OPM director Jeff Pon has moved to raise the profile of the Chief Human Capital Officers Council in preparation for potential major changes in federal workplace and benefits policies.

“We must meet the needs of the workforce of the 21st century by actively managing the workforce, developing agile operations, and acquiring top talent. With major civil service reforms, information technology modernization efforts, and changes to various federal benefit programs under consideration, I need the advice and assistance of the most senior management officials in planning and implementing human capital initiatives,” he said in a memo to agencies.


The council, which coordinates implementation of such policies government-wide, consists mainly of the HR directors—commonly called chief human capital officers—and their deputies from Cabinet departments and large independent agencies. Some of those positions currently are filled only on an acting basis.

“I believe the role of the CHCO should be assigned to an individual at a very senior level who has the trust of the Secretary or agency head and serves as an integral part of the leadership team. The CHCO should share accountability with the other members of the leadership team for the agency’s bottom line performance, mission results, accountability, and best use of taxpayer money,” he wrote.

“I strongly encourage agency heads to ensure that the designated CHCO for his/her agency meets” those standards, he said.