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Sara Ratcliff

Image of Sara Ratcliff

Sara B. Ratcliff was named the Executive Director of the Federal Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCO) Council October 2017.  She informs and coordinates the activities of the 24 CHCO Act Departments and Agencies on human capital strategies and policies, as well as on the assessment of human capital management in Federal agencies.  The Council manages such matters as modernization of human resources systems, improved quality of human resources information, and legislation affecting human resources management operations and organizations.

Before joining the OPM leadership team, Sara Ratcliff served as the Director of the Human Capital Management Office for the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, a position for which she was selected in July 2014. She managed the Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System (DCIPS) for 60,000+ Intelligence civilians.  She was a key architect in building the Department of Defense’s cyber personnel system.  She conducted a zero based review of the Defense Intelligence Enterprise; updated 150+ policies; created a data base for tracking the Joint Duty Assignment rotational program; built a technological platform for increasing participation in rotational assignments and led the first major performance management reform pilot in over a decade.          

From 2010, Ms. Ratcliff served as the Naval Intelligence Chief Human Capital Officer where she published the Cyber Warfare Manpower Zero Based Review, Information Dominance Corps Human Capital Strategy and the Naval Intelligence Strategic Human Capital Plan.  She led the first Intelligence Community Swap meet promoting joint duty talent exchanges.  She managed furlough planning for the DON’s 3000+ Intel employees.  She re-engineered the Civilian Intelligence Personnel Office resulting in its becoming Navy’s Human Resource Office with the best hiring timeline.  She led the production and publication of Navy’s DCIPS policies.

Prior to Ms. Ratcliff’s service at the Department of Navy, she created The Ratcliff Co., Inc – a private sector executive search firm with 7 recruiters.   

Ms. Ratcliff’s previous federal service includes her appointment as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Civilian Personnel Policy and Equal Opportunity (DASD (CPP/EO)), Deputy Director of Policy at OPM and US House of Representatives Appropriations Committee Associate Staff member.  At OSD, she led policy for DoD’s then 1.2 million civilians, she directed the Department’s 5 year strategic civilian drawdown plan to reduce the civilian workforce by 20%.  She led creation of Civilian Assistance and Reemployment (CARE) separation incentives for transitioning employees.  Her office created a Defense Out-placement Referral Service (DORS) for displaced military and civilian employees and designed the blueprint for the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program (VSIP).  She led consolidation efforts resulting in the creation of the Defense Civilian Personnel Management Service (CPMS) and the Defense Civilian Personnel Data System (DCPDS).  DoD’s Executive Development Program (ELDP) was created during her tenure. 

While on Capitol Hill, Ms. Ratcliff served Rep Frank Wolf (VA) and authored his merit pay reform legislation, authorities to create relocation services for federal executives, bills to allow employees to share leave, Public Service Recognition Week and revisions to federal Reduction-in-Force rules. She was instrumental in eliminating Most Favored Nation status for Romania, creation of the President’s Bi-partisan Commission on Pornography, ending the import of goods made by Soviet slave labor, transfer of the Foreign Service Institute campus to Arlington and transfer of the 2 federal airports to the State of Virginia.  

Ms. Ratcliff was recognized with the Secretary of Defense Medals for Outstanding Public Service and Distinguished Civilian Service, the Director of National Intelligence Human Capital Excellence Award, The Department of the Army’s Outstanding Civil Service Medal, the Senior Executive Association’s Distinguished Service award and DOD’s Desert Shield/Desert Storm service medal.  Ms. Ratcliff graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.