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Commentary | Feb. 5, 2021

Solicitation: DHS SES Candidate Development Program

The DHS Senior Executive Candidate Development Program (SES-CDP) prepares high performing GS-14/15 (or equivalent) individuals for positions in the Department’s Senior Executive Service through an intensive 12-18 month leadership development program.

The SES is comprised of the men and women charged with leading the continuing transformation of our government. This dedicated corps of executives shares a commitment to public service and a set of democratic values grounded in the fundamental ideals of the Constitution. 

The SES is governed by one distinct personnel system in which the same executive qualifications are required for all members. Applicants to SES positions must demonstrate that they possess Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs). These ECQs define the competencies needed to build a corporate culture within Homeland Security that strives for results, serves customers, and builds successful teams and coalitions both within and outside the Department. ECQs are required for entry to the SES and are used in selection, performance management, and leadership development for Homeland Security’s executive positions.

Candidates certified by OPM are eligible for appointment to the SES without competition. Certified candidates are not guaranteed placement into the SES. The program focuses on:

  • Developing the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) required by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) for appointment to the SES;
  • Strengthening competencies necessary for effective leadership in executive positions within the Department;
  • Enhancing familiarity with Homeland Security at the executive level; and
  • Broadening individuals’ understanding of the Department’s programs, mission and challenges through cross-department exposure and developmental activities.

Candidates will undergo a rigorous department-wide review process prior to selection. The program is open to experienced professionals with at least one year of supervisory experience. Department of Homeland Security employees, current Federal government employees may apply. Current Federal employees outside of the department, who are selected, remain on their current agency roles.