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The Alumni Newsletter for the Key Executive Leadership Programs



Message from the Director Greetings! We have had a busy year thus far with lots of new programs on the horizon. Our Key Executive Leadership Speaker Series has continued with great success this year. The final session of the year is scheduled for th Saturday, November 16 with Naomi Leventhal on the topic of Leading Effective Employee Performance. Additionally, I’m pleased to announce next year’s theme, “Leadership Challenges in a Changing World” covering topics such as the generation gap, global leadership, project management, action learning, and telecommuting. Our first session of the New Year will kick off with Jim Thompson, Director of Innovation with the Department of State, on the topic of

Collaborative Partnerships. Look for an e-mail with the full schedule in the coming weeks. It was good to see many of you in August at AU Night at Nationals Park and at our happy hour event at Park Tavern prior to the game. This was just one of several new events we are kicking th off this fall. On November 12 th (originally scheduled for October 16 ), we will host Roger Schwarz during our next Leadership Forum. RSVP today – the first 60 attendees will receive a copy of Roger Schwarz’s book Smart Leaders, Smarter Teams. Keep an eye out for emails with information on more events this fall or check our website for the latest event information. We’d love for each of you to attend a Leadership Forum, a Speaker Series session, or a networking hour; however, if you are unable to join us, let’s continue the conversation online—LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and FlickR.

As always, I encourage you to refer friends and colleagues who desire to begin the path of extraordinary leadership. I also encourage you to get involved and remain engaged through the many alumni-related activities— serving as an Ambassador at information sessions, on the Alumni Advisory Board, on panel discussions, or as a guest speaker. Together we can become forces for personal and organizational change. Send an e-mail to to get engaged today! And finally, we are aware that even though the shutdown is over and you are back to work, the crisis of funding and furlough isn’t over. I want to let you know that Key faculty and staff continues to be impressed with your unwavering commitment to public service. Sincerely,



Global Perspective: A Week in Brussels, Belgium This summer students from Key 44 and 45 experienced life as a public servant in the European Union enhancing their global perspective and understanding of cultural factors affecting the theories and practices of

public service. Annually, Key sends a small cohort of up to 20 students to Brussels, Belgium in July to gain a solid understanding in global theory and practice. By participating in this course, students are preparing for pubic leadership in a highly interconnected world.



with high-ranking officials from the European Commission, Council of the European Union, Parliament of the Kingdom of Belgium and NATO. At the conclusion of the week long session students gained a better understanding of the influence of culture, the role of local and regional government, and comitology procedures. Check out photos from the session. Are you interested in going to Brussels to examine and compare the politics, policymaking and public administration of the United States and European Union? Contact Corrine Thompson-Melissari at to learn more.

During the week long sessions, students met


DoD 25

Congratulations EPA 1, GAO 2, DoD 25, and SSA 22! Congratulations on earning your Key Executive Leadership Certificate! We hope you enjoyed your time here and continue to participate in future seminars, forums, and alumni activities. From the entire Key family... Congratualtions!

AU/Key Night at Nationals Park th

Key students, alumni, faculty, and staff enjoying the Washington Nationals take on the New York Mets at AU Night at Nationals Park.

On Friday, August 30 , friends of Key, Key students, Key alumni, and Key faculty and staff participated in AU Night at Nationals Park.

kick-off the game, WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi threw out the first pitch. Meanwhile, AU cheerleaders and AU’s mascot Clawed Z. Eagle welcomed and engaged attendees.

The Night kicked off with a networking happy hour at Park Tavern. During the happy hour guests mingled, shared laughs, and enjoyed food and drinks. As a bonus, attendees were entered into a raffle for great prizes such as a full subscription to Government Executive, an American University bookstore gift card, a Coldstone Creamy gift card, and an iTunes gift card.

While the Nationals lost, the consulation prize was an exceptional fireworks show that was introduced by “Sleepy College Town”, an illustration that AU’s succesful students, faculty, and alumni are fueled by a passion to see something greater in the nation’s capital and around the world.

After having a fantastic time at the networking happy hour, it was time to watch the Nationals take on the New York Mets. To

Check out the photos from the night: Did you miss this event? Don’t worry we have more events scheduled. Check out the upcoming events.



Alumni Spotlight: International Leadership Training Consultant Pape Samb continue to face is working with individuals from different countries, communities, backgrounds, and religions. Having limited knowledge of the cultures and customs, it becomes a difficult task to thoroughly understand the people you work with and serve. I found myself asking, “What is most important here?”

Key MPA Cohort 40 alum Pape Samb has partnered with Key to develop new leadership training programs in Colombia and Africa. He recently sat down with us to talk about these new programs and how Key helped him get to where he is today. Describe a little bit about the inspiration and motivation behind the Choco, Colombia and Continental Africa programs? My work is based on African-American communities and the African diaspora. Choco, Colombia is a 95.3% AfricanColombian community and part of the African diaspora. For me, the inspiration was realizing that leadership is not only about learning the big words and the big concepts; it is about executing. For many leaders, execution is the biggest challenge. After graduating from Key, I realized that it’s not really about the theoretical element but about the practical application. I wanted to have a program that combined practice and theory, giving people an opportunity to apply and translate what they learned into a best practice that they can document. Bringing those two worlds—the practical and theoretical—together, that was the main inspiration for these new programs. And I want to help Africa and the African diaspora execute programs and plans for their governments or local communities. From a leadership perspective, what were some of the critical challenges you have had to overcome or key opportunities you have been able to seize? In my case, the challenges are as great as the opportunities. The biggest challenge I

Answering that question is really challenging because I don’t know them. I don’t know their culture, so having to deal with people from all over the world was very challenging because everywhere I go there is something to learn. You have to be humble enough to be able to learn those things, to listen to people and know that you do not know everything and that you always can learn something. What do you think is the biggest challenge facing international development today? The biggest challenge for international development is finding resources to address increasing community needs. What local communities need –in terms of housing, education, economic growth, employment and jobs—is increasing every day. Unfortunately when it comes to resources and funding, they are very limited and getting smaller. How we address the lack of resources and funding should be the next question. Based on my experience, most people and local communities are expecting more than money from big organizations. Money is just a tool that people use to get services and products; however it’s not the end-all be-all to address the needs of communities. Let’s not focus on money, but rather something more tangible that directly impacts people’s lives. Perhaps going back to the old way of doing business, which is trading, exchanging goods and service, knowledge and expertise. Describe your career path thus far and your key highlights to date? When I was 13, I started a daycare for my mum and her friends, so that kids could go to school during the day and allow my mum and her friends some time to rest. Every year thereafter, they realized they had too much time on their hands after daycare and needed something else to do, so we started a vocational training center. By the time I finished high school, I was involved in nonprofit development, which led me to get involved with the Peace Corps. I started

doing a lot of work in Senegal and West Africa with people from all over the world and that’s how I came to the US in 2004, working with Africare, doing content management and design. After that, I went on to Phelps Stokes as a Senior Fellow developing programs based on personal expertise. From there, I went on to Sasha Bruce because I wanted to learn more about the African American community and helped them with fundraising, training and development, and strategic planning. When I left Sasha Bruce, I went back to Phelps Stokes to start their African division and through that, I got involved in youth work, which I really love to do. It was very inspiring working with youth and knowing how much they can do for themselves. We created a global youth network called the Global Youth Innovation Network (GYIN); a youth-led organization giving youth the voice, the platform, the resources and skills to be able to address their own problems. Seeing some major problems in international development, I decided to start my own consulting firm, Exeleadmen International Consulting, where I focus on more social entrepreneurship using a hybrid model that combines business processes with non–profit processes. With Exeleadmen, I started doing work with different organizations, AU being one of them. I have designed a new program for them called the Global Shared Value Leadership (GSVL) Program, which aims to bring government and nonprofit, and corporations together to create shared value. With GSVL we ask a non-profit to identify a local community need, which is then shared with businesses that develop a service or product to address that need. We plan to use this experience to then educate government agencies to develop friendlier policies to community-led organizations. That is the whole shared value creation. Helping them learn the processes not only the rhetorical way, but through action learning, where you practice and you learn through partnership. I am currently doing work with a Canadian organization helping them design experimental learning. This is based on experimentation as opposed to following what ‘experts’ say should be done. So the experimental entrepreneurship program is based on doing it, experimenting on it, getting feedback, and improving it. I also do a lot of youth entrepreneurship training

EXECUTIVE TO EXECUTIVE | Fall 2013 where I help young people create a business and take them through the process of turning an idea into a profitable business. It is a process and methodology that you have to follow up based on a business idea of their choice and helping them get through the process where they will be able to attract money and develop a very sustainable business model to generate revenue. There are other things I do with governments helping investments and training their executives. Governments have a lot of resources so we can help them with investing and attracting partners who are looking for places and countries where they can invest. How would you describe your leadership style? I have an inquiring, facilitative style of leadership. I ask a lot of questions and I try to facilitate, giving people different options but allowing them to decide for themselves what they want to do. How do you help grow leaders in your company and community? Through my work with GYIN and Exeleadmen, I am involved in training global leaders using a three-step approach—global mindset, global entrepreneurship, and global

4 assumptions, beliefs, and expectations (VABEs). In the sessions we address how to understand the values of others, suspend assumptions, accept the beliefs of others, and better communicate expectations. What would you like to achieve as a leader in the next five years? In the next five years, I want to see a world that is more peaceful, social, sustainable, and inclusive, in terms of religion, social status, gender, and sexual orientation. That’s what I want to see. I would like to serve as a catalyst for business, government, and civil society/nonprofit organizations to understand and begin working together to address the biggest challenges in our society. Each sector cannot do it alone and by working together they can create meaningful values and solutions. I want to get to a place where all three sectors will see each other as equal partner to address our societal challenges. Thank you, Key and American University, for the opportunity to be interviewed and for allowing me to share my experiences.

About Pape Samb Pape Samb is a social entrepreneur who specializes in international development. He has over 17 years of experience in program and resource development, fundraising, entrepreneurship, training and facilitation, global leadership, and partnership building. He is a passionate individual who focuses his energy on educating people about Africa, empowering women and youth across the continent, and teaching sustainability. A driving force and empowering ‘agent of change’ for youth globally, he co-founded and serves as Chairman of the Global Youth Innovative Network (GYIN), a youth-run and led network of over 5,000 young innovators, entrepreneurs, and farmers in nearly 100 countries. Samb holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and a Diploma in Business Management, Accounting and Entrepreneurship. He holds an Executive Master of Public Administration from American University and has won several awards including Leadership in Excellence, Next Generation of Leaders, Great Heart, and Community Counterpart. Full biography.

It’s Not Just Values By: Patrick S. Malone, Ph.D.

Last summer I wrote a commentary for Public Manager where I posed a challenge to federal leaders - can you keep your cool while feeling the heat? Here we are 15 months later and, sadly, the challenges I posed are still in play for our Key alumni. The pay freeze continues and survey results indicate continued dissatisfaction with federal leaders both in and out of the civil service. As I noted last summer government-bashing isn’t limited to private citizens, politicians, or anyone else. Recall the words of American humorist Will Rogers: “I don’t make jokes. … I just watch the government and report the facts.” But for those who are alumni of the Key programs, you are armed with one of the most powerful tools for combatting such narrowminded views—the presence of value. When Key alumni think of values they typically reflect on a soul-searching journey of personal values or a symbiotic connection citizenship. I start by teaching them to acquire a global mindset based on values,

with the values of their agency. These are important and help you succeed in difficult times. While these may sound familiar, there’s another type of value that’s at play here – that is the value of the work you do.

One of my favorite quotes is from Harvard Professor Dan Fenn, “Where did the American people ever get the idea that figuring out how many blue chips to put into laundry powder so it could be called ‘NEW Swish’ and increasing point-of-sale

purchases is more important than keeping the nation and our homes safe, and mapping the oceans, and managing the infrastructure of a free society, and providing food and housing, and caring to the most vulnerable among us—all the tasks to which public servants devote their minds and hearts?” As you push forward in a challenging, sequestered workplace, take solace in the value you provide. It’s only in your hands where the leadership of the most vexing national problems rest: public health; education; the safety of our water, air, and food; our nation’s defense; the regulation of our banks and businesses; mine and manufacturing safety; and the protection of the most vulnerable among us. Congratulations – you provide value! FOR MORE INFORMATION To read the article “Can Leaders Keep Their Cool While Feeling the Heat” please visit ASTD’s The Public Manager.



Two New Certificate Offerings In July, Key began offering two new programs: Action Learning for Federal Agencies (ALFA) and the Key Executive Leadership Certificate with Action Learning and ECQ Writing. Action Learning for Federal Agencies (ALFA) Based on the learning model developed by Reginald Revans, the ALFA certificate program provides a distinctive experience for federal leaders to tackle existing agency problems by harnessing intellectual power and by building integrated Action Learning Teams. Using teams of six to seven individuals, each team concentrates on separate issues within the agency. To equip students with the intellectual power to address agency problems, students participate in five Action Learning class instruction days and eight onsite Action Learning coaching sessions. At the conclusion of the ALFA program, participants will have the ability to:

Identify the unique challenges posed in leading and learning to advance public sector organizations.

Understand the various phases of human intellectual development.

Conceptualize, self-evaluate, and apply the major components of emotional intelligence in a leadership capacity.

Recognize and evaluate personal leadership competencies.

Explore and apply action learning tools for: surfacing taken-forgranted values, attitudes, beliefs, and expectations; inquiring about and unpacking an ill-structured organizational problem; acting to resolve the problem; and learning, unlearning, and relearning from their actions.

The Key Programs estimate the market value of the ALFA Program to an agency is approximately $150,000 per team project. An agency can sponsor up to three teams in

each cohort. Using the ALFA Program may therefore provide an overall cost savings of up to $450,000. Through the ALFA program, students will bridge departmental divides by creating new ties and relationships across the agency; solve real problems in real-time; and learn a replicable process for solving difficult problems in the future. Learn More. Key Executive Leadership Certificate with Action Learning and ECQ Writing

The Roger W. Jones Award Join American University’s School of Public Affairs on Tuesday, October 29, 2013, as we recognize two federal career executives for exceptional leadership and the values demonstrated and promoted by Roger W. Jones. Learn More.

The Key Executive Leadership Certificate with Action Learning and ECQ Writing provides a cutting-edge approach to leadership development by incorporating dynamic, small group problem-solving with Senior Executive Service preparation. Appropriate for both aspiring leaders and Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Programs, the Key Executive Leadership Certificate with Action Learning and ECQ Writing provides an excellent opportunity for your managers to strengthen management, heighten leadership, and enhance problem-solving skills, while furthering their public service careers. Through the use of a robust and rigorous curriculum, participants engage in:

Eight-course Key Executive Leadership Certificate,

Action Learning classroom instruction,

Eight Action Learning coaching sessions,

Two 360° evaluations,

Four executive coaching sessions, and

One-day ECQ writing workshop.

Challenge your workforce to translate intellectual insight and understanding into changed behavior. Learn More.

Leadership Forum: Smart Leaders, Smart Teams On Tuesday, November 12, Roger Schwarz will share his book, Smart Leaders, Smart Teams, and address a critical question: Why does a group of smart leaders so often create a less-than-smart team? Learn more.

Key Executive Leadership Speaker Series Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 16,as we welcome Naomi Leventhal to the Key Executive Leadership Speaker Series to discuss “Leading Effective Employee Performance. RSVP today.


Welcome Key 47! The Key Executive Leadership Programs extends a big warm welcome to Key 47. We’re excited to follow your journey of “change” as you pursue an Executive Master of Public Administration (MPA). From the entire Key Family, welcome!

Welcome USDA 27, Open Enrollment 30, EPA 2, DHS 28, and DHS 29! The Key Executive Leadership Programs would like to extend a warm welcome to all of our new certificate students. We hope you find your time with use useful and valuable. We are here to assist you on your journey. From the entire Key family, welcome!



Recipients of the Alpern and Zauderer Scholarships The Key Executive Leadership Programs are pleased to announce the 2013 recipients of the Anita F. Alpern and Donald G. Zauderer Scholarships: Tracy Havermann (Key MPA 46) and Elida Sarmiento (Key MPA 44).

(ONP) for the Agricultural Research Service (ARS). Tracy shared her excitement with Key via email upon notification. “I am honored to be chosen as the recipient for this award, and I humbly accept the scholarship.”

currently serves as the Branch Chief for Employee Services and Career Development at Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). In her role with SSA, Ms. Sarmiento develops and implements various training programs for 11,000 employees nationwide. Congratulations to Elida and Tracy. Both students were honored during the Fifth th Annual Key Conference held on May 15 , 2013.

(L to R) Bob Tobias, Director, Key Executive Leadership Programs, Awardee Tracy Havermann, and Barbara Romzek, Dean School of Public Affairs.

Tracy Havermann is the recipient of the 2013 Anita F. Alpern Scholarship. Ms. Havermann currently serves as the Retrospective Review Officer in the Office of National Programs

(L to R) Donald Zauderer, Associate Professor Emeritus, Bob Tobias, Director, Key Executive Leadership Programs, Awardee Elida Sarmiento, and Barbara Romzek, Dean School of Public Affairs.

To learn more about the Zauderer and Alpern Scholarships please visit the Key website. Applications for the 2014 Alpern and Zauderer Scholarships will be available in February/March. Contact Corrine ThompsonMelissari at for additional information and/or if you have questions.

Elida Sarmiento is the 2013 recipient of the Donald G. Zauderer Scholarship. Elida


Alumni Updates: Where Are They Now? Jeffrey Hoel, PMP, P.E., a 2012 graduate of the Key Executive Leadership MPA with a focus in Maritime Affairs, was recently published in the July issue of Ocean News and Technology. Read more. Philip Pradier (Key MPA 40/’11 and OE 10/’09), a member of the group Senior Moment Rocks, participated and won The Community’s Got Talent (TCGT) competition. The event raised more than $300,000 to support the CIA Officers Memorial Foundation (CIAOMF) and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF). Read more. In April 2013, Stephen Evangelista (SSA 22/’) received confirmation on his SES assignment. Ted Gutman (USDA 18/’2012) accepted his first executive position as Deputy Director with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

In June of this year, Eric Johnson, a graduate of the Key Executive Leadership MPA with a focus in Maritime Affairs, was promoted to Executive Officer for NOAA Ship Oregon II. In early July, Michael Lewandowski (Key MPA 43/’13) was appointed Associate Secretary of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and given responsibility for his division’s strategic planning and budgeting functions. In September, Lynn Simpson (Key MPA 26/ ’02) was recognized and awarded the 2013 Causey Award. The Causey Awards recognize human-resource professionals who have gone above and beyond to help the government operate better. Check out her interview with Federal News Radio. Read more. Congratulations to all our alumni who are doing amazing things for the public and their local community.

Ariel Duran, Coaching Administrator Ariel received her BA in International Studies, Economics, and Spanish from Mount St. Mary's University. Before joining Key, Ariel worked at Mathematica Policy Research, in Washington DC, in a variety of policy areas including education and health. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Public Policy at American University. Ariel joined the Key Family in April. Welcome Ariel!

Fall 2013 Newsletter