Executive Fellows Program

Advancing Senior Public Sector Leadership


2016 PROGRAM DATES: 7-25 November
Week one and three will be delivered in Melbourne and week two will be delivered in Singapore - see Program structure below.


The Executive Fellows Program (EFP) is an intensive, three-week residential program for senior public sector executives who want to further develop their leadership, management and relationship skills.

The EFP brings together world-recognised academics with high-calibre practitioners drawn from the senior ranks of the public, not-for-profit and private sectors. It applies the latest thinking and academic rigour, while being firmly grounded in the reality of modern public service challenges. Presenters and participants share their experiences and insights in a dynamic engagement that is central to the unique nature of this program.

Modelled on leading executive offerings from the USA and UK, the program has been tailored specifically to an Australian and New Zealand public sector context. The EFP brings a global perspective and develops the capacity of senior executives to work across cultural boundaries and with increased international engagement.

The 2016 program breaks new ground by introducing an international component in collaboration with the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. Participants will gain new insights into leading public sector performance and successful engagement in the Asia-Pacific region.

With an emphasis on enhancing strategic capabilities, the EFP focuses on the strategies and frameworks required to effectively lead in an increasingly complex operating environment.

Why the EFP?

Public sector executives face constantly shifting priorities and challenges in their roles. The EFP develops the adaptive capacity of senior executives to lead public sector organisations. EFP participants gain new expertise to leverage their influence and relationships, including with Ministers, staff and stakeholders, in order to create and deliver public value.

The program gives participants a unique opportunity for learning and reflection away from the office. The emphasis on immersive, experiential learning has proven a highly effective way of enhancing leadership and strategic capacity. 

This program enhances capacity at the most senior levels of organisations, while building professional networks across portfolios and jurisdictions that yield ongoing benefits to each member government.

The EFP brings together leading local and international academics, including faculty from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, the Harvard Kennedy School, and Warwick University, UK as well as senior practitioners and experts across all sectors, to combine practical relevance with academic rigour.

Participants explore current theory and practice using a combination of learning approaches specifically designed to explore, test and bring to life the latest thinking on public sector leadership

The program will be delivered in Melbourne and Singapore.

It is increasingly important for today’s senior public sector leaders to have a global perspective. A new international component, delivered in partnership with the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, has been introduced to give participants an immersive experience within the Asia-Pacific region. Participants will travel to Singapore for week two of EFP.

Participants as contributors
Participant contribution is a crucial element of the EFP. The program is designed to deliberately harness the knowledge and experience of participants who, as professional peers, share a common language and a high commitment to public service.

Sessions are structured to encourage participants to share their experiences within the context of the themes and frameworks being examined. This approach supports a collaborative learning environment where each cohort has the opportunity to actively draw on the collective expertise in the room and to delve deeper into specific issues and ideas. As such, participants should arrive at the program with the expectation of being active co-contributors who will be called on to share their insights.

The teaching and learning methods used in the program include:

  • ­ interactive lectures that showcase practical frameworks and techniques while drawing on case studies, hypotheticals and the experiences of participants
  • ­ practitioner sessions where experiences and insights are shared and the cohort is invited to participate in an active discussion with the speaker
  • ­ facilitated panel discussions to explore topics from multiple perspectives
  • ­ action learning groups operating on a co-consulting basis to seek solutions to live leadership challenges faced by group members
  • ­ leadership in practice workshops where participants explore a specific theme in depth
  • ­ experiential immersive learning where participants engage directly with practitioners outside of the classroom
  • ­ jurisdictional discussions where participants share knowledge of their own jurisdictions
  • ­ peer-to-peer feedback among participants
  • ­ self-reflection opportunities.

EFP participants will:

  • ­ improve their strategic capabilities to lead within organisations characterised by uncertainty, complexity and change
  • ­ broaden their understanding of the ‘public value’ that they and their organisation are able to create
  • ­ deepen their  insights into the operating environment of the public sector with particular attention to politics, the media and the international sphere
  • ­ explore alternative models of public service delivery
  • ­ be able to apply the principles of adaptive leadership
  • ­ improve skills for dealing with complex problems in situations of contested authority
  • ­ increase their understanding of how to shape organisational culture and lead a new generation of staff
  • ­ have a deeper understanding of the opportunities and challenges of active engagement in the Asia-Pacific region
  • ­ gain specific insights from the Singapore experience of potential relevance to their own areas of responsibility
  • ­ develop a greater sense of self-as-a-leader and take their leadership to the next level.

The program is designed specifically for:

  • ­ Deputy Secretaries
  • ­ executives who report to Deputy Secretaries or are at the two levels below CEO level
  • ­ international equivalent levels, and
  • ­ other experienced, high performing senior executives.

All participants are selected and sponsored by their agency.
We welcome applications from senior executives from the not-for-profit sector.

For advice on suitability, please contact the Programs Team.

High quality teaching has been the hallmark of ANZSOG since its inception a decade and a half ago. The EFP brings together a select group of academics and practitioners drawn from senior ranks across the public, not-for-profit and private sectors to create a dynamic forum in which to explore the latest ideas and thinking on leadership and public administration.
The three weeks are facilitated by Robin Ryde.

Robin Ryde, Business author, leadership and organisational development expert
Robin Ryde, former CEO of the National School of Government, UK and former Evaluation Director with the UK National Audit Office, was the youngest person to direct the UK Prime Minister’s flagship leadership development initiative – the Top Management Programme. He has delivered consultancy across the commercial and public sectors in the UK, the US, Australia and other territories including Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Robin directs the EFP and during the program his teaching focus is centered on the theme of leadership of self.

Core faculty

Seven core presenters explore the overarching themes of the EFP across multiple sessions, ensuring a comprehensive framework for examining public sector leadership.

  • Professor Keith Grint - Professor of Public Leadership, Warwick University, UK
  • Professor Herman (Dutch) Leonard - Professor of Public Management, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, USA
  • Associate Professor Donald Low - Associate Dean, Research and Executive Education, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore
  • Professor Mark Moore - Hauser Professor of Nonprofit Organizations, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, USA
  • Paul Porteous - Director of Leadership and International Development, Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis, University of Canberra, and Executive Director of the Centre for Social Leadership, Canberra
  • Associate Professor Kenneth Paul Tan - Vice Dean, Academic Affairs, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore
  • Peter Thompson - Director, Centre for Leadership

Guest presenters
Each year, specially selected guests conduct individual sessions where they share knowledge and practical experience from their particular field of expertise. Topics addressed include alternative delivery methods, dealing with the media and politics, behavioural insights in practice, innovating in government, and resilience and personal impact. In 2015, EFP guest presenters included:

  • Associate Professor Mere Berryman - Building on Success, Faculty of Education, The University of Waikato, Hamilton New Zealand
  • David Bowen - Chief Executive Officer, National Disability Insurance Agency
  • Peter Crone - Chief Economist, The Coles Group, and team leader on the Australian Government’s 2014 Commission of Audit
  • Associate Professor Helen Dickinson - Associate Professor Public Governance, Melbourne School of Government and School of Social and Political Sciences, The University of Melbourne
  • Adjunct Professor Michelle Grattan AO - Associate Editor (Politics) and Chief Political Correspondent, The Conversation and the first woman to become editor of an Australian metropolitan daily newspaper
  • Adjunct Professor Virginia Haussegger AM - Journalist, commentator and presenter, ABC TV News Canberra
  • Professor Janine O’Flynn - Professor of Public Management, The University of Melbourne
  • Lisa Paul AO PSM - Former Secretary of the Australian Government Department of Education and Training
  • Michael Puzzullo - Secretary of the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection
  • Owain Service - Managing Director of the Behavioural Insights Team, UK and Board Director
  • Professor Gary Sturgess AM - NSW Premier’s ANZSOG Chair of Public Service Delivery, University of New South Wales and Professor of Public Service Innovation, School of Government and International Relations, Griffith University
  • Professor Michael Wesley - Director, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, Australian National University, College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Jennifer Westacott - Chief Executive, Business Council of Australia

EFP alumni
The ANZSOG experience reaches well beyond the classroom. The national and international networks established during the EFP are invaluable for participants.  Alumni are a resource to call on when facing challenging agendas, offering cross-jurisdictional and inter-departmental perspectives that can assist with solutions.

ANZSOG’s Alumni program helps participants maintain and build on these peer-to-peer relationships.

Staying connected
ANZSOG is committed to fostering a dynamic Alumni Program that sustains professional networks and learning. The School has a number of active jurisdictional chapters, which regularly provide tailored professional development and networking opportunities. Alumni events host visiting academics and senior government alumni who discuss current issues. These offer a unique opportunity to engage on contemporary challenges and build on their current knowledge as part of ANZSOG’s commitment to lifelong learning.

Refresher program
The exclusive Refresher event for EFP alumni is run annually. The Refresher provides alumni with an opportunity to engage with distinguished scholars, practitioners and other alumni, to both extend their knowledge and strengthen their collaborative networks.

We have alumni based across Australia and New Zealand who can provide an insider's perspective of what it is like to participate in the EFP. Potential participants are invited to discuss the experience and seek the advice of one of our alumni.

To arrange this, please contact the Programs Team.

The application process and deadlines vary across jurisdictions. In the first instance please contact ANZSOG to obtain an application form and for details of the process for your jurisdiction.

The sponsoring government or agency pays the program fee which includes:

  • ­ tuition fee
  • ­ program materials
  • ­ accommodation
  • ­ flights to and from Singapore
  • ­ Singapore transfers, and
  • ­ most meals.

The fee for the EFP remains unchanged since 2014, with the Singapore component provided at no additional cost to agencies.

EFP15 ILM Report

People movement from and through Asia into Australia and New Zealand 

This discussion paper outlines some of the insights that emerged from an exercise undertaken as part of ANZSOG’s Executive Fellows Program (EFP) in late 2015. The Executive Fellows Program is an annual senior leadership program involving 70-80 senior public servants from Australia, New Zealand and countries in the Asia region.

1mb | Download

Take the lead

To learn more or to apply, please contact the Programs Team
T +61 3 8344 1990
E programs_team | at | anzsog.edu.au