Melissa Kline Lee: Designing GovConnect Melissa is a project manager, strategist and futurist for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, otherwise known as the human resources agency of the federal government. A former Presidential Management Fellow, a trained social worker, teacher and dedicated public servant, Mel came to the with a large-scale challenge: to improve the way government manages its talent and that talent manages the government.

The project: GovConnect

melissa-kline-leeIn an era of fiscal constraint, federal agencies are challenged to develop the talent they have now rather than hire new employees or contractors. Melissa spent her fellowship year working on GovConnect, the goal of which is to deploy a more agile federal workforce by helping agencies to test, scale and adopt new talent exchanges. Mel worked to include GovConnect as part of the Presidential Management Agenda, a list of priority projects selected by the administration for their potential to be impactful. She partnered with employees in the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Housing and Urban Development, The State Department and the General Services Administration to design GovConnect. With her team, she brought design thinking to the front steps of The White House, hosting a GovConnect EXPO for members of the President’s Management Council at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Her work paid off. GovConnect has received buy-in from the president and key decision-makers in federal agencies, and the Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Transportation and Social Security Administration are piloting GovConnect prototypes.

The future

Melissa anticipates that, in a year, the GovConnect team will have successfully piloted three prototypes in five federal agencies. She also sees agencies adopting one of the three prototypes— GovCloud, GovStart or GovProject — or creating their own, and that her agency will have created a program, policy and technology to support GovConnect interagency exchanges and reduce talent gaps governmentwide.

Melissa is a 2013-2014 fellow and can be found at @melissaklinelee.