Introduction The American federal civil service has a long history of reform. (1) From the passage of the Pendleton Act of 1883 to the Civil Service Reform Act (CSRA) of 1978, the American federal personnel system has steadily evolved within the context of constitutional, political, and historical limitations. (2) Architects of the CSRA relied heavily on academic theory, examination of the British civil service, and private sector practices. (3) Despite mixed reviews, the general consensus is that it has been less than successful, particularly the Senior Executive Service (SES). (4) This legacy, together with the passage of The Department of Homeland Security Act of 2002, has produced renewed calls for civil service and SES reform.