Learn about our Executive Candidate Assessment and Development Program

The Executive Candidate Assessment and Development Program (ECADP) is designed to develop a talent pool of executives for GAO's evaluation and audit teams performing mission work that supports its external strategic goals.

GAO senior executives manage a mix of auditing and program evaluation engagements to meet the Congress's need for information on emerging and strategic public policy issues and longer-term national trends and challenges and their implications for public policy. Members of GAO's Senior Executive Service (SES) testify before the Congress several hundred times a year and are cited regularly in the national news media.

Key Features of the ECADP

Generally, the program lasts from 18 to 24 months, and will vary in length depending on the needs of the individual participant.

Each candidate selected will work with a mentor who is a current SES member and will assist in developing the candidate's program curriculum based on the candidate's individual needs and assessment survey data, and provide other counseling when necessary.

Participants prepare an individual development plan (IDP) that identifies core and elective developmental training activities which focus on increasing executive competencies and broadening organizational perspectives about GAO and its relationship with the Congress. IDP activities will normally include:

    • One or more assignments of 8 to 10 months to an SES position as an Acting Director responsible for assisting the Managing Director of a mission team plan and execute responsibilities for the auditing, reviewing, evaluating, and reporting functions of GAO in the assigned area of strategic focus;
    • An opportunity to assess managerial strengths and weaknesses;
    • Executive training consisting of both in-house courses and courses given by external sources;
    • Several seminars with executive development staff and top management concerning GAO executive management, operations, and congressional relations;
    • Developmental assignments within GAO such as responsibility for leadership of a GAO-wide special project of interest to the Comptroller General;
    • Details to congressional committees, other federal agencies, State or local government, or the private sector; and
    • Evaluation of progress and counseling of the candidates at the completion of each phase of their development.

For answers to frequently asked question about the program see the ECADP Q&A.