US flag signifying that this is a United States Federal Government website   Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Homeland Security

Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program

Ready to make an impact?  Click here to get startedDHS is seeking to develop a cadre of leaders standing ready to step into executive positions to address evolving mission-related challenges. A competitive announcement for the next DHS Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program (SES CDP) is posted on USAJOBS and will remain open until June 1. If interested in applying, use the OPM guidelines to begin preparing your executive-level resume.

The SES CDP prepares high-performing GS-15 (or equivalent) individuals for positions in the Department of Homeland Security’s Senior Executive Service through an intensive 18-24 month leadership development program. 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 certified by OPM are eligible for appointments to the SES without competition. Certified candidates are not guaranteed placement into the SES.

Program Details

The SES CDP program includes:

  • A 360-Degree Assessment used to identify ECQ competency gaps.
  • An Executive Development Plan (EDP) that is developed with an SES mentor to address identified ECQ gaps through various development activities.
  • Executive Education Classroom Training through courses that address individual ECQ gaps and general skills needed to succeed as a Homeland Security executive.
  • Developmental Assignments that are six to eight months in length and at the executive level. These assignments include one continuous four-month assignment outside the candidate's home component.
  • An SES Mentor to assist candidates in developing their EDPs and meet with regularly throughout the program to provide guidance.
  • Other Development Activities that may include events and projects to further develop a candidate’s understanding of the Homeland Security mission, programs and challenges.

The integrated SES CDP will help the Department develop a highly skilled, diverse cadre of future Homeland Security executives.

Eligibility and Selection

Candidates will undergo a rigorous Department-wide review process prior to selection.  The program is open to experienced professionals (GS-15 level or equivalent) with at least one year of supervisory experience.  Department of Homeland Security employees, current federal government employees, and applicants outside the federal government may apply.  Current federal employees outside of the Department, who are selected, remain on their current agency rolls.  Applicants outside the federal government, who are selected, receive a Schedule B appointment (three-year term appointment). See announcement for additional details.

Was this page helpful?

Back to Top