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Ellen Tunstall

National Academy of Public Administration

Management and Governance, Human Resources

Ellen E. Tunstall, Ph.D.

A proven senior leader, program manager and team builder, Ellen brings extensive human resources experience across government and the private sector. After honing her skills at the Departments of Air Force and Defense and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, she transitioned to the private sector as a policy expert and researcher for the RAND Corporation and as a senior expert with FMP Consulting. A National Academy of Public Administration Fellow, Ellen is a member of the Public Service Steering Committee, and provided valuable expertise and leadership on significant studies for OPM, U.S. Secret Service, and Agricultural Research Service.

As an adjunct policy analyst with RAND from 2005 until 2022, Ms. Tunstall participated in multiple research studies for DOD, AF, the intelligence community, and other Federal agencies. For nearly a decade, Ellen was an integral part of a Defense Institution Building team addressing military and civilian talent management matters and related high priority issues with the Ministries of Defense in the Republics of Georgia and Macedonia.

Ellen is a former Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Civilian Personnel Policy where she managed programs covering more than 800,000 U.S. and foreign national employees around the world. She was responsible for DOD’s Executive Leadership and Development Program, as well as associated succession planning, management, and legislative initiatives.

Ms. Tunstall is a former Deputy Associate Director for Talent and Capacity Policy at OPM where she guided Government-wide employment policy, including workforce planning, applicant assessment, selection, and appointment. As Division Chief in OPM’s Office of Insurance Programs, Ellen was responsible for the operation of the Nation’s largest health and life insurance programs with more than four million enrollees paying annual premiums of $3 billion.

As a Senior Advisor with FMP, collaborating with Federal and private organizations she designed workforce structure and accountability plans and implemented employment policies and programs. Ellen conducted climate and organizational assessments, assisted in management realignments, delivered leadership training, and improved corporate communications.

Ms. Tunstall has multiple professional awards, including the Office of Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service, the DOD Career Service Award, and the Air Force Meritorious Civilian Service Award. Under her leadership, DOD’s Civilian Assistance and Re-Employment (CARE) Program competed as a Finalist for the Ford Foundation/Harvard University Innovations in American Government Award. From 2012 until 2017, she was a Board member for the National Older Worker Career Center, “the Nation’s #1 nonprofit experienced worker provider.” She formerly chaired the HR Advisory Panel for Graduate School USA and is a past president of the International Personnel Management Association’s Federal Section.

A graduate of the Federal Executive Institute, Ellen has a Bachelor of Science from James Madison University and a Master of Science in business management from Troy State University.

Published Research

National Academy of Public Administration

The RAND Corporation