The federal agencies that rank best and worst on leadership

Lillian Cunningham
Editor, On Leadership April 4, 2013

Bad news for the Department of Homeland Security.

It ranked last in a report, released Thursday, that analyzed the “effective leadership” of 19 large federal agencies. The Partnership for Public Service used data from a 2012 survey by the Office of Personnel Management, which asked federal workers to evaluate their agency’s leadership. The organization to come out on top? NASA.

Lillian Cunningham is the editor and feature writer for The Washington Post's 'On Leadership' section. View Archive

Other agencies high on the list include the Commerce Department, the State Department and the intelligence community.

Yet even the best would get a failing grade by most standards. NASA — which not only ranked first but also saw a 1.1-point improvement between 2011 and 2012 — still only received a leadership score of 68.1 out of 100. Homeland Security’s score was 45.7.

As the Post’s Joe Davidson notes, this marks the first year that federal workers’ overall satisfaction in their leadership teams has dropped since the rankings were first published 10 years ago. “There’s a lot of talent in the U.S. government,” he writes, “but not so much that Sam can afford to have weak leadership play a role in running good workers away.”

Take a look through our photo gallery that shows where each of the 19 large agencies ranks, and read more on the report “Federal Leadership on the Decline” in Davidson’s piece.

The list: “Leadership rankings of the large federal agencies

Joe Davidson: “Federal leadership on the decline

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