The Federal Executive Institute of the United States of America: Amid Epochal Changes & On-Going Public Administration Challenges


  • Chester Newland Professor Emeritus, Pacific University, California


Transformation of high levels of Public Service from exclusive elitism to general inclusiveness, reflecting epochal changes in American society generally, has been the most visibly sustained aspect of development of the Federal Executive Institute (FEI) throughout its 46 years of operations. Two other interrelated frameworks of change dynamics that remain on-going from earlier Public Administration thinking and practices have also been vital Institute concerns: (1) shifts from dominant centralized, hierarchical, silo structures of expert, positivist authority to behavioral theory and practices of Facilitative Governance, including cross-sectoral developments (but with growing reversions in recent decades associated with ideological extremism and partisan politicization); and (2) extension of the field from near-dominant preoccupation with Executive Branch affairs of government to governance broadly in digital-era contexts. The FEI has been impacted importantly by these developments, and it has contributed to them. Therefore, this paper attempts to analyze the development of the FEI within the framework of changes towards general inclusiveness in the American society. It concludes that the digital era, several decades in development, is now established globally as Epochal. New opportunities abound for multiplication of splendid values and reconciliation with them of varied means for their accomplishment. Challenges are great but many can be overcome in the years to come.