Career Development

Government leaders get nudge toward exec ranks

meeting image

ACT/IAC's Partners Program gives government and industry professionals training and preparation for advancement into the executive suite. (Stock image)

Thirty-two leaders from government and industry have gotten a little nudge forward in pursuing a career in the higher echelons of their respective sectors.

The American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council on Oct. 31 announced the 16th graduating class of the Partners Program. The initiative pairs 16 government and 16 industry professionals for a nine-month period to help prepare for future roles at the Senior Executive Service and C-level ranks. The 2012 class “was a much, much more executive level compared to past years even with the preconditions of the number of years of active government or industry management,” according to Sherry Weir, 2012 Partners Program industry chairwomen.

“I find that our participants have a lot of management experience behind them, so they are a very experienced group and very dedidated,” she told FCW. “We had a number of participants who participated from long distance and weren’t based here.”

The program is based on the Office of Personnel Management’s Executive Core Qualifications, which define the capabilities needed to build a federal corporate culture that aims for results, serves customers, and builds teams and coalitions in and outside the organization, according to OPM’s website.

Initiatives like ACT-IAC’s Partner Program are often useful in helping individuals hone their leadership and decision-making skills in the overall quest of a senior-level career, some experts said.

"At AMA, we are big believers in education and life-long learning,” said Sam Davis, vice president at AMA Enterprise Government Solutions. “Most professional educational programs are a benefit to those who participate and can certainly impact how we improve our ability to handle the day-to-day opportunities and challenges that we all face.”

The more leadership and management development training government professionals can get, the better they will fare at the senior executive level and throughout their government careers, he said, adding that the downside to these types of programs is that they accept a limited number of applicants.

Last year saw an opportunity to expand the program, Weir said, but the concern was that a bigger group could potentially remove some of the intimacy and quality. “This is a group of people who are streching themselves already,” she said. “Making a program too large could dilute the experience.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2013 Partners Program. Prospective participants must complete and submit an application by Dec. 5, 2012. Government applicants should be identified as “promotable” to the SES ranks and considered to be competitive for SES selection within the next 3-5 years. They should currently serve in leadership roles, and also be able to dedicate 2-3 days monthly to Partner activities between February and October.

Industry applicants should currently serve in leadership roles, have more than 15 years’ professional experience and be familiar with the issues of the federal IT community, among other requirements.

Those who get into the program can expect gaining a different perspective and a near-year-long collaboration that will teach them to expand their leadership skills through targeted training, Weir said.

“It’s very interactive, it’s very collaborative – and it’s very high pace and challenging, especially because a lot of the program is after hours,” she explained.

2012 Government Partners Program graduates are:

  • Jacqueline Butler, Agriculture Department, Food and Nutrition Service
  • Robert Coen, National Institutes of Health, Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center
  • Brian Conroy, Homeland Security Department
  • Jeremiah Dewey, Environmental Protection Agency
  • Timothy Dunfee, NASA
  • Tijuana Elam, Internal Revenue Services
  • Kevin Gallo, General Services Administration
  • William Graves, DHS
  • Kristen Knapper, GSA
  • Sean Lang, Library of Congress
  • Jolene Merkel, Federal Aviation Administration
  • Heidi Myers, DHS, Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • Rosemary Olsen, GSA, Federal Acquisition Service
  • David Paschane, Veteran Affairs Department
  • Houman Rasouli, Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • Gerald Thomas, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

2012 Industry Partners Program graduates are:

  • Allen Ashbey, Sapient Government Services
  • Troy Barker, ICF International
  • Elizabeth Bolak, INDUS Corporation
  • Scott Campbell, Robbins-Gioia LLC
  • Brian Hepp, CGI Federal
  • Meg Hobler, DMI
  • Richard Jenkins, CACI International
  • Darryl Korynta, CISCO Systems Inc.
  • Rachana Kulkarni, Creative Information Technology, Inc.
  • Andrew Larson, SAIC
  • Anita Lynn, BRMi,
  • Karlene Stecchi, Tantus Technologies, Inc.
  • Erik TerHaar, Unisys,
  • Mark Valcich, Intel Federal
  • Cheryl Waldrup, Govplace
  • Christopher Zinner, Accenture

About the Author

Camille Tuutti is a former FCW staff writer who covered federal oversight and the workforce.

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