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Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF)

Become a Forest Service Presidential Management Fellow

Forest Service Presidential Management Fellows have an extensive network of peers, directly engage with agency leadership, work on challenging, high-level assignments, and have access to diverse programs and people.

In other words, the door is open to your future.

For about three decades, more than 200 people have entered federal service through the Forest Service Presidential Management Fellowship program. These employees came to the agency with advanced degrees in public policy, business management, economics, biology, forestry, natural resource management, landscape architecture, hydrology, law, and more.

We can be the next step in your professional development.

What is the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) program?

The federal Presidential Management Fellowship program, established in 1977, calls on the best and brightest graduates interested in and committed to excellence in leadership and management of public policies and programs.

Applicants have an opportunity to turn their academic training into a future as government leaders.

As a two-year fellow you will have:

  • Challenging work assignments that have a broad effect on the public
  • Full-time salary and benefits paid at the GS-9, GS-11, or GS-12 or equivalent levels
  • Individualized plan that puts fellows on a leadership trajectory
  • 160 hours of formal interactive training on functional, technical, and leadership competencies.
  • At least one 4-6-month developmental assignment
  • Optional short-term job rotations 
  • A mentor to assist the fellow with their journey/career path
  • Upon completion, potential conversion to a permanent position

How do I qualify?

The federal Office of Personnel Management identifies finalists through a national competitive process once a year. That process begins with a job announcement posted on, the federal government’s official job posting site. 

You are eligible to apply if you are either a:

  • Recent graduate who completed a master’s, doctorate, or professional degree from a qualifying college or university within two years before the annual application process’s opening date.
  • Current student at a qualifying college or university and expect to complete advanced degree requirements by Aug. 31 of the year following the annual application.

Applicants are evaluated for competency in critical thinking, interpersonal skills, and commitment to public service. 

How do I apply?

The application process begins when the Office of Personnel Management posts a notice on USAJOBS. If you set up an account with USAJOBS, add an alert for Presidential Management Fellowship so you will not miss the announcement. You do not need a USAJOBS account to apply to the program.

When you see the announcement:

  • Click on the link to the Talent Management System used by applicants, finalists, fellows, and alumni. You must create an account to apply.
  • Thoroughly read the application requirements and the application tips provided. 
  • Complete the online assessment
  • Submit your resume and transcripts

Eligible finalists usually receive a confirmation within four to six weeks after the application period closes. Be sure your email address is correct on the application.

Remember, this is highly competitive. Take your time and ensure all your documents are in order.

Once notified that you are a finalist, you can search and apply for opportunities through the Talent Management system. You have 12 months from the date of selection to find placement with a federal agency. Check the listings regularly because agencies continue to post new opportunities.

Use the Talent Management System account to update your resume and contact information if needed.

What does it mean to be a Forest Service fellow?

As a Forest Service Presidential Management Fellow, you will gain:

  • Extensive and supportive peer networking, including two fellow mentors
  • Direct leadership and management experience through stewardship of the program
  • Access to top executives and other leaders
  • High-level, challenging assignments and leadership opportunities
  • Continued career support and mentorship for alumni

Forest Service Presidential Management Fellows also are actively involved with helping to run and improve the program. New fellows serve on one or more committees dedicated to ensuring the program’s sustainability, which is a way to help fellows assume leadership roles and fully capitalize on their fresh ideas and creativity. 

Current and former fellows work as forest supervisors, safety officers, project managers, district rangers, and advise the Chief of the Forest Service. 

Together, current and former fellows:

  • Organize a Forest Service-sponsored Presidential Management Fellowship orientation that provides new fellows the chance to build relationships. 
  • Provide peer mentoring 
  • Coordinate and manage an executive-level advisory committee
  • Operate a competitive process within the Agency to select and fund new positions
  • Recruit new employees

Our program aims to break down cultural norms and keep the agency relevant in a rapidly changing world. As a Presidential Management Fellow, we hope you will bring your unique skills, a sound work ethic, and a commitment to the Forest Service.