TSP Benchmark | Projects to Products | FEMA Administrator


TSP International Fund Benchmark Update and Satisfaction Survey Insights

The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is set to update the benchmark for its International Fund (I Fund) in 2024, aiming to enhance risk-adjusted returns for participants by increasing market exposure from 55% to 90%, including more emerging markets and developed countries' small caps. Kim Weaver, Director of External Affairs at the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, explains that this transition to the MSCI ACWI IMI Ex-US Ex-China Ex-Hong Kong index will be seamless for TSP members, requiring no action on their part. Additionally, the 2023 TSP satisfaction survey revealed a slight dip in satisfaction levels but indicated that the TSP remains on par with other plans. The board plans to use these insights, alongside ongoing feedback, to improve participant interactions and services offered by the TSP.

Key Takeaways:

  1. The TSP's I Fund will transition to a new benchmark index in 2024, which excludes U.S., China, and Hong Kong stocks, aiming to cover a broader market range and improve the fund's performance.
  2. TSP participants won't need to take any action during this transition as fund managers will handle the change strategically to avoid market impact.
  3. The 2023 satisfaction survey for TSP participants indicates a need for improvement, despite satisfaction levels being comparable to other plans. Focus groups and surveys following transactions are planned to better understand and address participant concerns, particularly among younger members in the Blended Retirement System.

Links Mentioned on Pod:

The TSP will use a new benchmark for the International Fund

Innovating for Impact: Jamie Holcombe on Transforming the USPTO's IT Landscape

In his interview with Francis Rose, Jamie Holcombe, the Chief Information Officer at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), discusses the significant shift from project-based to product-based approaches in their IT department. This change involved dismantling the Program Management Office and assigning business owners to lead product teams in major areas such as patents, trademarks, back-office business, and shared services infrastructure. Holcombe emphasizes the importance of aligning IT projects with the USPTO's mission, streamlining processes for efficiency, and encouraging a culture of challenging the status quo. He also highlights USPTO's unique fee-based structure, which demands accountability to fee payers, and the agency's focus on quarterly strategy reviews to ensure continuous progress and adaptation.

Key Takeaways:

  1.  USPTO has shifted its IT focus from traditional project management to a product-based approach, empowering business owners to lead and prioritize IT initiatives, ensuring alignment with the agency's mission.
  2. The transition involved changing the organizational culture to embrace new ways of working, encouraging innovation, and adopting a more tactical, results-oriented approach with quarterly reviews.
  3.  Holcombe discusses USPTO's use of AI for classification, search, and fraud detection, focusing on augmented intelligence to enhance examiner capabilities. He also touches on the importance of advancing in the zero-trust journey, emphasizing the need to address all pillars of security beyond just user authentication.

Links Mentioned On Air:

  • https://www.informationweek.com/software-services/q-a-us-patent-and-trademark-offices-cio-on-cloud-and-devsecops
  • https://federalnewsnetwork.com/ask-the-cio/2019/08/usptos-19-projects-to-stabilize-modernize-it-systems/
FEMA Launches Vanguard Executive Crisis Leaders Fellowship for Emergency Managers

FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell announces the Vanguard Executive Crisis Leadership Fellowship, an initiative aimed at senior leaders in emergency management from various sectors, including government, military, private, and nonprofit. This program is not a training course but a thought leadership opportunity that encourages the sharing of ideas and networking among experienced professionals. It is designed to address the evolving challenges in emergency management and to foster innovative solutions. The fellowship has received positive feedback from its alumni, confirming its significant impact on their careers. The program also includes an alumni network to maintain connections and facilitate ongoing collaboration.

Key Takeaways:

  1. The fellowship targets senior leaders with over 15 years of experience in emergency management across multiple sectors to engage in high-level discourse on the future of the field.
  2. Unlike traditional programs, the Vanguard fellowship is structured to facilitate mutual learning and networking among participants, rather than just imparting knowledge from the organizing body.
  3. The program is expanding its reach, allowing for applications to attract a broader array of experienced professionals, emphasizing critical thinking and a commitment to advancing the field of emergency management.

Links Mentioned on Pod: 

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