The Senior Executive Service

The SES Provides Top Level Government Management
The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 established the Senior Executive Service (SES) , which became effective July 13, 1979. The goal was to "ensure that the executive management of the government of the United States is responsive to the needs, policies, and goals of the nation and otherwise is of the highest quality."
Why the  Senior Executive Service
Between the regular government workforce and presidential appointees stands the Senior Executive Service, which is made up of men and women charged with the responsibility for leading activity in more than seventy-five government agencies. These executives share common philosophy of a commitment to public service that is established in the Constitution of the United States of America. SES members serve key positions that are just below the top presidential appointees. These are positions that are generally above GS-15 in the general government schedule.
Positions not included
SES members do not include the following:
·    Any positions appointed by the president needing Senate confirmation
·    Any legislative or judicial jobs
·    Any positions in law enforcement or intelligence gathering
·    Any administrative law judges, any members of boards of appeal, or any positions in independent Government corporations, for example, the Tennessee Valley Authority.
Types of Positions
Typically, there are two types of SES positions and four types of appointments:
1.       A career reserved position is defined by law to "ensure impartiality, or public's confidence of impartiality of government." The slots are filled by career appointments.
2.       A General position can be filled by any type of Senior Executive Service appointee through a career, non-career, limited term or a Limited emergency appointment.
Career appointments can either be general or reserved. Candidates are selected by agency performance evaluations and must have qualifications approved by the OPM oversight board.
Non-career appointments that are approved by the OPM are done on a case by case basis and these positions are not allowed to exceed more than 25 percent of any agency and SES allocation. Also, only 10 percent of all SES positions can be filled by non-career appointees.
Limited term appointments are up to 3 years and can’t be renewed. These must be Senior Executive Service General Positions and they expire when the job or project has ended.
Limited emergency appointments usually last eighteen months and they must also be SES General Positions that are created for an existing or unanticipated need.
What it Has Done
Once the CSRA was enacted, the Senior Executive Service became a "third" service. It operates apart from other personnel systems that feature competitive or appointed postings. Instead of the government having more than 60 separate executive personnel authorities, the Senior Executive Service rolled these into one service that fills several thousand jobs. Prior to the CSRA and the creation of the SES, top government management positions fell subject to various regulations and oversight requirements. The Senior Executive Service has established a unified and distinct executive personnel management and selection system that provides for uniform application throughout government posting.
All vacancies for SES positions are available online at where job announcements may be accessed. Regarding the application process, SES resume writing, which is a more complex form of Federal resume writing, and ECQ’s essays are usually required.


Gail Esparan