The VMF Opportunity

The VMF program creates opportunities for participants to understand and actively affect how things are done at the state level. The “bigger picture” issues and practical challenges of state strategic management and leadership are analyzed and understood.

The VMF is a learning and training program that includes a 2-year paid position as a Fellow. The position includes salary and full benefits, as well as access to the Virginia Retirement System programs. The intent of the VMF is to strengthen the succession planning bench for leadership and management roles in all branches of state government. At the end of the 2-year fellowship period, it is anticipated that Fellows will apply to positions within state government.

Together, Fellows will:

  • focus on four learning areas: customer service; operations; legislation, regulation and compliance; and, analytics.
  • experience learning as a cohort of up to 12 members during a 2-year program, where human connections are made and leadership coalitions are built.
  • understand the complexity of the Commonwealth’s problems through lectures and seminars conducted by executive Virginia leaders (past and present) and subject matter experts.
  • challenge new knowledge while facing “wicked problems” across departments and agencies.
  • engage in hands-on projects and solutions-minded approaches during agency “rotations”.
  • develop working relationships with specifically selected mentors during each agency rotation.
  • participate in the Virginia Public Sector Leader program, a leadership development certificate program of Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs.
  • research, design, fund, and implement a public-private partnership with a Virginia university benefiting an under-served project, program, or group of people each calendar year.

How Fellows learn:

Learning is interactive and multi-modal. Participants study and learn in both individually and in groups. Knowledge builds through the study of course materials, online research, agency documents (e.g. budgets, reports, strategic plans), and interacting with senior professionals. Self-directed learning, seminar group lecture, small group work and rotating agency internships comprise the two-year program. Cloud-based, asynchronous learning will thread throughout the two years using Virginia Tech SPIA online platforms, (i.e. Canvas).

Agency Rotations:

The VMF Program includes 24 participating state agencies.  These agencies provide a rotational experience designed for the development of operational and leadership skills for the fellows.  Rotations include specially-selected agency leaders, who serve as mentors to the fellows during the 8-month rotation period.

Please read the minimum and preferred qualifications on the job application carefully. These qualifications are relevant to all VMF applicants. You might find it interesting to know that participating agencies are interested in applicants who have completed coursework or have work experience in a variety of specialized areas.

Take a look at the list below to find some of the specialized skill clusters that the Commonwealth of Virginia seeks for its future leaders:

Information Technology Skills cluster

  • Application development and maintenance
  • Database creation
  • Database utilization
  • Excel skills
  • IT systems understanding
  • Microsoft office suite
  • MIS systems operation and function
  • Technology project management
  • Web design Skills

Finance cluster

  • Accounting
  • Analysis and interpretation of financial information
  • Budget proposal development
  • Federal grant experience
  • Financial management practices
  • Financial reporting
  • Numeracy
  • Public finance
  • Statistics

Management skills cluster

  • Ability to work as an apolitical colleague
  • Business administration
  • Business processes and practices
  • Business analytics
  • Criminal Justice System
  • General management
  • Human resource management
  • Marketing
  • Project management
  • Public administration
  • Stakeholder communications
  • State government structure and function
  • Training materials development

Research, policy, and regulatory skills cluster

  • Legal training or courts system work experience
  • Policy and person-centered advocacy
  • Policy language drafting
  • Regulatory programming
  • Regulations drafting
  • State and federal regulations interpretation
VMF Program Timeline