The long-awaited 2009 rankings for the best places to work in the federal government are out! Sadly, because he’s now out of office, the bureau that coordinates Dick Cheney Wrangling is no longer eligible for consideration.
The State Department ranks as the 5th best place to work on the large agency scale. It scored very high in such subcategories as Strategic Management, Teamwork, and Effective Leadership (ranked third in all of these), but not so high in the Pay and Benefits and Family Friendly Culture and Benefits areas (17th and 26th, respectively).
I thought USAID hadn’t even made the list, until I realized it was listed in the small agency category, where it ranked 15th. I was actually kind of shocked that USAID, a well-known agency with such broad programmatic reach, would qualify as a ’small’ agency. Maybe I’m naive (or more likely uninformed) but I always envisioned USAID as on par in size and scope with the State Department. Apparently not.
This misunderstanding was then brought into sharp relief when I later came across this little tidbit about the FY 2010 budget request for USAID:
The U.S. Agency for International Development’s operating expenses budget would jump to $1.4 billion, 60 percent over enacted 2009 levels.
I knew that USAID was underfunded and understaffed and that a goal of the Obama administration is to greatly increase its capacity, but damn. When your new budget will “only” be $1.4 billion (compare that with the $533.7 billion FY10 request from the Defense Department) and that $1.4 billion is a 60 percent (!) increase from last year…well, I guess you’re not as big of an agency as I thought you were. Maybe USAID’s best-place-to-work-ranking will improve next year once it actually gets some money to do some stuff.