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Partners Overview


Applications open for the 2021 CLASS -- november 17, 2020

ACT-IAC will be hosting an online "Pre-App" seminar to assist perspective applicants prepare for the application process on December 8 from 3:00-4:30pm.  The seminar is NOT required and will not be used in any evaluation.  It is an opportunity to ask any questions that you have and to learn more about the program and application!  Register HERE for the event to get all the details.  APPLICATIONS DUE January 22, 2021.

Overview of the Partners Program

The Partners Program offers senior leaders in government and industry a challenging curriculum to help prepare them for executive leadership opportunities such as Senior Executive Service (SES) or C-level ranks while leveraging improved and increased partnerships between and within Industry and Government. 

Educational courses are based on OPM’s Executive Core Qualifications which provide a strong basis for areas of growth and experience in leading their Agency and Company to new and improved horizons.  The program focuses on creating true collaboration through a 1:1 ratio of government to industry participants which enables the class to address complex workplace issues within the federal technology marketplace in an open and not-for-attribution environment.

Participant fee is $4950 for government and $5995 for industry.  This includes all training professionals, assessments, meals, facilities and overnight accommodations for two off-sites outside of the DC area and registration and accommodation for the Executive Leadership Conference in October, as well as costs associated with monthly meetings.  ACT-IAC understands and is accustomed to helping agencies navigate uncertain budgets, for more information contact Leslie Barry, Director of Professional Development at [email protected]

Unique Diffentiators

The ACT-IAC Partners program is unlike any other leadership development program and provides participants with

  • A facilitated open and trusted partnership with a 1 to 1 ratio between government and industry who collaborate in a not for attribution environment that allows team to “walk in others shoes”
  • Enhanced leadership and communication skills to help drive your team and organization towards better results
  • Experiential leadership training based on OPM’s Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs)
  • Opportunity to collaborate with other executives facing similar challenges
  • Government Challenge project to help federal agencies develop meaningful solutions
  • Led by practicing senior government and industry professionals
  • Up to 75 Continuous Learning Points


Applicant Demographic

The successful Partner will:

  • Have 15+ years of experience in progressively responsible positions across a multitude of business activities, government candidates should be a GS 15 (or High Step 14)
  • Candidates should currently be serving in a leadership role that deals with significant human capital and workforce concerns, multiple processes, and complex technologies.
  • Be able to dedicate an average of 20-25 hours per month for Partner activities between February and October and attend all required sessions in person.
  • Be recommended by a Sponsor within their organization or agency

Participant fee is $4950 for government and $5995 for industry.  This includes all meals, facilities and overnight accommodations for two off-sites outside of the DC area and registration and accommodation for the Executive Leadership Conference in October.  ACT-IAC understands and is accustomed to helping agencies navigate uncertain budgets, for more information contact Leslie Barry, Director of Professional Development at [email protected]

*Please note only one person per industry company should apply and can be accepted.  This is a highly competitive Program and agencies/companies are encouraged to nominate only their strongest candidates.

Application Time Periods

Applications for the 2021 Partners program will open in November 2020.  To be notified when the 2020 Partners applications become available,  please click here

APPLICATIONS WILL BE DUE January 22, 2021.  Selection notification will occur in February. 

After graduation, individuals become a member of the ACT-IAC Fellows community – the premier, trusted collaborative network of over 1,000 accomplished government and industry executives focused on solving governments toughest challenges.


“It was a great experience, and even more personal engagement because of the pandemic.” Ellery Taylor, GSA, Partners Graduate 2020

“The Partner's program greatly exceeded my expectations during the pandemic. In an environment where people are physically disconnected, I felt more intimately connected with my partner, my POD/Team, and the overall Partners class. This was a difficult task to accomplish but the leadership team and the class met the challenges head-on and I believe we came out a stronger and better bonded cohort.”  Evan Lee, ICF, Partners Graduate 2020

“The Partners Program provides an opportunity to create a safe space where government and industry can exchange ideas and learn from each other.” Marcy Almeida, IRS, Partners Graduate 2020

“I wasn't too sure what to expect out of the program. I came out of it more confident, better connected and well prepared to be a leader. This program will stretch your capabilities and I was glad I came with such an open mind.” Atash Mehta, DOL, Partners Graduate 2020

"Partners 2020 was an unforgettable experience, not just for the unprecedented challenges we faced, but for what this class overcame together.  Thank you ACT-IAC for bringing this top notch group of leaders together and fostering our leadership development - definitely the highlight of my 2020!"  Jeff Wehner, LMI, Partners Graduate 2020

“Incredible moments of growth happen when you least expect it. Be prepared to be hungry, intrigued and engaged.”  Pooja Sangwan, Attain, Partners Graduate 2020

Partners 2020 forever changed my perspective on how government and industry work together; through strong connections and honest conversation, I've gained a true appreciation for how we can partner together to address
inefficiency and improve outcomes.”
Kristen Wilson, GSA, Partners Graduate 2020

This is an outstanding leadership development program. For industry and government leaders alike, the networking and learning opportunities were invaluable” Karen Shrum, VBA, Partners Graduate 2020

Partners 2020 delivered many valuable experiences, skills and relationships that I will take forward as I progress in my career. Additionally, we gained exposure to a variety of government and industry executives through our classmates, the planned sessions, as well as the Breakfast series. Lots of value packed into a focused, hard-hitting program!”  Lisa Gardner, Leidos, Partners Graduate 2020

“This was an awesome and inspiring experience to have been given the opportunity to be involved in the ACT/IAC Partners program. I'm looking forward to being actively involved and be a positive representative of ACT/IAC.”  Thomas Booker, Bureau of the Fiscal Service, Partners Graduate 2020

"As a participant in the ACT-IAC Partners program I walked away from the experience with a greater awareness and understanding of the challenges facing government and industry.  The journey of the cohort through the Partners program brings leaders together to take on difficult tasks, share experiences, and lessons learned. In addition to advancing government, the result is enduring growth as a leader and lasting connections with other leaders in the community doing great work."

--Jay Houghton 
  IT Specialist - Service Delivery, Budget & Planning, Department of Justice
  2018 Partners Graduate


“The Partners program is about making meaningful connections building strong bonds between industry and government. I so valued the friendships I made over the course of the program. In fact, I stay in contact with many of the Fellows/Partners today, tapping into their experiences, knowledge and expertise and enjoying their friendship, humor and diverse opinion and thought."

--Kitty Nix 
   Federal Civilian Practice Leader, AWS Professional Services
   2018 Partners Graduate


“Participating in the ACT-IAC Partners Program was an awesome experience!  What I appreciated most was engaging industry partners to learn about how they go about responding to solicitations and sharing with them the thinking that the government puts into RFP development and contractor debriefings.  The Partners breakfast themes were all based on real world challenges that participants could apply to their work real time.   It was just a wonderful opportunity and I’m so proud to be one of ACT-IAC’s newest Fellows!”

-- Dina T. Jeffers, CPCM 
   Senior Procurement Analyst, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Procurement)
   Partners Graduate 2017


“The ACT-IAC Partners program is unique in its ability to bring executives from the highest levels of both government and industry together with the future leaders in the Federal IT community to openly share knowledge, experiences, and leadership lessons in a meaningful way. I was continually impressed by the level of discourse throughout the program, not only during the course of our formal events but also during the informal discussions that would take place between the members of the Partners class and its leadership, as well. I learned a lot during the course of the year, and look forward to continuing the Partners journey as an active member of the ACT-IAC Fellows community.”

--Paul Chandler 
   Sector Growth Lead - Diplomacy, Commerce & Government Operations, General Dynamics IT
   Partners Graduate 2017