Presidential Management Fellows (PMF)

Four People SeatedThe Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) program is a premier leadership development program for advanced degree candidates at the entry level of their career. Many PMFs choose to complete their fellowships at VA. The Department hires numerous outstanding fellows from a variety of academic disciplines and career paths each year. They have a clear interest in and commitment to excellence in the leadership and management of public policies and programs. Fellows are provided unique leadership, training, and development opportunities, and are expected to be change leaders at VA.

Eligibility Requirements

For the most up-to-date eligibility requirements for the PMF program, please visit Generally, applicants must be completing or have completed, within the past two years, a qualifying advanced degree – master's, law, or doctoral program.

Applicants go through a rigorous assessment and selection process that measures writing, interpersonal, analytic, and leadership skills. Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to pay close attention to application deadlines and to spend ample time preparing for each step of the application process.


Qualifications for individual PMF positions vary by position. Job openings for the PMF program are posted online each spring and are available only to PMF finalists and Federal employees.

General Training and Developmental Experiences

VA sponsors orientation programs and training forums for all fellows. Additional training opportunities are provided by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and other agencies and programs. While VA provides many developmental opportunities for PMFs, each fellow is expected to take charge of his or her own learning, career development, and advancement. The PMF program requirements include:
  • An Individual Development Plan (IDP) that includes training and development plans for the next two years
  • At least 80 hours per year of formal classroom training
  • A minimum of one four-to-six consecutive month developmental assignment in the occupation or functional discipline in which you are most likely to be placed, with full-time management and/or technical responsibilities consistent with your IDP
  • An annual performance plan and an annual performance evaluation in accordance with VA's performance management rules
  • Participation in OPM/PMF program and VA-sponsored career development activities to support and enhance your career and continuing education goals
  • Active participation in PMF training opportunities and acceptance of leadership roles whenever possible
  • Rotational opportunities with consideration of short- and long-term career goals
  • Networking with other fellows
  • Submission of changes in work and home addresses and phone numbers to the PMF Program Office via the Information Worksheet

Application Process

​The PMF application process is very structured and thorough and is refined from year to year. Please see the PMF website ( for details on the current application process. Applicants are strongly encouraged to pay close attention to application deadlines and to prepare thoroughly for each step of the process.

Program Information


Contact Information:


Program Size: 
VA hires approximately 50 PMFs per year.

Service Obligation: 
To successfully complete the program, finalists must obtain an appointment as a PMF in a Federal agency and serve for two years.

Current Career Fields: 
Graduate students from any academic discipline are encouraged to apply.

After Program Completion

After completion of the two-year program, fellows may be converted to permanent employees and are expected to continue to be change leaders throughout the Department. They are also expected to serve as mentors and resources for future generations of potential VA leaders.

View the PMF Success Stories website: