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Exemplar is a DHS training with industry pilot program for GS-11 through GS-15 employees in the science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) fields at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the Science and Technology Directorate. Through Exemplar DHS employees will be detailed to for-profit private sector entities for training purposes.

Participants will leverage private sector expertise to improve efficiency of existing programs, develop best practices, and bring cutting-edge thinking to DHS. Exemplar represents a significant opportunity for public-private partnerships to advance information sharing and making the “shared responsibility for homeland security” – real.

Exemplar is authorized under the Government Employees Training Act of 1958 Title 5, United States Code (U.S.C.), Section 41

Private sector entities interested in serving as a training host must:

  • Be a U.S. based corporation.
  • Submit requested information on training announcement.
  • Undergo and successfully complete a background investigation for suitability to participate in Exemplar.

DHS employees will be detailed to the private sector entity for a period of not more than six months and complete an orientation before their detail begins.

If your company or organization is interested in serving as a training host for the Exemplar Program, please contact exemplar@dhs.gov.

DHS Employees

Exemplar is open to DHS employees GS-11 through GS-15 whom work in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and Science and Technology Directorate, and whom are considered to be exceptional employees expected to assume increased science and technology and cybersecurity responsibilities in the future. Exceptional employee means performance meets or exceeds all standards established at the achieved excellence performance rating or above and makes significant contributions towards achieving organizational goals.

Details will be in accordance with the merit system principles and prohibited personnel practices (5 U.S.C. 2301 and 2302(b)).

While detailed to a private sector organization, a DHS employee remains a federal employee without loss of employee rights and benefits. The DHS Component is responsible for ensuring the employee on detail receives appropriate consideration for promotions, and is kept informed of training opportunities.

Length of Detail

A training detail under Exemplar shall be for a period of not more than six months. The work schedule may be full-time, part-time, or intermittent.

Continued Service Obligation

DHS employees remain in their official position of record while on detail. Upon completion of the detail, the DHS employee will work for DHS for a time period triple the length of the training detail, plus any extensions. If the employee voluntarily leaves Government service before completing the service obligation, he or she may be required to repay the Government all or some of the costs of the training.

Payment of Salary and Allowances

The DHS Component has full responsibility for payment of all salary, benefits, allowances, and Worker’s Compensation for injuries sustained at work.

Business Travel Expenses

The DHS Component will pay for any business travel expenses incurred by the employee while participating in Exemplar. The employee shall provide all travel requests prior to traveling and subsequent supporting receipts to their DHS Component supervisor for review and approval.


A private sector organization may not charge DHS or any agency of the federal government, as direct or indirect costs under a federal contract for costs incurred while a DHS employee is detailed to the private sector organization.

For more information on Exemplar, contact the Private Sector Office at exemplar@dhs.gov.

Last Updated: 11/01/2022
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