During your time in ICF, what kind of projects did you oversee and/or what projects were you were particularly passionate about and why?
ICF performs on a wide variety of projects which impact some of the most important issues of our day from climate change to cybersecurity to public and environmental health to digital transformation. It was an honor, as the executive responsible for our public sector work, to be involved in managing hurricane recovery work and in promoting public health around issues of HIV/AIDS, smoking cessation, obesity.
What advice would you give to those interested in pursuing a career in public administration?
I think most of us seek a career public administration because we want to make an impact. Beyond that, I was most surprised and pleased to find how fascinating and varied the work is. There is always something to learn. So that would be my advice – be a continual learner and seek new opportunities. Consider working in different sectors – government at different levels, non-profits, and consultants to government. The varied experiences will enrich your capabilities.
How did your experience Presidential Management Fellows Program guide your career path? Were there any interesting lessons during your time there?
I was in the first class of PMF (then called PMI) and that experience was seminal to my career. Through that experience, I got a broad exposure to how the federal government operated which served me well throughout my career. I really came to understand the “plumbing” of the federal government – the impacts of things like budgets, rules and regulations for personnel and contracts, interaction with Congress and other oversight bodies, interactions with constituents, etc. Invaluable learning for a career in the public sector.
What would you currently consider the most critical challenge for public administration and why?
Obviously public trust in government is a huge dilemma which challenges politicians and practitioners alike. For practitioners/public administration professionals, I think one way that we make an impact is by making government programs more accessible for citizens. This is the goal of the President’s Management Agenda - modernizing our approaches, including digital transformation of communication and systems, as well as coordinating programs across agencies.
What is your favorite hobby or activity that you enjoy doing in your free time?
I love to kayak and paddle board, and I am an adequate second mate on a sailboat.
What was your dream job as a child?
I didn’t really have a dream job as a child – teacher or nun seemed to be the only options. I was fortunate to stumble into a wonderful career in the public sector. I am having my dream retirement – I am on the boards of two government consulting firms which is fascinating and rewarding work, and yet have plenty of time for travel and my three grandchildren.
Ellen Glover is a leader in the public sector consulting industry with over 40 years of experience and expertise in the data analytics, digital transformation, cyber security, public health, and community resilience markets.
Ellen retired as Executive Vice President and Group Leader for ICF in May 2019, where she led an $800M group delivering technology and consulting services to federal and state governments. During her tenure, she was responsible for significant organic growth as well as eight acquisitions. Prior to joining ICF in 2005, Ellen was Vice President and General Manager for Dynamics Research Corporation, President of Impact Innovations Group, and President and COO of Advanced Technology Systems. During her career, Ellen chaired the boards leading industry associations - the Professional Services Council and the American Council on Technology/Industry Advisory Council.
In retirement, Ellen serves on the boards of Noblis and Cadmus, both in the government consulting business. She is also Chair of the Board of Visitors for her alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.
Ellen is the recipient of numerous awards. She was elected as a National Academy of Public Administration Fellow in 2015 and was named the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs Alumni of the Year in 2017. She has also been honored with the Fed 100 Industry Eagle Award, the GovCon Company of the Year (over $300M) Award, the Professional Services Council Outstanding Achievement Award, the ACT/IAC Janice K. Mendenhall Spirit of Leadership Award, and the Washington Business Journal Women Who Mean Business Award.