John M. Palguta

Vice President for Policy
Partnership for Public Service

As Vice President for Policy at the Partnership for Public Service, John has responsibility for a comprehensive program of review and analyses of the human capital issues in the federal government. The results of these efforts assist federal government policy makers, managers, and other interested individuals and organizations in developing viable solutions to the considerable challenges confronting the federal government in its attempts to recruit, motivate and retain a highly talented and diverse workforce; provide useful data and analyses on problems and opportunities for change; and identify and constructively communicate the strengths and weaknesses of the federal work environment. John was instrumental in the development of one of the Partnership’s premier initiatives, the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government rankings. He also manages the Partnership’s Federal Human Capital Collaborative, an active community of HR leaders from a broad cross-section of federal departments and agencies who work together to share best practices and to devise government-wide strategies and solutions to workforce challenges identified by the members of the Collaborative.

Prior to joining the Partnership in December 2001, John was a career member of the federal senior executive service as Director of Policy and Evaluation for the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), the culmination of a federal career spanning almost 34 years of progressively responsible experience in federal human resources management and public policy issues.

John was appointed MSPB’s Director of Policy and Evaluation in June 1997. He previously served as Deputy Director. As Director, he had overall responsibility for the Board’s statutory mission to conduct periodic studies of Federal human resources management policies, programs, and procedures to determine if they were operating in accord with statutory merit systems principles and achieving their intended purposes. Reports from those studies were directed to the Congress and the President.


John joined MSPB in December 1979. He was one of the first staff members in the Board’s studies and oversight function, established by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978. He served first as a senior research analyst and, from 1984, a supervisory analyst before becoming Deputy Director in 1989. Prior to joining MSPB, he was a branch chief in the Office of Personnel Management’s personnel office.

Earlier in his career, John held various positions with the U.S. Civil Service Commission, starting as a personnel management intern in 1970 in the Commission’s San Francisco Region and later serving as a personnel management advisor for Federal agencies in the four states served by the region. In 1976, he moved to Washington, DC, to become an agency officer in the Commission’s Bureau of Personnel Management Evaluation. He began his career in Federal service with the U.S. Post Office in 1968.

John received a B.A. degree in Sociology from California State University at Northridge and a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Southern California. He is active in a number of professional associations and is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, Vice Chair of the Coalition for Effective Change, and a past President of the Federal Section of the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR).

John has published a number of articles on Federal human resources management issues and is a frequent speaker at professional conferences and other forums. He is also an affiliated professor at Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute and a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. Mr. Palguta has received a number of honors over the years including MSPB’s highest honor, the Theodore Roosevelt Award; induction in 2006 as an honorary member of Pi Alpha Alpha (the National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration); received the 2005 “Outstanding Service to the Public Sector Human Resource Profession” award from the Section on Personnel and Labor Relations of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA); and received the 2006 Warner W. Stockberger award which is the highest honor presented annually by IPMA-HR to recognize a individual who has made outstanding contributions in the field of public sector HR management.

Mr. Palguta and his wife have two daughters and reside in Vienna, Virginia.

October 2011