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Setting Course

A Congressional Management Guide


Now in its 13th edition, Setting Course is a comprehensive management guide to setting up and managing a congressional office. The book is organized into three main parts.

Part I: Geared toward Members-elect and freshman offices, the chapters in this section focus on the transition to Congress and setting up a new congressional office.

Part II: Provides leadership guidance to veteran Members of Congress and staff, and freshmen who have settled into their new jobs. Chapters in this section offer information on charting a path in Congress and being a leader of the office.

Part III: Explores the challenges of managing an established, veteran congressional office. The information presented in these chapters is basic, good management advice that benefits all congressional offices.

SNEAK PEEK: pdf Setting Course - 113th Edition - Excerpt (1 MB)

The 13th Edition of Setting Course has been made possible by grants from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), Hewlett-Packard Company, and Deborah Szekely, who commissioned the first edition in 1984. CMF sincerely thanks them for their generosity and support.


Copyright 2012, Congressional Management Foundation

Paperback: 302 pages
Publisher: Congressional Management Foundation; 13th edition (November 1, 2012)
ISBN: 978-1-930473-16-4
Dimensions: 7.5 x 9.25 inches


Price: $25.00

Bulk Price (10+ copies): $25.00$22.50(10% off)


Purchasing CMF Publications

Please contact us at or 202-546-0100.

Congressional offices will receive an invoice via email and with their order. District/state offices will incur shipping fees, unless copies are hand-delivered to DC office.

Non-congressional offices must pay in advance before publications will be shipped. After receiving your order, a CMF staff member will calculate shipping & handling and contact you with the total charges.



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CMF is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to helping Congress and its Members meet the evolving needs and expectations of an engaged and informed 21st century citizenry.

Our work focuses on improving congressional operations and enhancing citizen engagement through research, publications, training, and management services.

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