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A Message from Director Rounds: Ethical Leadership in Public Service

January 28, 2021

As our nation faces serious challenges on countless fronts, it is vital that our new Executive Branch leaders are able to take up their duties quickly, unfettered by conflicts of interest. It is essential that these leaders actively protect and diligently preserve the trust of the public we serve.

To that end, I am continuing OGE’s practice and my commitment to advancing ethical leadership by sending a letter discussing these important responsibilities to each incoming Presidential appointee as they are confirmed by the Senate.

In this letter, I will encourage new leaders to remain “fully committed to our singular duty: to serve the public.” I will urge them to regularly remind their teams of this duty, to reiterate that each department and agency has dedicated and well-supported ethics officials to help with the tough issues, and to always consider their own oaths as they carry out their important duties.

It is my firm belief that the trust of the American people is the currency that makes our form of government possible and ensures its continued viability. It is OGE’s mission and my commitment to ensure that the ethics community effectively supports incoming leaders in protecting that trust. Without ethical leadership there cannot be effective stewardship of the public’s trust, and without that trust we cannot succeed.

OGE and the executive branch ethics community are working tirelessly to support our incoming leaders, and to a person we stand ready to help our leadership navigate the challenges that lie ahead.