SEA Leadership Summit - Speakers

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Heidi Brooks, Ph.D, Senior Lecturer in Organizational Behavior at the Yale School of Management

Heidi Brooks teaches and advises on the subject of everyday leadership: the everyday micro-moments of impact that shape our lived experiences. Creating more courageous communities—especially within organizations—is a particular passion of hers. Dr. Brooks specializes in large-scale culture change projects focused on individual and collective leadership effectiveness in organizations. Interpersonal Dynamics, the MBA elective she has taught for 15 years, is one of the courses most in demand at Yale School of Management.

Recently, Dr. Brooks pioneered the Everyday Leadership course at SOM, where she first taught the Principles of Everyday Leadership. She has also taught Emotional Intelligence, Power & Politics, Managing Teams and Groups, and Coaching Skills for Managers. Dr. Brooks received her doctorate in psychology from the University of California at Berkeley and a bachelor’s degree from Brown University. A life-long experiential learner, you can find her as a student in classrooms as far-ranging as improvisational theater and immersion language lessons. Dr. Brooks’ expertise is in diversity and inclusion, leadership, organizational behavior, and workplace Issues.

Margarita Devlin, Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Benefits in the Department of Veterans Affairs

Margarita Devlin was selected to serve as Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Benefits in the Department of Veterans Affairs on May 14, 2018. In this position, she serves as second in command in the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), which administers benefits programs for Veterans, including education, home loan guaranty, disability compensation, pension, fiduciary, vocational rehabilitation and employment, life insurance, and transition assistance. Services are delivered through a nationwide network of 56 regional offices, special processing centers, and VBA Headquarters.

As Principal Deputy Under Secretary, Ms. Devlin led many of VBA’s landmark transformation efforts and implementation of key legislative priorities, such as the Blue Water Navy Act. She has pioneered advancements in military to civilian transition and suicide prevention to include the launch of VA Solid Start program. Ms. Devlin has a long history with VA, having served for over 25 years in various positions of increasing responsibility. She began her VA career as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and progressed through leadership positions within VBA, as well as with the Veterans Health Administration, and at the VA Department level.

Michael Arena, Vice President for Talent and Development at Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Michael is responsible for enterprise talent management, strategic workforce planning, organizational development and global learning. Building on his tenure as the VP for Talent at General Motors, he employs an evidence-based approach to driving performance, leveraging such concepts as predictive analytics and network analysis.

While at GM, he launched GM2020, a grass roots initiative designed to enable employees to positively disrupt the way they work, which was highlighted in Fast Company. His book highlighting this experience called - Adaptive Space: How GM and Other Companies are Positively Disrupting Themselves and Transforming into Agile Organizations was named a best business book of 2018 by Forbes.

Michael is the guest editor of the Spring issue of People+Strategy, themed around Adaptive Space. His research on adaptation won the 2017 Walker Prize from People+Strategy and has been cited in the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Business Insider, Sloan Management Review and Chief Executive Magazine. He currently teaches in Penn’s Masters in Organizational Dynamics program and acts as a design thinking coach within the Stanford School. He also spent two years as a visiting scientist within MIT’s Media Lab and served as Senior Vice President of Leadership Development at Bank of America.

Sharon Benjamin, Ph.D., Senior Principal, The Clearing

Sharon supports leaders seeking to effect profound transformation within themselves, their organizations, and their communities. She has over 25 years of experience in creating authentic, wide engagement in change projects, and has designed and led evaluation and change management efforts across multiple sectors.

She has served as a trusted advisor to senior leaders in health care, federal agencies, and non-governmental organizations. Notable clients include the Administrator of the General Services Administration, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, the Social Security Administration, Georgetown University Medical Center Neuroscience Department, Maryland Hospital Association, the Gates Foundation, Population Council, and many regional healthcare institutions.

For 12 years she taught the Leadership Capstone for the Executive Master of Public Administration program at New York University; for the last three has been an adjunct in the Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics (MSOD) program at the University of Pennsylvania. She's served on the boards of over two-dozen nonprofit organizations including Plexus Institute,, Ted Danson’s American Oceans Campaign, Earthworks, and was one of four co-founders of EarthShare, an environmental fund-raising federation that has raised more than $300 million for green groups. She has authored several publications, most recently Unexpected Gifts: Solve Tough Problems with Adaptive Positive Deviance and Leading from the Center with Alan Barstow, in the Spring Issue of People+Strategy, themed around Adaptive Space.


Albert (Benjie) Spencer, Chief Engineer & Director Engineering Standards, NOAA

Mr. Albert (Benjie) Spencer serves as the Chief Engineer and Director of Engineering Standards Division, for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Weather Service within the Office of Planning and Programming for Service Delivery. Mr. Spencer is responsible for implementing policy, providing end-to-end system engineering oversight, assessing risks, and ensuring consistent engineering processes and standards are applied throughout the organization.

Mr. Spencer has over 40 years of civil service with NOAA, with over 25 years of systems engineering and major acquisition experience, having served in various engineering positions for some of NOAA’s major acquisitions of the NEXRAD (Next Generation Weather RADAR), NOAA Aircraft Acquisition for a Gulfstream G4 business class aircraft modified for meteorological and atmospheric measurements, AWIPS (Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System) and NPOESS (National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System), which are critical to providing timely climate and weather information to the public.

Mr. Spencer was highlighted in the Spring 2015 issue of the magazine, Minority Engineer, sharing his story in helping NWS to build a Weather-Ready Nation, and the challenges to get minorities interested in science and engineering careers at NOAA. Mr. Spencer is also the recipient of the 2017 Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) for Career Achievement in the Federal Government. Mr. Spencer served on the Reimbursable Projects Program Standing Review Board (SRB) and currently servers on the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) and Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) SRB.

He also serves on the Executive Advisory Board (EAB) for the Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC) and the External Advisory Board of the NOAA Cooperative Science Center for Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology (NCAS-M). Mr. Spencer obtained his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and received his Graduate Certificate in Systems Engineering and Architecting from Stevens Institute of Technology. Mr. Spencer is the recipient of The U.S. Department of Commerce Gold and Silver Medals, the highest two honor awards that can be granted by the Secretary of Commerce, and two Bronze Medal awards, NOAA’s highest honor award. Mr. Spencer is a member of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), American Meteorological Society (AMS) and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). Mr. Spencer is also a member Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Mr. Spencer has been married for 36 years to his wife Margo, and he is a native of Washington, D.C., raised in Portsmouth, Va.

Alex D. Tremble, Certified Speaker, Teacher, and Coach

Alex D. Tremble is an award-winning speaker, author, and leadership expert who has over 10 years of experience coaching and advising some of our nation’s most senior level government leaders. Alex began his career managing three government-wide senior leadership development programs, and quickly went on to establish GPS Leadership Solutions LLC., while publishing two bestselling books ("Reaching Senior Leadership: 10 Growth Strategies Every Government Leader Should Know” and “The GPS Guide to Success”) geared towards helping government leaders gain influence and attain career success.

Alex is a Leadership Center for Excellence 40 under 40 honoree. Alex is passionate and committed to helping our nation’s government leaders reach their highest potential; personally, and professionally. Alex received his Bachelor's degree in sociology and psychology from William Penn University and his Master's degree in industrial and organizational psychology from the University of Baltimore.

Amanda Miller, Senior Director of Enterprise Solutions at the Association of Talent Development (ATD)

For over 25 years, Amanda has worked with global organizations and government agencies to help them attain organizational success. She has been with ATD for over 12 years leading the ATD Enterprise Solutions team. Through a consultative approach, her department helps talent development organizations fill skills gaps to ensure all roles are performing at their best. From custom training programs and content packages to enterprise membership solutions, Amanda and her team recommends the right ATD resources to support their client’s strategic goals and help them accomplish their mission

Amelia Geary is the Chief of Adult Learning at Orbis International

Amelia Geary is the Chief of Adult Learning at Orbis International, a international eyesight restoration non-profit famous for their Flying Eye Hospital that features regularly on the news. Amelia directs all of Orbis’ Simulation-based operations and recently chaired a large international conference on Simulation in the health sector.

Amy Parker, MBA, ACC, Chief Learning Officer and Executive Director, Human Capital Services Center, Internal Executive Coach

Since June 2019, Ms. Parker has been the Chief Learning Officer and Executive Director (ED) of the Human Capital Services Center, responsible for a diverse portfolio of learning, development, and accountability services to stakeholders and customers Department-wide. Prior to this, she was the ED for Financial Planning and Analysis for the Office of Management, providing leadership for Department-wide financial management programs and policies within VA. Ms. Parker was also the ED for Programming, Analysis & Evaluation in OM, providing analysis of programs, projects, and capabilities, in support of the Department’s vision and mission.

She joined VA in January 2015 as a Senior Policy Advisor to the Assistant Secretary/Chief Financial Officer, and Principal Deputy and was OM’s Chief of Staff from April 2015 – September 2016. Prior to joining VA, Ms. Parker was the Deputy Director of Total Force Planning and Requirements in the Office of the Secretary at the Defense, advising the Under Secretary for Personnel and Readiness about Total Force planning and requirements. While at DoD, she received the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service and the Joint Meritorious Unit Award.

Ms. Parker began her government career as a Navy civilian, including serving as the Director of Manpower Optimization at the Headquarters of the Naval Installations Command, where she coordinated the efforts of operations, contracting, human resources, and financial management functions to conduct the largest nation-wide program to compete government services with the private sector, resulting in billions in savings for the Navy at the enterprise level. Her private sector experience includes program management for small and large defense contractors from 2001-2006. She is the proud wife and daughter of Veterans, and a step- and pet- parent.

Bethany Blakey, Modernization Strategist and Director of Innovation Adoption, Centers of Excellence, Technology Transformation Service, GSA

Bethany is an organizational performance professional with specialties in community organizing, non-traditional leadership development, change management, and entrepreneurial practices applied in mission settings. Her passion is driving intrapreneurship in Federal government, identifying and cultivating Fedpreneurial talent.
Her Federal career spans over 24 years, serving in multiple agencies before joining GSA to serve all agencies in advancing the use of performance practices. Some of her most memorable projects have been (1) the design and implementation of DEA’s Priority Targeting System, (2) co-chairing the Vice President’s Task Force on Crime Mapping & Data-Driven Management, and (3) launching DOTs IdeaHub, recognized by Harvard’s Ash Center as one of the top innovations in government. And two favorite ongoing projects include (4) Fedpreneur talent identification, development, and coaching for intrapreneurial employees, and (5) training agencies to run the Modern Government Management Traits program for managers, based on Google’s Project Oxygen effort. She also supports the White House Leadership Development, CXO, and President’s Management Council Interagency Rotation fellows programs, and delivers a variety of workshops and coaching services to leaders and teams across government.

Bill Adams, Leadership Solutions Partner at the Center for Creative Leadership

Bill Adams is a senior faculty member at the Center for Creative Leadership. A former U.S. Army officer and West Point faculty member, Bill has more than 25 years of experience leading government teams and more than 10 years of experience teaching psychology, performance enhancement, and leadership.

Bob Oberleitner, Federal Executive and Executive Coach

Bob Oberleitner is federal executive and executive coach who is passionate about helping leaders understand that what they do “matters and impacts” the entire organization. His goal in coaching is “to sustainably improve organizations one leader at a time.” He is an ICF certified coach with over 17 years of experience as a senior executive. Through his coaching, executives embrace their authentic style and passion for leading to achieve extraordinary results in a manner that is right for themselves and their organizations. Bob ‘s collaborative style serves to facilitate clients’ discovery of insights which open doors for their success. He has coached senior leaders on a wide variety of topics including managing up, goal setting, change management, communication, time management, stress reduction and executive presence. Bob is a graduate from the Georgetown University’s Leadership Coaching program and holds a degree in Industrial Engineering from Penn State University.

Bob Ranck (ret.), former Deputy Director of Programs, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Programs

Brigadier General Bob Ranck (ret.) is the former Deputy Director of Programs, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Programs, Headquarters U.S. Air Force and has also served in a number of CEO positions. Bob is expert in the practical uses of Simulation across a wide range of applications, and also in the policy-setting and strategic issues for Simulation as seen from a Senior Executive standpoint

Calvin Byrd, former Senior Level Advisor for Physical Security at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

His career spanned 38 years with NRC and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) specializing in security and emergency preparedness programs.

After the 9/11 terrorist attacks he led enhanced protection measures for NRC facilities. He directed NRC’s security actions during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. For over 15 years he represented NRC on the Department of Homeland Security's Interagency Security Committee and helped develop the security standards for Federal facilities. Earlier in his career he served as chief of FEMA’s physical and technical security division. He also assisted in FEMA’s response to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and served on President Clinton’s National Partnership for Reinventing Government.

Mr. Byrd has a BA in Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland. His alma mater recognized him as a leader and innovator in the security field with a feature article titled "The Protector." He serves on the Senior Executives Association’s Board of Directors and is a Senior Fellow in the Excellence in Government Fellows program. Mr. Byrd is a member of the American Society for Industrial Security and International Organization of Black Security Executives. In 2015 he earned NRC’s Meritorious Service Award.

Daryle Hernandez, Chief of the Interagency Security Committee (ISC)

Daryle Hernandez serves as the Chief of the Interagency Security Committee (ISC) located in the Infrastructure Security Division within the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). In this role, he is responsible for implementing Presidential Executive Order 12977 to enhance the quality and effectiveness of security in, and the protection of buildings and non-military Federal facilities in the United States. He does this with and through the chief security officers and other senior executives from over 60 Federal departments and agencies that make up the ISC membership.

Prior to his arrival to CISA, Mr. Hernandez was an interagency senior advisor with a FEMA National Incident Management Assistance Team where he deployed in support of incident response operations in Guam and South Carolina.

Daryle Hernandez is a 27 year veteran of the U.S. Army. In one of his final assignments, Mr. Hernandez led the Department of the Army’s Protection Office responsible for synchronizing multiple programs to protect a workforce of 1 million located on over 100 federal installations and in 6,000 separate standalone facilities.

Dean Phillips, Assistant Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Mr. Phillips joined the FBI in March 1999 and began his career as a Special Agent in the Honolulu Division, investigating Foreign Counterintelligence and Extraterritorial Terrorism. While assigned to the Honolulu Division he also worked Violent Crimes and became a certified SWAT operator.

In 2005, Mr. Phillips was promoted and assigned to the Criminal Investigative Division, Organized Crime Section, as a regional Program Manager. In October 2008, he was promoted to Unit Chief of the Asian/African Criminal Enterprise Unit.

In February 2011, Mr. Phillips was assigned to the Las Vegas Division where he served as the HUMINT Squad Supervisor and the newly created Technical Services Squad Supervisor.

In October 2014, Mr. Phillips was promoted to Assistant Special Agent in Charge and assigned to the El Paso Division where he was responsible for Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, Cyber, the Computer Analysis Response Team, Technically Trained Agents, and Critical Incident Response Programs, as well as the Midland Resident Agency.

In March 2017, Mr. Phillips was promoted to Section Chief of the Technical Programs Section, Operational Technology Division, where he was responsible for managing all the FBI’s Technically Trained Agents and Electronic Technicians, the FBI’s non-traditional communications response capabilities, and the FBI’s entire Shared Land Mobile Radio system.

In October 2018, Mr. Phillips became the Special Agent in Charge of the Denver division, responsible for all FBI matters in Colorado and Wyoming.

In April 2020, Mr. Phillips became the Assistant Director, IT Infrastructure Division, responsible for all FBI IT infrastructure.
Prior to working for the FBI, he was a commissioned officer in the Air Force Office of Special Investigations where he worked criminal and Counterintelligence matters for ten years. He remained in the Reserves after separating from active duty and retired as a Colonel in 2018.

Mr. Phillips earned his Bachelor’s degree from the US Air Force Academy and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs.

Deanne B. Watts, Specialist Leader in Human Capital at Deloitte

Deanne B. Watts is a Specialist Leader in Human Capital within Workforce Transformation, Learning and Leadership with over twenty years of experience in developing learning and performance support solutions for both Federal and commercial clients. She is responsible for delivering a full range learning and performance interventions to her clients, including immersive learning solutions such as serious games. Before joining Deloitte, she held leadership roles guiding the instructional design teams at Carney, Inc., Management Concepts, and KC Resources. Deanne has won more than 15 awards for her multimedia web-based training and games and holds a Masters in English from George Mason University.

Deedre Daniel, Founder of The Interesting Conversations Company

Deedre Daniel was depressed. She felt stuck, bored, and numb. And she was tired of sitting in time-sucking, soul-crushing meetings talking about things she did not care about with people she did not like. Deedre noticed that most people struggled to make lasting connections with others in a variety of social situations. So, she founded The Interesting Conversations Company® to help people think creatively, LAUGH, and build stronger bonds with others. The increasing inability to connect also inspired her to write a training class and a business book called How to be More Interesting Than a Cell Phone®. She invented The Very Interesting Game™ (five card games) to go with her signature talk. It is for sale on Amazon and available at other retailers soon.

THE VERY INTERESTING GAME SHOW™ is a fun virtual experience for team building, networking, and other online events. Deedre now spends her time laughing with strangers, exploring new ideas, and creating interesting things to talk about instead of sitting in boring meetings. Deedre is a graduate of Florida Southern College and lives in Lakeland, Florida, with her husband, Robert, their puppy, Spartacus, and her active imagination. When she isn't busy making life more exciting, she writes new cards for expansion packs and online game shows and works on the 501(c)(3) she founded called The Big Fat Tip®. This organization enlists volunteers' help to surprise people working in the service industry with $1,000+ tips. These are Total Random Acts of Kindness! Deedre has extensive experience speaking at conferences and training in corporate environments and has earned a reputation for having a wild and zany sense of humor. Check out some of her videos on YouTube.

Dondrae Maiden, Office of the Solicitor at the Department of Interior

He is a graduate of Virginia Union University (Bachelor of Arts in History/Political Science), the University of Maryland School of Law (Doctorate of Law) and Liberty University (Masters in Theology). He has over sixteen years of experience as an attorney and currently serves as the Acting Director of the Indian Trust Litigation Office in the Office of the Solicitor at the United States Department of the Interior.

He has twice been awarded the Solicitor’s Award of Excellence, a top award given to lawyers within his department, for his critical role in historic settlements totaling over three-billion dollars. Dondrae is licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the District of Columbia, the State of Maryland, and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court.

Emma Dodwell-Groves, Manager Talent Mobility Consulting at BGRS

Emma has 13 years of experience in the global talent development field and a multi-regional background supporting corporate clients across a wide range of industries. She has experience in global mobility programme design, organisational structure and transformation, Mobility and Talent cross-functional alignment, global mindset, diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI) in the mobility landscape and deep experiencewith intercultural training. Emma is an engaging facilitator that has presented at conferences and has featured in industry publications.

Prior to BGRS, Emma worked at Paradigm Consultants International (Hong Kong), specializing in bespoke experiential training and customised solutions to complex organisational needs. Having lived and worked in Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, Spain and the UK, she leverages her Asia Pacific expertise and global cross cultural training background to bring a breadth of knowledge from across the talent and global mobility sphere.

Emma speaks Mandarin Chinese, holds a BSc in Sociology from the University of Bristol, a postgraduate certificate in Intercultural Communication from Birkbeck, University of London, and a Certificate of Training Design for Intercultural Learning from the School of International & Intercultural Communication.

Francis Rose, Broadcaster, Journalist, Speaker, Writer and Host of Government Matters on Washington, DC’s ABC7 and WJLA 24/7 News

Francis Rose is an award-winning broadcaster, journalist, speaker, writer and host of Government Matters on Washington, DC’s ABC7 and WJLA 24/7 News. He has covered all three branches of the federal government as a broadcast journalist since 1998. He was host of “In Depth with Francis Rose” on Federal News Radio from 2008 to 2015 after joining the station in 2006. His guest list has included virtually every important name in the federal government.

Francis’s first book, “The OPM Cyber Breach: An In Depth Look at the Worst Cyber Attack in Government History” is available on Amazon. Francis is highly sought-after as a speaker and moderator of high-profile events in the federal community. His 30-year broadcast career includes stops at America’s leading broadcasters, including ABC Radio, CBS Radio, Westwood One and C-SPAN.
News and talk radio trade magazine Talkers selected “In Depth with Francis Rose” for its list of the 250 most important talk shows in America in 2012.

John Kolm, CEO of Team Results USA

Panel chair John Kolm is the CEO of Team Results USA, a company specializing in virtual and in-person team and leadership simulation for Government. John is a global best-selling author whose company has trained thousands of Federal employees using modern principles of online and face-to-face gaming and simulation. He is widely published and appears regularly on podcasts, radio and TV.

Jerry Mechling, PhD., retired lecturer in public policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government

Dr. Mechling is a retired lecturer in public policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he taught degree and executive education courses for 28 years and was Founding Director of the Program on Strategic Computing in the Public Sector (subsequently the Program on Leadership for a Networked World). Prior to that, he was director of the office of management and budget for the City of Boston and assistant to the mayor and assistant administrator for environmental protection for the City of New York.

Dr. Mechling is also a retired vice president at Gartner Research, a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, and a former Fellow of the John F. Kennedy Institute of Politics. He was National Technology Champion of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers and four-time winner of the Federal 100 Award. He was a Harvard National Scholar, 3-year letterman on the football team, and a Class Marshal. He holds a B.A. from Harvard University and a Master’s and Ph.D from Princeton University.

Ken Quintana, Director of CDC University

Ken Quintana is the Director of CDC University where he oversees a wide range of training, employee development, competency development, and organizational development functions and solutions. Prior to this position, Ken was the Deputy Division Director in the Strategic Programs Office where he oversaw talent acquisition, workforce planning, succession planning, employee engagement, all HRIT functions, and workforce data analytics.

Before taking on that assignment, Ken was the deputy branch chief over the Workforce Engagement Branch in the Human Capital and Resources Management Office. He also led CDC University’s School of Leadership and Management Development where he directed the leadership and management training curriculum for CDC. Prior to his CDC career, he served in numerous capacities across the US Department of Transportation. He began his CDC career in 2008 and began his federal career in 1992.

Ken’s background provides a wealth of expertise in human capital management and strategy, organizational development, program management, and program audit. Ken has a BA and an MBA from New Mexico State University.

M. Shane Canfield, CEO at WAEPA

Shane came to WAEPA in 2016 and served previously as Executive Director of the Council on Employee Benefits. He has spent most of his career in the pooled-risk group/affinity insurance industry. In his role as WAEPA CEO, Shane is responsible for strategic planning and leadership, managing stakeholder relationships, and serving our Board of Directors in organizational oversight. With extensive experience in coalition building, government relations, and reporting to Boards, Shane leads WAEPA by consistently prioritizing member satisfaction, membership growth, and retention.

He earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from George Mason University, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Washington Adventist University, and is a board member for the Council of HR Management Associations, member of LIMRA, PIMA, International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP), and is a past board member of the ASAE Business Services Inc. Additionally, Shane holds various certifications, including CEBS, RHU, CAE, SPHR, and SHRM-SCP.M. Shane Canfield brings more than 25 years of experience in insurance and non-profit leadership to WAEPA.

Mitch Warner, Managing Partner at Arbinger

Mitch Warner is a managing partner at Arbinger and co-author of Arbinger’s latest bestseller, The Outward Mindset. Mitch is a sought-after speaker to organizations across a broad range of industries, bringing his practical experience to bear for leaders of corporations, governments, and organizations across the globe. Specific clients include NASA, Citrix, Aflac, the U.S. Army and Air Force, and the Treasury Executive Institute.

Morgean Hirt, Director of Credentialing at the Association for Talent Development (ATD)

As Director of Credentialing for the Association for Talent Development, Morgean Hirt is responsible for the overall management and leadership of the ATD Credentialing Institute and was instrumental in the development of the Talent Development Capability Model. She brings over twenty-five years of nonprofit experience in personnel certification and accreditation across a variety of professions.

Morgean has devoted her career to advancing professions through the establishment of industry standards. She provides strategic leadership and technical expertise in developing and implementing credentialing programs, focusing on policy and standards development, test development, governance and strategic planning, as well as ANSI/ISO 17024 and NCCA accreditation.

Prior to joining ATD, Morgean spent 10 years as Present and CEO of Certified Fund Raising Executives International Credentialing Board (CFRE International), and was responsible for establishing international support across six continents for a unified standard of fundraising practice. Morgean lives in the Washington, DC area and is active with the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE), serving as a member of the Education and Program Committees and as a presenter at the ICE Exchange.

Nancy Brickwood, Senior Vice President, Global Human Resources at BGRS

Nancy oversees the global Human Resources and Learning and Development functions operating from 7 geographies. Her focus is to enhance organizational performance by leading a global team of professionals responsible for the design, implementation and ongoing support of a wide range of programs across the functional areas of talent acquisition, talent development, talent management, compensation, health and wellness, data and analytics, policies and practices and global payroll.

Nancy brings more than 20 years of human resources experience to BGRS and has held several roles within BGRS’s group of companies. Nancy has served as the HR integration lead during the onboarding of two acquisitions by BGRS Global Relocations. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wilfrid Laurier University, a Human Resources diploma from the University of Toronto and her Certified Human Resources Executive (CHRE) designation.

Nicole Ogrysko, Reporter at the Federal News Network

Nicole Ogrysko is a workforce and personnel reporter for Federal News Network. She has been covering federal topics since 2013, starting out as a radio producer for 1500 AM. Prior to joining Federal News Network, Nicole was a digital writer for WTOP and a reporter for Radio Pennsylvania.

Pamela Pennington, Press Secretary and Deputy Associate Administrator for Media Affairs at the U.S. General Services Administration

Pamela Pennington is the Press Secretary and Deputy Associate Administrator for Media Affairs at the U.S. General Services Administration. In her current role, she manages GSA's Media Affairs team, oversees all agency interactions with the media and external communications including speechwriting and social media strategy. Prior to GSA, Pamela was a senior attorney at a law firm in St. Louis, Missouri, where she practiced law and served as an advisor and spokesperson for a gubernatorial campaign. Previously, she served as general counsel for the Lt. Governor of Missouri. Pamela earned a bachelor of arts in communication from Texas A&M and a juris doctorate from Washington University in St. Louis.

Peter L. Levin, Co-founder and CEO at Amida Technology Solutions

Peter is the co-founder and CEO of Amida, an open source software company that focuses on data management and data security. Concurrently, he is also an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and a Strategic Advisor to Government Executives (SAGE) with the Partnership for Public Service.

Prior to Amida, Peter has served at senior levels of leadership in federal government, the private sector, and academe. He was Senior Advisor to the Secretary and Chief Technology Officer of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, where he led their health record modernization initiative.

Peter’s private sector background includes being a director of the network security company, Astaro (acquired by Sophos) and co-founder of the GPS-based cybersecurity company, Zanio (acquired by Boeing).

With a deep knowledge and background in applied math and high performance computing, Peter has published nearly a hundred articles on modeling and simulations, cybersecurity, satellite navigation, semiconductor design, and technology policy in peer-reviewed journals as well as distinguished outlets in the popular press.

Peter was a White House Fellow in the Office of Management and Budget, a Humboldt Fellow in the Department Mathematical Physics at the Technical University of Darmstadt, an NSF Presidential (Bush '41) Young Investigator, a DAAD Visiting Scientist at the University of Munich, and a winner of an NIST Advanced Technology Program award.

Richard “Kris” Cline, Principal Deputy Director Federal Protective Service / Office of the Director / Management Directorate

Mr. Cline serves as the Principal Deputy Director of the Federal Protective Service (FPS). In this capacity, he serves as an extension of the Director and operates with full authority to execute the mission of the FPS. Mr. Cline independently directs and manages FPS employees and coordinates with federal, state, and local public officials to ensure the protection of the buildings, grounds, and property that are owned, occupied, or secured by the federal government and the persons on the property.

Mr. Cline joined FPS in May 2003 after retiring from the U.S. Army. His first assignment was as the Area Commander for the Federal Triangle and Security Director at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC. In October 2004, Mr. Cline was detailed to the FPS National Capital Region to coordinate and lead the FPS efforts for the 2005 Presidential Inaugural events.
Mr. Cline most recently served as the Deputy Director for Operations, where he was the overall administrator for operational activities and direction to the Service’s nationwide law enforcement and protection programs.

Prior to joining the Department of Homeland Security, Mr. Cline served 20 years with the U.S. Army Military Police Corps Regiment. He served with distinction in numerous assignments during his career such as, Operations Sergeant, Military Police Operations, Army Operations Center, Pentagon; Sergeant-of-the-Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery; Platoon Sergeant at the 534th Military Police Company, Republic of Panama; Squad Leader at the 142nd Military Police Company, Republic of Korea; and Team Leader of the Military Security Force, National Military Command Center, Office of the Chairman-Joint Chiefs of Staff; to name a few.

During his U.S. Army career, Mr. Cline participated in numerous operational deployments including Joint Task Force-Distant Haven in Suriname, South America and Operation Safe Haven/Safe Passage in the Republic of Panama. Mr. Cline concluded his career with the U.S. Army having received numerous awards and decorations for exceptional service and sustained performance.

Robert Martini, Vice President, Strategic Products and Practice Leader, Talent Mobility Consulting

Rob Martini has been with BGRS since 2018. He is currently Vice President, Strategic Products and Practice Leader, Talent Mobility Consulting for BGRS. In his role, he is responsible for oversight of all client and prospect consulting projects as well as development and deployment of thought leadership content. He also leads the Intercultural and Language Programs for BGRS and is responsible for the evaluation of new products targeted to enhance the overall value proposition of BGRS to its clients.

In 2010 Rob joined Oakwood Worldwide as the Vice President of Strategic Relationships. He subsequently took on expanded roles overseeing the Oakwood/ExecuStay Franchise Group and as Managing Director, Americas.

Prior to that Rob spent 18 years with another RMC where he held various positions supporting Real Estate Acquisition, Business Process Development and Global Supply Chain Management.

Ryan Shallard, Manager in Human Capital at Deloitte

Ryan Shallard is a Manager in Human Capital within Workforce Transformation. Ryan has a range of human capital experiences including organizational strategies, communications, talent management, and workforce reskilling. Ryan is passionate about developing Future of Work solutions that position organizations to thrive and provide exceptional employee experiences that grow people’s careers. Ryan has a JD from Williams & Mary Law School and a BS in Industrial & Labor Relations from Cornell University.

Sheila Wright, Chief Learning Officer at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Sheila Wright serves as the Chief Learning Officer. Starting at the IRS in January 2020, Sheila provides executive leadership in the area of talent management planning and development. Although she has been in the federal workforce for more than 20 years, Dr. Sheila Wright has over 26 years of experience in the HRD field. Since the start of her federal career in 2000, she has worked at various agencies to include the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Homeland Security (HQ), and Transportation Security Administration. As a federal employee, she has held many positions to include; Training Instructor, Instructional Systems Specialist, Program Manager, Human Resources Specialist, Acting Director, Director, and Acting Deputy Chief Human Capital Officer, and Chief Learning Officer (CLO).

She has been a member of the Senior Executive Service since December 2012. She has also been recognized for her leadership ability in mobilizing national learning and development programs and initiatives as well as establishing and building learning infrastructures in federal agencies. Her experience as a human capital executive includes the leading the development and implementation of a Departmental Employee Development Strategy. Her experience also includes leading human capital, workforce, and succession planning programs, data analytics initiatives, and multiple integrated project (collaborative) teams.

She earned a doctoral degree in Human and Organizational Studies, Human Resources Development from The George Washington University in January 2004. She also received a Master of Business Administration degree and a Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in Management from Morgan State University. In academia, Dr. Wright has taught both undergraduate and graduate courses using both the virtual and traditional classroom platforms at both The Catholic University of America and University of Maryland, University College. Sheila has been featured as a guest panelist on Federal News Radio and the Training Officers Consortium, as well as featured in the July’s edition (2014) of Chief Learning Officer and Government Executive magazines. Dr. Wright continues to coach and mentor federal employees and young professionals in the early stage of their careers.

Steve Dobberowsky, Senior Principal of Thought Leadership and Advisory Services at Cornerstone OnDemand

Steve formerly worked at the Treasury Department where he led numerous agencies through successful implementations of unified talent management suites. At Cornerstone, Steve has leveraged his expertise to assist organizations in all things talent management. Steve is a proven, business-savvy leader with a track record of providing high-quality, innovative services and solutions. He is a leader who develops people, fosters relationships and builds partnerships to leverage resources, knowledge, skills and technology.

Sudeep Reddy, Managing Editor at POLITICO

He joined POLITICO in January 2017 after a decade in The Wall Street Journal's Washington bureau, where he was an economics editor directing coverage of U.S. and international economic news. He joined the Journal in 2007 as a U.S. economics reporter covering the Federal Reserve and financial crisis and later served as the Journal's international economics correspondent, covering developments across the White House, Treasury Department, IMF and World Bank.

Reddy arrived in the capital as a Washington correspondent for The Dallas Morning News, covering a wide range of policy issues including energy, transportation, technology and immigration. He started his career in Texas as a reporter covering the energy industry and business issues before the Texas Legislature. A Texas native, Reddy graduated from Brown University with a degree in biomedical ethics and American history.

Sue Bohle, Executive Director of the Serious Play Conference

Sue Bohle is the Executive Director of the Serious Play conference, a peak industry body in the Serious Gaming and Simulation space. Sue is the former founder and CEO of The Bohle Company, Microsoft’s first PR agency. Since that time she has worked with most of the major players in the Simulation and Serious Gaming space, and is one of the nation’s leading experts on the state of the industry.

Terry Gerton, President and CEO of the National Academy of Public Administration

Terry Gerton was named President and CEO of the National Academy of Public Administration in January 2017. The Academy is an independent, non-profit, and non-partisan organization, chartered by Congress to assist government leaders in building more effective, efficient, accountable, and transparent organizations.

Ms. Gerton brings to the Academy nearly 12 years in the Senior Executive Service as a career member and as a political appointee, and 20 years of service as an active duty Army officer. She has a broad range of experience in all aspects of public service management, and her expertise has been recognized with both the Distinguished and the Meritorious Presidential Rank Awards. Most recently, Ms. Gerton served from June 2013 to January 2017 as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy for the U.S. Department of Labor Veterans’ Employment and Training Service where her work helped drive the national veteran unemployment rate to its lowest in eight years. While at Labor, she also led the Department’s Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

Prior to joining DoL, Terry spent 2 years as a Vice President at The Cohen Group, a Washington, DC consulting company. From 2003-2011, she served for eight years as a member of the Senior Executive Service in the Department of Defense. In her last position there, she was the Executive Deputy to the Commanding General of Army Materiel Command where she was responsible for the daily operations of over 70,000 civilian and 1,500 military employees around the world. Prior to that, she served as AMC's financial controller for three years. She also served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Program Analysis and Evaluation where she was responsible for executing all aspects of the development of the OSD Future Years Defense Plan and submitting the plan to Congress.

Ms. Gerton's twenty years of military service included a variety of staff and leadership positions, including the Executive Officer for the Army's largest battalion (a 1200-soldier corps support maintenance battalion at Fort Hood), Professor of Economics at the United States Military Academy, and Company Commander of a 300-person direct support maintenance company in Germany. Ms. Gerton graduated from the United States Military Academy and earned an MBA from Duke University. She earned the Distinguished Presidential Rank award in 2011 and the Meritorious Presidential Rank award in 2008. She also received the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service in 2011.

Tyra Dent Smith, Executive Director of the African American Federal Executive Association (AAFEA)

In this capacity, Ms. Smith serves as the Chief Staff Officer, with overall responsibility for the implementation of AAFEA’s five strategic priorities and goals. Ms. Smith provides direct oversight for the management, operations, and implementation of AAFEA and its programs, which include an annual Professional Development Workshop, monthly Coffee Talks, and webinars, to name a few. Ms. Smith retired from the Senior Executive Service (SES) as the Deputy Chief Human Capital Officer (DCHO), Department of Commerce (DOC), Office of Human Resources Management (OHRM) with over 40 years of service. As DCHO Ms. Smith was responsible for the development of human capital strategies, human resource (HR) policies and programs covering the operating units and offices of the Department, assuring integration with all other functions of administration (ie., budget, financial management, information technology, facilities operations, security, and executive direction). Prior to serving as the DOC DCHO, Ms. Smith served as the HR Division Chief at the US Census Bureau. This responsibility included consultation on special HR efforts related to the management of census programs and research and development of policy guidance for recruiting and hiring approximately one million temporary employees nationwide to conduct the 2010 decennial census. Ms. Smith began her professional leadership journey with an appointment as a Presidential Management Intern, currently the Presidential Fellows Program (PMF) at the U.S. Department of Treasury where she coordinated and negotiated banking arrangements for federal deposits. Subsequently, Ms. Smith joined the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) where she served as a Program Manager for the Next Generation Weather Radar program Ms. Smith, holds a Bachelors’ degree in Psychology from Hampton (Institute) University and a Masters in Public Administration from Howard University. Ms. Smith has been a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority for over 25 years.

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