Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, October 30, 2009

Office of Personnel Management Director to Visit Maxwell School

For more information, please contact:

Jill Leonhardt

John Berry will discuss Federal personnel policy issues at public talk

John Berry, the new Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), will spend two days at the Maxwell School next week, including delivering a policy address titled "A Merit System for the 21st Century?" on Monday, November 2, at 4 p.m. in Maxwell Auditorium on the Syracuse University campus. The talk is open to the public.

Berry, who is responsible for recruiting, hiring, and setting benefits policies for 1.9 million Federal civilian employees, has made a major commitment to reinvigorating the civil service to meet the challenges facing the Federal workforce in the 21st century. More than 3,000 civilian employees in the Syracuse area work for 21 Federal agencies, including the Departments of Veterans' Affairs, Defense, Homeland Security, Agriculture, and Treasury, as well as the Social Security and General Services Administrations.

In his talk, Berry will discuss -- for the first time -- what merit means in the context of a modern workforce. He will also address how to increase flexibility and fairness in human resource policies; how the Federal government can motivate good performance and deal with bad performance; and how the Federal government can educate, train, and develop workers over the course of their careers.

While Berry is on campus November 2 and 3, he will meet with students and faculty at the Maxwell School; he and OPM senior staff members will also conduct mock interviews with students.

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The Maxwell School of Syracuse University is the premier academic institution in the United States committed to scholarship, civic leadership, and education in public and international affairs. Maxwell is home to Syracuse University’s social science departments and to numerous nationally recognized multidisciplinary graduate programs in public policy, international studies, social policy, and conflict resolution. Maxwell's graduate program in public administration -- the first of its kind in the nation -- is ranked consistently the leading graduate public affairs program in the country.