Senior Executives Association Teams Up with Freelance Gig Exchange

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Collaboration aims to broaden opportunities for agency subject-matter experts.

The Senior Executives Association and the private talent exchange GovFlex.com announced a new collaboration on Friday, offering a digital marketplace that could give 12,000 top federal executives career advice and new opportunities to bring their subject-matter expertise to other agencies.

The McLean-Va.-based GovFlex, which bills itself as “the Government Freelance Exchange” and the first public-sector “gig economy” job platform, plans to assist members of the senior executives group to “create an agile and highly effective 21st-century workforce, acquisition system and e-Commerce initiatives,” it said in a Friday joint announcement.

Together, the two groups will offer one-stop networking for high-level agency executives, including the sought-after chief financial officers and chief information officers.

The idea is to provide readily accessed professional advisory services to help current career executives transition to private-sector jobs as well as ease the entry of subject matter experts into federal programs in a variety of agencies.

“We see this as a way for agencies to tap into senior-level talent in ways they haven’t been able to before,” SEA President Bill Valdez told Government Executive. “We know government officials looking for talent can go to GovFlex, and for those folks who’re considering transitioning from the federal government to a career in the private sector, we’re going to develop a number of transition assistance programs to help them navigate the choices as they exit into a new life.”

Valdez said the new collaboration is not a reaction to the recent exodus of executives at some agencies, nor to the Trump administration’s ongoing efforts to reorganize the Office of Personnel Management and streamline hiring. GovFlex has its origins in the Defense Department’s authority for agile hiring of subject-matter experts created in the so-called 809 Advisory Panel set up in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, he noted.

“As part of the SEA’s civil service modernization agenda, we believe flexible hiring authority, tapping into what we call ‘the liquid workforce’ is the way of the future,” Valdez said. “The way to modernize the government is to open up access to experts on a real-time basis, which requires new hiring authorities and new platforms.”

Bob Dickson, the former State Department senior executive who is president of GovFlex, said, “We’re delighted to collaborate with SEA at a time when new business methods, commercial information technology marketplace solutions and fundamental changes in the workforce are taking place.”

The company’s practices, the announcement added, are aligned with Federal Acquisition Regulation and human capital practices, and GovFlex commits to “strict adherence to all applicable ethics laws and requirements, including a prohibition involving any activity related to lobbying.”