Call for Applicants – Executive Secretary, Truman Foundation

As you are aware, we are in the process of searching for a new Executive Secretary for the Truman Foundation.   We will be conducting a broad and varied search – but can think of no better place to start than our own alumni network!

Mr. Slabach made some significant and lasting changes to the Executive Secretary position – and they are reflected in the position description attached to email.  The next Executive Secretary will be expected to continue Mr. Slabach’s legacy of reaching out to Congress and the Executive branch on issues relating to appropriations, budget and other legislative matters of interest to the Foundation.  The next Executive Secretary will also work closely with TSA on various development efforts. 

The Executive Secretary will continue to act as advisor and mentor to all Truman Scholars.  He or she will also continue to review annual reports and graduate school proposals.  The Executive Secretary will continue to reach out to other federal agencies in order to secure more opportunities for Truman Scholars.

I am attaching a copy of the position description – and also copying the text below my signature.  The document is rather lengthy.    Please feel free to circulate the PD among your networks.  To be considered, candidates should submit the following:

  • A resume or CV
  • An SF-171 or OF-612
  • A qualifications brief describing his/her experience.

We would like to receive materials by February 28, 2011.

If there are any questions, please feel free to contact me directly ( or 202.395.7434.


Tara Yglesias
Deputy Executive Secretary
Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation
712 Jackson Place, NW
Washington, DC  20006
202.395.6995 (fax)
Twitter:  @TrumanApp 







The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation was established by Public Law 93-642 (January 4, 1975) as the sole Federal memorial to the 33rd President.


Supported by a trust fund held in the US Department of the Treasury, the Foundation operates a permanent education scholarship program designed to provide opportunities for outstanding American college students to prepare for careers in public service. 

The Foundation defines public service as employment in:  government at any level, uniformed services, public interest organizations, non-governmental research and or educational organizations, public and private schools, and public service-oriented non profit organizations such as those whose primary purposes are to help needy or disadvantaged persons or to protect the environment.

Under the direction of its President and a 13-member Board of Trustees [eight persons appointed by the President, two Senators, two Members of the House of Representatives, and the U.S. Secretary of Education (ex-officio)], the Foundation:

Conducts a nationwide annual search for college students having junior-level academic standing with leadership potential, commitment to careers in public service and a desire to attend graduate school. The Foundation selects 60-55 students annually as Truman Scholars.

Invites the annual participation of all American universities, two and four year colleges and the service academies in the nomination of students seeking a career in public service and requests that the President/Chancellor of each institution to appoint a member of the faculty or staff to serve as the Truman Scholarship Faculty Representative.

Maintains a web site that provides faculty representatives and interested students with appropriate forms, instructions, and guidance to submit applications and other materials as specified to be received by the Foundation in early February.

Conducts a two-stage selection process that involves convening in February a committee reviewing all eligible applications and selecting Truman Finalists for interviews and then convening in March 17 regional panels interviewing the Finalists and recommending to the Board the selection of 60-65 as Truman Scholars. 

Provides scholarship payments in a timely and accurate manner.

Operates programs to help Truman Scholars prepare for careers in public service. These include: Truman Scholars Leadership Week [orientation program for the 60-65 new Truman Scholars, held at William Jewell College], Washington Truman Scholars Summer Institute [10-week program of internships with federal agencies or non-profit groups and formal presentations], and the Truman Albright Fellows Program [program to provide jobs and graduate education for 20 Truman Scholars for the year following their graduation from college].

Provides general assistance and counseling to the community of Truman Scholars and alumni in the form of job placement assistance, graduate school counseling, and guidance on careers in public service.

Initiates contact with graduate school programs of interest to Truman Scholars in an effort to secure additional opportunities and increased financial assistance for Truman Scholars.

Develops relationships with other federal agencies in an effort to secure entry-level placements for Truman Scholars.

Conducts other administrative functions such as preparing the Annual Report of the Foundation for the President and the Congress, preserving compliance with government regulations, answering correspondence, preparing budgets, personnel performance reviews, collating Scholar statistics, maintaining contact with Scholars, and their colleges. 

Explores funding opportunities to supplement and increase Foundation funding and directs Foundation investment strategy.

Conducts or executes other functions as the Board of Trustees may direct.


The Executive Secretary is the chief executive officer of the Foundation and is responsible to the President or Chairman and through her to the Board. The Executive Secretary

Serves as the Foundation’s principal contact with the Congressional and Executive branch of the federal government on all matters involving budget, appropriations, and legislative matters affecting the Foundation.

Directs all Foundation alumni relations with particular emphasis on leading, planning, oversight and evaluation of joint efforts with the Truman Scholars Association.

Maintains a one-on-one relationship with 300 Truman Scholars who are either in school or have deferred graduate school. All Scholars receiving funds or deferring funding support are required to submit an annual report of approximately 3 pages in length to which the Executive Secretary responds. Scholars also must submit thoroughly researched 5 to 10 page Graduate School Proposals prior to requesting funding for graduate school.  The Executive Secretary must determine whether the graduate school request fits within Foundation guidelines and must respond to the Scholar accordingly.  The Executive Secretary also maintains communications through visits with the Scholars at the Foundation office or on campuses, e-mail, and phone conversations.

Visits graduate schools and professional schools to encourage their recruitment of Truman Scholars and their giving priority in their admissions and financial aid processes to Truman Scholars.

Initiates contact with federal agencies in an effort to increase awareness of the program and opportunities for Truman Scholars.

Reviews and approves all Truman Scholar payment requests and relevant paperwork.  Ensures Scholars are compliant with Foundation and federal guidelines regarding use of funds.  

Enforces relevant Foundation rules and regulations and settles controversies that may arise either from members of the public, scholars, faculty representatives or other constituencies.  

Oversees the Deputy Executive Secretary in the process for the selection of Truman Scholars. The Deputy Executive Secretary is responsible for:  Setting up and monitoring the performance of the  regionally-based Truman selection panels [100 members including federal judges, university presidents, and former Truman Scholars] and the Truman Scholarship Finalists Selection Committee [19 members] to assure that they adhere to appropriate criteria for a merit-based scholarship looking for public sector change agents or others that will maintain high quality public services.

Provides oversight and guidance to the Foundation’s Deputy Executive Secretary who is responsible for directing the Foundation’s programs and administering the daily operations of the Foundation.

Other activities that are less time consuming but still important include:

Assuring excellent programming and building/enhancing a community among Scholars. 

Assigns to the staff the projects necessary to complete successfully the Foundation’s annual programs.

Reviews all projects for accurate and timely compliance.

Provides personnel counseling and performance rating.

Oversees and reports to the Board of Trustees through the President the expenditure of all funds for operational purposes.

Makes policy recommendations and program proposals to the President for review by the Board of Trustees.

Formulates other reports, statistics, recommendations and follow-up procedures as the President or Board may direct.

Undertakes the planning of fund raising activities for the President for submission to the Board, and executes fund raising activities once approved by the Board.


The Executive Secretary reports to the Board of Trustees, though the President, who provides policy guidance.  Work is reviewed by the President for the accomplishment of Foundation objectives within the policies established by the Board of Trustees under P.L. 93-642 that provides that Foundation policies are formulated by the Board of Trustees, with implementation the responsibility of the Executive Secretary.


Applicants must have progressively more responsible administrative, supervisory, managerial or professional experience, which demonstrates an understanding of the long-term goals and daily functioning of the Truman Foundation.  The experience must have been sufficiently responsible to show clearly the candidate’s ability to perform the duties of this position and meet the mandatory qualifications listed below.

The minimum educational requirement for this position is a graduate degree – preferably in a public service field.  In addition, applicants must clearly demonstrate in their application materials that they possess executive attributes in the five SES Executive Core Qualification areas:

1. Leading Change

2. Leading People

3. Results Driven

4. Business Acumen

5. Building Coalitions/Communication

Applicants should address these ECQs both as they are defined in OPM’s SES Qualifications Guide ( and as they relate to the work of the Truman Foundation defined below.

1. Leading Change

Candidates should have the ability to develop and implement an organizational vision, which integrates key national and program goals, priorities, values, and other factors.  Candidates should have the ability to balance change and continuity, to continually strive to improve service to the public and program performance within the framework of the Foundation, to create a work environment that encourages creative thinking, and to maintain focus, intensity and persistence, even under adversity.

The Foundation is seeking a candidate who can serve as the Foundation’s principal contact with the Congressional and Executive branches of the federal government on all matters involving budget, appropriations, and legislative matters affecting the Foundation.  The ideal candidate will have contacts or demonstrated ability to develop contacts with Hill staff.  The ideal candidate will also have a demonstrated understanding of the appropriations process including a minimum of five years of significant experience in governmental relations.

The Foundation is also looking for a candidate to direct the development of the Truman Fellows Program [A year-long program that brings Truman Scholars to Washington following receipt of the baccalaureate degree to work in federal agencies or elsewhere in public service] in conjunction with the assigned Program Manager.  The ideal candidate will have contacts or demonstrated ability to develop contacts leading to the hiring by federal agencies of Scholars as well as understanding of the Federal Government’s personnel and hiring system.  The ideal candidate will have five years federal service, or its equivalent.

The ideal candidate will also be able to administer and enforce the Foundation’s newly instituted Accountability Policy that requires a service commitment from recently selected Scholars.  The ideal candidate should have demonstrated ability to administer a policy in a manner that is even-handed but still flexible enough to accommodate special circumstances.

2. Leading People

Candidates should have the ability to design and implement strategies that maximize employee and Scholar potential and foster high ethical standards in meeting the organization’s vision, mission, and goals.

The Foundation is seeking a candidate who has the ability to relate to and inspire Truman Scholars as a public servant role model.  A level of credibility with Scholars is critical for the success of the Executive Secretary.  The ideal candidate would have at least 10 years of employment in the public service as defined by the Truman Scholarship Foundation.

The ideal candidate would have five or more years of experience working with the Foundation.  Experience can come from:  serving on selection committees, helping the Foundation staff put on the Truman Scholars Leadership Week or the Washington Summer Institute, advising Truman Scholars about career choices and graduate study, or being an active Truman Faculty representative.

The ideal candidate is willing to develop and maintain one-on-one relationships with the Truman Scholar community.  This includes providing support and encouragement as well as enforcing Foundation policies.  Successful candidates will articulate a clear strategy for developing and relating to the Scholar community.

The ideal candidate will be able to direct all Foundation alumni relations and work jointly with the Truman Scholars Association.  This includes planning and oversight of alumni activities as well as evaluation of existing programs.

Also, the idea candidate would be able to effectively lead and function in the unusual work environment of the Truman Foundation.  The Foundation is a staff of five that works in extremely close quarters.  The position of the Executive Secretary is without administrative support and would require the candidate to maintain his or her own schedule, contracts, and administrative activities.  The ideal candidate would have a demonstrated ability to work in such an environment.

3. Results Driven

Candidates should stress accountability and continuous improvement.  Candidates should have the ability to make timely and effective decisions and produce results through strategic planning and the implementation and evaluation of programs and policies.

The ideal candidate would have a clear vision for his or her tenure as Executive Secretary.  Such a vision would include detailed plans for executing Foundation goals already in place was well as new initiatives of the candidate’s design.  

The ideal candidate will assess and evaluate Foundation programming and suggest changes where needed.  The ideal candidate will be comfortable working within the confines of existing programs.

4. Business Acumen

Candidates should have the ability to acquire and administer human, financial, material, and information resources in a manner that instills public trust and accomplishes the organization’s mission, and the ability to use new technology to enhance decision making.

The ideal candidate will investigate fund raising opportunities on behalf of the Foundation.  The ideal candidate will also be able to develop a comprehensive strategy for Foundation investments.

The ideal candidate will be required to evaluate and process relevant vendor and Scholar requests.  This includes ensuring that all federal and Foundation regulations are met with each request.

5. Building Coalitions/Communication

Candidates should have the ability to explain, advocate, and express facts and ideas in a convincing manner and to negotiate with individuals and groups internally and externally.  Candidates should also be able to develop an expansive professional network with other organizations and to identify the internal and external politics that impact the work of the organization.

The ideal candidate will also have the ability to develop relationships with graduate schools in an effort to increase opportunities for Truman Scholars.

The ideal candidate will be able to deal effectively with the media, other government agencies, and other publics interested in the Truman Foundation.


Veteran preference does not apply for SES positions.

Selectee will be subject to completion of a background investigation.

Selectee will also be required to complete and file an Executive Personnel Financial Disclosure Report in accordance with the Ethics in Government Act of 1978.

Male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must confirm their Selective Service registration status.  Certification forms are available at most Federal personnel offices or from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

The Immigration Report and Control Act of 1986 requires employers to hire only individuals who are eligible to work in the U.S.  The selectee will be required to complete Form I-9, Employment Verification, and provide acceptable proof of employment authorization and identity.

The use of postage paid government envelopes to file job applications is a violation of Federal law and regulation.  Applications received in such envelopes will be discarded.

Supplemental application materials may be requested.


Completed Applications will have the following:

A Resume or CV

An SF-171 or OF-612

A Qualifications Brief describing your experience as it relates to this position and as it relates to each of the requirements listed above.  

Questions about the position or application requirements should be directed to Tara Yglesias, Deputy Executive Secretary, at 202.395.7434 or

Applications must be received by no later than February 28, 2011.  Applications could be emailed (to, faxed (202.395.6995), or delivered to 712 Jackson Place, NW, Washington, DC 20006.


If you are sending an application via express mail (Fed Ex, USPS, UPS or other carriers), please contact Ms. Yglesias for an alternate mailing address.


All qualified applicants will be considered regardless of age, race, color, sex, creed, national origin, lawful political affiliation, non-disqualifying handicap, marital status, sexual orientation, affiliation with an employee organization, or other non-merit factor.  The Foundation provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities where appropriate.  If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify Tara Yglesias at  Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodations will be made on a case-by-case basis. 

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