A Clearer Path to Becoming a Presidential Management Fellow

Website helps candidates navigate the application through the placement stages.

Prospective Presidential Management Fellows now have an interactive online resource to help them navigate the application, interview and job placement process.

The website, PathToPMF.com, launched Monday by GovLoop and the nonprofit Robertson Foundation for Government, allows applicants to view video and podcast interviews with more than 60 current and former PMFs, nearly a dozen career advisers and several agency program coordinators, or participate in discussion forums to ask questions or find support throughout the entire application process.

Launch of the website comes just months after the federal government rolled out the new Pathways programs. The programs offer agencies more flexibility in hiring students in high school, undergraduate or graduate programs, as well as recent graduates. One of the Pathways tracks beefs up the PMF program by expanding the eligibility window for applicants and making it more student friendly by aligning it with academic calendars. The new program also enables agencies to hire successful interns after they have completed 640 hours on the job, or 320 hours on the job if they have demonstrated exceptional performance.

The new pathways programs have been touted as an excellent resource in helping agencies recruit IT workers. “Agencies will be able to go after some of the best IT talent coming out of the universities,” said John Palguta, vice president for policy at the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service. “Up until now, it’s involved such a convoluted process, I’m not confident that agencies have been able to get their fair share of the best IT talent.”

Paul Light, a professor at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service and founding principal investigator of the Global Center for Public Service, noted that while PMF has long been the premier program for recruiting the nation’s most talented students into public service, the many revisions the program has undergone in recent years have caused students to struggle in understanding the process.

“If the federal government is to meet the many future challenges it faces, it must have the very best leaders,” Light said. “The PMF program is the gateway. PathtoPMF.com is the tour guide through the gateway and beyond.”