriate data management and communications tool will be identified to facilitate efficient communications, document deliberations and results, and maintain a repository of internal and external communications. A DEAN newsletter, blog, LinkedIn Group, SEA updates, and other mechanisms are also potential means of internal and external communication.

VIII. Member Profiles
Each member of DEAN will submit a profile which provides a summary of their contact information, agency affiliation, background, skills, areas of expertise, and preferred areas of engagement. A standard profile template will be developed and provided to members for completion. Policy related to DEAN Privacy and Confidentiality is provided in Section IX. The profile management process will be automated if possible, and will be handled by PDL.

IX. Privacy and Confidentiality Policy
In support of the DEAN, PDL is collecting limited information from individuals willing to participate in the DEAN's List and has established the following Privacy and Confidentiality Policy:

1. All information will be collected by PDL by way of direct request and maintained by the PDL in an electronic data format at its headquarters at 77 K Street, Suite 2600, Washington, DC 20002.
2. The specific information collected and referenced above is limited to the personal contact information (name, phone number, and email address) of individual members of the DEAN's List, as well as their current and/or former agency affiliations and titles and areas of expertise and the executive summary of their Presidential Distinguished Executive Award as published. This information and the data base will be utilized by PDL to manage the List and to communicate with members of the List. PDL has installed appropriate technology to protect the security of personally identifiable information contained in the DEAN's List.
3. Otherwise, personal contact information and work titles gathered by PDL for the DEAN's List are confidential and will not be shared, sold, offered for sale, or rented to any other entity. Confidentiality provisions of this policy would apply to any subsequent user or holder of the DEAN's List.
4. Individual members of the DEAN's List may choose to identify themselves as such and to permit PDL to do so.
5. Organizations and individuals wishing to consult with and/or survey the DEAN's List will communicate such requests to PDL which, following the process identified in VII, will determine whether cooperation is beneficial. None of the organizations or individuals who are approved to consult with the DEAN's List will have access to individual personal information, except to the degree that individuals choose to provide it to such organizations and individuals. Procedures will be put in place to circulate requests for consultation or access to the membership to ascertain those members who wish to respond to such requests.
6. In the case of surveys, PDL will determine the appropriateness of the questions/surveys and will directly transmit same to List members. Survey results and findings will be made available to the public, however, the privacy of individual DEAN's List members responding to surveys, and the confidentiality of their individual information contained in the DEAN's List will be protected, as will the confidentiality of individual views and comments.
7. For requests which require confidential conversations with members of the DEAN's List, the members will be contacted to indicate their willingness to participate in, for example, focus groups and requests from individual executives or appointees for conversations or meetings with members. In such cases, no personal information will be provided to individuals but, rather, the DEAN's List member or members will either be provided contact information of the requestor or asked if the requestor can be given their contact information.
8. A planning group will be convened annually to review the process and criteria for sharing access to the DEAN's List and to recommend necessary adjustments.
9. An individual member or members of the DEAN's List may be asked to participate in direct discussions with a federal agency or official on issues of interest to the agency. For members agreeing to such participation, information collected and/or maintained by the federal agency in connection with the DEAN's List member's or members' participation may be subject to disclosure by the respective federal agency pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. section 552.

This Policy was established on March 6, 2015 and may be revised or amended in the future. PDL will make available to the DEAN's List members any such changes to this Policy.

X. Navigating the Potential for Conflicts of Interest and/or Business Relationships Beyond the DEAN
Potential conflicts of interests should be raised by each member with his/her organization. If the individual is still employed by the Federal government, the agency ethics official should provide that guidance to the individual.

It is possible that interactions between DEAN members and requesting or partner organizations could evolve to longer term contractual relationships. However, this ensuing relationship must be pursued through external channels and will not be maintained through DEAN or advertised as a DEAN sanctioned relationship. Exceptions to this policy would be the regular use of DEAN as a source for speakers, panel members and mentors for a periodic (educational) activity that aligns with the purposes of DEAN. The DEAN Request Screening Group will evaluate these requests on a case-by-case basis.


Business Hours

The Senior Executives Association is
available 8.5 hours a day during normal business hours.

Monday-Friday: 9am to 5:30pm
Weekend: Closed

Our Office Location

  • Senior Executives Association

    Washington DC, 20002

    77 K Street N.E., Suite 2600
    phone | (202) 971-3300

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