COMMUNITY SERVICE University Commits To Public Service By Kristen Wayne Hoya Staff Writer

Georgetown University recently joined the Partnership for Public Service, which, according to its mission statement, is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to revitalizing public service.

University President John J. DeGioia (CAS ’79) signed a statement of purpose for the Partnership on Thursday, May 9. “Georgetown University has a lasting commitment to the mission of the Partnership. We look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with our colleagues in higher education and the federal government to strengthen further the tie between higher education and public service,” DeGioia said in a press release.

Assistant to the President for Federal Relations Scott Fleming said joining the partnership was, “a very easy decision on the part of the university.” Over 350 public service leaders and university presidents have already joined the Partnership.

The Partnership was founded because many public service employees are approaching retirement age. In the next five years, 53 percent of the federal workforce may qualify for retirement. During this time 71 percent of the senior managers in the government will reach the age of retirement. The Partnership asserts that, “studies show that a decreasing number of the nation’s top graduates are interested in federal employment.”

The statement of purpose asserts that, “a strong, vital civil service serves as a foundation for a vibrant and prosperous democracy.” The statement also says that those who sign it are “concerned about surveys that show too many young Americans are poorly informed about the role of the civil service, the range of federal employment opportunities and the methods of pursuing them.”

By signing the statement of purpose, Georgetown has committed itself to five main initiatives listed in the statement. The first is working with federal agencies, the Partnership and the Office of Personnel Management in order to, “ensure students are provided with complete information about Federal Service careers in a timely fashion.”

The second initiative listed in the statement of purpose says the university will promote public and government service at appropriate occasions, such as commencement ceremonies. The third commits Georgetown to sponsoring campus events that make information about federal service careers available to students.”

The statement also asks the university to provide opportunities for students to interact with alumni who are making important contributions as federal employees. With the fifth and final initiative, Georgetown has committed to communicate with leaders of universities to expand the coalition and the number of students who learn about public service employment opportunities. DeGioia named Fleming and Meredith Janik of the MBNA Career Education Center to serve as primary coordinators between the university and the Partnership. “[Georgetown is] making a concerted effort to create networks of alums in federal service who, among other things, might become resources for Georgetown students interested in federal careers. We’ve started with Capitol Hill and have already identified more than 150 alumni who are willing to help,” Fleming said.

Fleming said this alumni network would serve several purposes. In addition to benefiting current and future Georgetown students by helping them to get internships and jobs, the network could also serve as a way for alumni to network with each other and benefit Georgetown itself by strengthening its relationship with those in the federal government. He said his office intends to attempt to create similar networks in other government agencies, such as the State Department.

“The Partnership draws on Georgetown’s strengths in education related to public service. Georgetown already engages in many of the activities advocated by the program, and we look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues to strengthen further the tie between higher education and public service. This is a natural fit for Georgetown,” Fleming said.

Many Georgetown alumni have had distinguished careers in federal service and others continue to hold important government positions. High level civil servants who attended Georgetown include President Bill Clinton (SFS ’68), CIA Director George Tenet (SFS ’78), Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (C ’57), former U.S. Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D-Maine) (L ’61), Senators Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) (SFS ’66, L ’78) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) (L ’64), two state governors and 14 U.S. Representatives.

The Partnership for Public Service was founded as a non-profit organization with an initial funding of $25 million. Its offices are located in Washington, D.C.

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