Presidential Management Fellowship – A quick way to get experience, hone your skills, and develop as a problem-solver, strategic thinker, and future leader is through the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) program. 

Presidential Management Fellowship

For graduates from a variety of academic disciplines who are devoted to excellence in federal service, leadership, and management, the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) flagship PMF program is available at the entry level.

Overview of the Presidential Management Fellowship

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) oversees the distinguished, highly selective Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program, a two-year training and leadership development initiative.  

President Jimmy Carter signed an executive order creating the PMF Program in 1977 with the goal of luring outstanding citizen-scholars with a passion for and dedication to excellence in the leadership and management of public policies and programs.  

It is the top channel for transferring advanced degree holders into positions of leadership in the federal government.


Eligibility of the Presidential Management Fellowship

  • Individuals who have recently earned an advanced degree that qualifies (such as a master’s or professional degree).
  • Any person who satisfies the requirements may submit more than one application for the PMF Program. The person will lose their status as a Finalist if they are chosen as a Finalist and then apply for the PMF Program at the following open announcement.

Program Administration

  • The PMF Program Office at OPM is responsible for centrally managing the PMF Program.
  • OPM announces the PMF Program application window (often in the late summer or early fall).
  • Finalists are chosen after a comprehensive evaluation of all applicants.
  • OPM chooses the Finalists after assessing each candidate‘s background and achievements in light of their applications and test scores.
  • OPM announces the list of Finalists and gives it to the agencies.
  • Agencies inform OPM about their PMF opportunities and may publish year-round appointment possibilities for Finalists on the PMF website. Additionally, each year Finalists often attend a career fair.
  • A two-year exempted service job is held by finalists who are appointed as PMFs.


The PMF Program offers very few chances for non-citizens to work for the federal government. However, most federal agencies are forbidden by law from paying employees who are not citizens of the United States for jobs located within the country’s borders. This limitation is subject to some exceptions. A non-citizen may be qualified for work if they meet the following criteria:

  • Must be able to work in accordance with immigration laws in the United States.
  • Obtaining citizenship in the United States or appointed by a Federal agency that is authorized to do so by the agency’s appropriation legislation or other agency-specific laws.

By executive order, a non-U.S. citizen PMF who is appointed by a Federal agency cannot be transformed into a permanent career or career-conditional employment if they do not have full U.S. citizenship before the end of the two-year PMF fellowship. 

After the PMF fellowship has ended, the employing agency is not required to keep a Fellow who is ineligible for conversion. 

The appointment will end, and the PMF will no longer be employed by the government. The PMF Program Office is unable to prolong a PMF’s fellowship in order to fulfill conversion citizenship requirements.

Application Process

Applications for the PMF Program are accepted every year. Being a PMF requires more than just applying to the Program. You must complete an online test as part of the application process, and you must also send your CV and transcript.

During the application procedure, candidates complete an unsupervised online test. Situational Judgment, Life Experience, Problem Solving, and Writing make up the four sections of the online evaluation. Each task has a time limit and needs to be finished in the prescribed order.

Flexibility, integrity, interpersonal skills, public service motivation, problem-solving, and written communication are among the competencies that must be demonstrated in order to succeed on the job in all PMF occupations and were taken into consideration when choosing the Finalists. The online assessment is made to do just that.


After Program Completion

The PMF may be converted to a permanent position (or, in Presidential Management Fellowships rare cases, a term appointment lasting 1-4 years in the competitive service) following successful program completion and job performance.