The federal government faces large losses in its Senior Executive Service (SES), primarily through retirement but also because of other normal attrition. This presents the government with substantial challenges to ensuring an able management cadre and also provides opportunities to affect the composition of the SES. In a January 2003 report, GAO-03-34, GAO estimated the number of SES members who would actually leave service through fiscal year 2007 and reviewed the implications for diversity, as defined by gender, race, and ethnicity of the estimated losses. Specifically, GAO estimated by gender, race, and ethnicity the number of members of the career SES who will leave government service from October 1, 2000, through September 30, 2007, and what the profile of the SES will be if appointment trends do not change. GAO made the same estimates for the pool of GS-15s and GS-14s, from whose ranks the vast majority of replacements for departing SES members come, to ascertain the likely composition of that pool.
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