The HHS Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) is committed to growing its leaders through professional development.
HHS Chief Information Officer Karl S. Mathias, Ph.D. explains, "It’s mutually beneficial for employees and OCIO when team members commit to growing their skills, broadening their knowledge, and taking advantage of learning opportunities. As an executive leader, encouraging professional development helps me fill gaps in the workplace, but also supports and elevates staff to help get them where they want to go in their careers. That support translates into a happier workforce with loyal employees. This is just one way that OCIO maintains its status as an ‘employer of choice’ within the HHS and Federal IT communities.”
Two OCIO employees completed month-long professional development programs this spring and have since returned to work more engaged and excited to bring cost effective, secure, innovative, and timely IT solutions and services to address the breadth of pressing human services and health care challenges across HHS program users and stakeholders.
Harvard Kennedy School Senior Executive Fellow Program
Bobby Flanders was the sole HHS graduate from the April 2023 Cohort of the Senior Executive Fellows (SEF) program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. The professional development program is designed to sharpen leadership and managerial skills for federal civilians at the GS-14 and GS-15 grade levels.
The SEF program is one of the OCIO’s competitive leadership development opportunities and offers participants the opportunity to learn from Harvard faculty, including former presidential cabinet members, National Security Council leaders, former political leaders, and industry and thought leaders. The program also provides an unparalleled opportunity to network with other senior leaders from diverse industries, sectors, and countries, facilitating a unique exchange of ideas and perspectives.
Bobby spent over 100 hours in classroom instruction (lectures, case studies and simulations) and an equivalent amount of time in reading and external coursework, pushing him to think critically, creatively, and strategically. The case method pioneered by Harvard offered a hands-on approach that allowed him to apply what they have learned to real-world situations and develop the skills necessary to lead effectively in today’s fast-paced society.
“I always knew my work was valued by my supervisors, but my engagement with other SEF classmates showed me just how important the work of OCIO is to enhance the health and well-being of all Americans,” said Bobby. “I am deeply grateful to HHS and OCIO for sending me on this transformative experience and supporting my efforts to become a better leader.”
Bobby currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Staff in OCIO’s Immediate Office. He manages a team that is responsible for all aspects of OCIO’s internal and external communications; internal controls/audit liaison, FOIA email searches, administrative support, and task management.
The next cohort of the Senior Executive Fellows program is quickly approaching. OCIO encourages interested employees to discuss with your supervisor and reach out to Bobby to get the inside scoop from a recent graduate.
Federal Executive Institute Leadership for a Democratic Society
Jaime Robinson graduated from the March/April 2023 Cohort of the Federal Executive Institute (FEI) Leadership for a Democratic Society (LDS) program along with HHS staff from the Administration for Preparedness and Response, the Food and Drug Administration, and the National Institutes of Health. This professional development program prepares senior government leaders at the GS-15 and SES level for today’s complex challenges.
The LDS program is designed to prepare senior-level government executives for the complex challenges of leadership. Through expert instruction and experiential learning, the program develops the capacity for visionary leaders who can transform their organizations and government. LDS prepares senior-level leaders for today’s complex challenges, including increased critical self-awareness; enhanced leadership and management strengths and areas for improvement in the areas of team building, strategic thinking, influencing/negotiating, political savvy, and external awareness; enhanced ability to identify problems and plan for action to improve organization performance; and improved ability to leverage the diverse talents of the Federal workforce.
Leveraging the expertise and experience of each executive, the LDS establishes a learning community where the participants and faculty are both teachers and learners. Anchored in current leadership theory, the core curriculum is aligned with OPM’s Executive Core Qualifications and Leadership Competencies. In addition to the core curriculum, Jaime completed several introspective assignments, an action learning project, and produced plans to transform himself and OCIO.
“I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for being selected to attend the FEI training program,” said Jaime. “I am truly humbled and appreciative of the opportunity I was afforded to meet with and learn from other leaders within the federal government. This invaluable experience has enhanced my leadership skills and will allow me to contribute to the growth and success of HHS and OCIO. I believe that my attendance at the senior executive training will enable me to bring fresh insight and innovative approaches to my organization.”
Jaime currently serves as Director of Governance, Strategy & Policy withing OCIO’s Office of Enterprise Services.
The next cohort of the Leadership for a Democratic Society program is quickly approaching. OCIO encourages interested employees to discuss with your supervisor and reach out to Jaime for a recent graduate perspective on what to expect during the program.