Alumni Spotlight: Angela McPherson


CXO Fellows Cohort FY 16-17

Functional Group: Information Technology

Current Position: Program Liaison Specialist, MY OSSPI

Agency: GSA

Angela McPherson is a member of the 2016-2017 CXO Fellows cohort. During her participation in the CXO Fellowship, Angela was a Program Specialist working as a financial management systems trainer at the General Services Administration (GSA). In February 2018, Angela transitioned to GSA’s Office of Shared Solutions & Performance Improvement (OSSPI) as a Program Liaison Specialist supporting the Chief Acquisition Officers Council (CAOC), Performance Improvement Council (PIC), and President Management Council (PMC). We sat down with Angela to discuss her experience as a recent CXO Fellow.

How did the program advance your career as a public servant?

Meeting with CXOs provided candid career development insight. CXOs who shared their leadership stories with our cohort had a diverse set of backgrounds and professional experiences that oftentimes were not directly related to their current functional area as a CXO. In varying ways, their stories demonstrated how every job opportunity, no matter how unrelated, can catapult you to a higher position. Candid insight into CXOs’ career paths provided specific and qualitative information to help me structure my own career path to pursue leadership opportunities in which I am interested.

What did you gain from the program?

As a CXO Fellow, I was able to develop a stronger voice in the conversation, not only around areas in which I had developed an expertise, but also regarding broader, cross-functional and cross-agency issues. I learned that no matter what position I am in, I have the ability to make suggestions, develop better processes, and seek opportunities to talk to people who can help implement these ideas.

How did the program enable you to better contribute to your agency?

The opportunity to contribute to cross-council initiatives, work with the PMA CAP Goals, and operate in a cross-agency, cross-functional, and collaborative role provided a government-wide perspective. This enabled me to better see how the role I currently play fits into the broader equation of government-wide, back office functions.

What would you tell someone who is interested in the program?

The CXO Fellows Program is Leadership 101 for the Executive Government. The program provides an experience and education that most federal employees in mission support functions do not receive. The exposure to chief executive officers, government-wide issues and initiatives, and cross-functional collaboration is invaluable to advancing both the contribution you make to your agency and your own career trajectory.