Rising Stars

Rebecca S. Ayers

Rebecca Ayers got her start in government in 2003 as a Presidential Management Fellow at the Office of Personnel Management, and she has been there ever since. In the past two years, her work has taken her deeper into the federal IT world as she started thinking about how to use technology to improve performance management.

"I wanted to revolutionize how we do performance management in government and change it from a performance-based approach to something that's more automated," she said.

Now, Ayers is manager of performance management solutions at OPM and is leading the team responsible for creating a software system that is expected to change the way agencies track and manage their employees' performance.

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"I feel a bit like Alice in Wonderland going further down the rabbit hole," Ayers joked. "No one has ever quite done this before with the technology that we have now."

OPM estimates that the USA Performance program could save agencies hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars by automating and streamlining the existing paper process.

"I think in two years we're going to have the best performance management system out there," Ayers said.

Leslie Pollack, deputy associate director of HR strategy and evaluation solutions at OPM, praised Ayers' focus and ability to move quickly. "In a very short time frame, she was able to bring together resources, lay out requirements and start developing in an agile way," Pollack said.

Ayers also convinced senior leaders that the new performance management system was the right move for government, an impressive feat, said Pollack, who added, "It really is going to transform the way we do performance management."

About the Author

Colby Hochmuth is a former staff writer for FCW.

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