400 TO: NASA Headquarters Attn: Office of Human Capital Management, Senior Executive Advisor FROM: SUBJECT: Mentor Appraisal: Candidate Name, Senior Executive Service (SES) Candidate Development Program (CDP) Performance The participant entered the SES CDP program with strong management experience and organizational leadership demonstrated throughout his 25 years with NASA. Through the CDP program he worked for an extended period at the Langley Research Center (LaRC), provided leadership and support as part of a directorate-level re-organization, supported an Agency-wide team chartered to formulate the functions and scope of the Program Analysis and Evaluation Readiness Division, and attended focused government executive training seminars and conferences. The candidate has enhanced his Executive Core Qualifications through these experiences and I recommend certification of his Managerial Qualification and completion of the SES CDP. Highlights of The candidate’s career are described below to demonstrate his development and achievement of the requirements. Professional Development Before Entering the SES CDP As the candidate’s mentor, at the beginning of his SES CDP entrance I reviewed his career history for the SES CDP and rated him against the five Senior Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs). I rated the candidate “High” in “Leading Change,” “Leading People,” and “Business Acumen” and “Very High” in “Results Driven” and “Building Coalitions/Communications”. Career highlights are described below to provide background on his development. The candidate began his career at NASA/GSFC in 1981 through the Office of Personnel Management sponsored Presidential Management Internship (PMI) Program. His first 10 years were highlighted by a series of successes in the work to which he was assigned, resulting in recognition and progressively more senior management positions. As a PMI he was instrumental in establishing appropriate host-tenant business cost recovery processes with the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) at the Wallops Flight Facility. While serving as a program analyst in the Program Planning and Resources Management Office he designed and implemented an automated forecasting model for GSFC utility costs. In both of these instances and despite his lack of experience The candidate created effective business processes where none existed and 2 created positive business relationships with NSWC and PEPCO (ECQ4: Business Acumen, ECQ5: Building Coalitions and Communication). The ability to innovate and create solutions would prove to be a hallmark of the candidate’s work throughout his career. As GSFC’s first Industrial Labor Relations Officer (IRLO) he organized and implemented an IRLO program that included publication of a “Strike Plan” that is still referenced today. The candidate’s first entry into Information Technology (IT) management occurred when he was selected as the Branch Head of the Automation and Planning Branch within the Information Management Division. His tenure coincided with the dawn of the personal computer era and through his leadership and oversight first generation mass buy purchasing vehicles were created and the use of office automation tools and networking services were provided to both directorate and center-wide customers (ECQ3: Results Driven). The benefits of this initial period of management learning and growth were realized in 1992 when the candidate was competitively selected to be the Director of Institutional Services at the Space Station Program Office in Reston, Virginia. He was responsible for the delivery of institutional and human resources support services, including security, health and safety, personnel, logistics, transportation, supply, buildings and grounds maintenance, communications, and business information systems. He served as the second-level supervisor to the personnel co- located at Reston from line organizations based at NASA Headquarters. The candidate’s responsibilities as the senior on-site management official for these support services placed him in regular contact with the highest levels of NASA Headquarters Senior Executive Service leadership. These services were provided to a customer community of over four hundred civil servants and contractors in facilities exceeding 110,000 square feet, working with a relatively frugal support budget of $5 million per year, and in an environment of high stress and international political turmoil associated with the Space Station redesign efforts. The candidate’s performance during this period was exemplary and the improvements ensured that institutional support services more effectively enabled and supported the mission planning programmatic work being performed by the NASA community at Reston (ECQ2: Leading People and ECQ5: Building Coalitions and Communication). In the mid-nineties the candidate returned to Goddard as Associate Chief and then Chief of the Information Technology and Services Division (Code 250). This Division was responsible for Goddard's business computing, Scientific and Technical Information Management program, and delivering a variety of institutional services in support of the NASA/Goddard mission. There were approximately 70 civil servants and over 160 support service contractors in the organization (ECQ2: Leading People). Division services were provided to the Goddard research facility comprised of 10,000 on-site and near-site employees on a large campus setting. The annual budget for these services was approximately $11 million per year. This organization was also responsible for the operation of the Scientific and Engineering Workstation Procurement, a multi-billion dollar "IDIQ" contract that was created to offer leading edge, high- end computing workstations and peripherals across NASA in support of its diverse and complex set of research, engineering, and mission operations functions. It continues to this day to be an extremely popular acquisition vehicle within NASA and its ease-of-use and price points quickly led it to be equally embraced by agencies and departments across the federal government (ECQ4: Business Acumen). During this period the candidate accepted an additional assignment in the then-new role of Deputy Chief Information Officer (later to serve as the departmental 3 Chief Information Officer (CIO)) within the Management Operations Directorate at Goddard. The candidate was assigned responsibility for the IT program coordination consistent with the 1996 Information Technology Management Reform Act (ITMRA). Areas of emphasis and priority addressed by The candidate included hardware and software computing standards, a consolidated computing architecture, return on investment of major IT acquisitions, desktop outsourcing, "Year 2000" compliance, and IT Security (ECQ3: Results Driven). In 1999 then Center Director A. V. Diaz signaled “the strategic importance of Information Sciences and Technology” by creating an Assistant Director for Information Sciences who would also serve as Center CIO. That decision triggered a career move for the candidate, who was asked to serve as the GSFC Deputy CIO within the Office of the Director. In that position the candidate was jointly responsible with the CIO for enabling an effective Information Science and Technology (IS&T) Return on Investment at GSFC consistent with ITMRA (commonly referred to as the “Clinger-Cohen” Bill). He fully participated with the Assistant Director for Information Sciences in assuming Center-wide responsibility for a broad range of IS&T activities including planning, program integration, standards development, and policy development and implementation consistent with established Government, Agency and Enterprise policies and plans. As Deputy CIO the candidate made significant strides in IT Security oversight and governance for which he received center recognition (ECQ1: Leading Change, ECQ5: Building Coalitions and Communication). The candidate chaired the Information Technology IT Federation Board comprised of directorate representatives used to define IT plans and policies. Working with the IT Federation and the CIO, The candidate sponsored or led multi- directorate teams to collect and analyze technical and programmatic requirements, develop alternative approaches, and provide recommendations to those management officials who have technical, organizational, and budgetary authority to implement major GSFC IS&T investments (ECQ5: Building Coalitions and Communication). The candidate also represented GSFC on Agency IT planning and policy groups, including the NASA CIO Representatives Board. He ensured GSFC participation and cooperation on Agency IT initiatives, alliances, and consolidations, including the principal center integration, consolidated supercomputing management, desktop and network outsourcing, and mainframe consolidation. In 2002 The candidate was appointed to be a Program Manager in the Flight Programs and Projects Directorate to oversee and lead all GSFC Integrated Enterprise Management Program (IEMP) activities to ensure the successful development and activation of all software modules, including both Receiving Center Modules (i.e. Core Financial, Integrated Asset Management) and the Agency Modules (i.e. Position Description Management, Budget Formulation) (ECQ1: Leading Change, ECQ4: Business Acumen, ECQ5: Building Coalitions and Communication). At GSFC, senior management restructured its approach to management of the diverse IEM activities by creating one organization (Code 405) to oversee the successful integration and activation of all IFM modules. The candidate was asked to lead this new organization and to ensure that the best practices of program and project management were fully applied to the IEM activities at GSFC. NASA's commitment to the President's Management Agenda and One NASA was demonstrated in large measure through its strategic objective to successfully develop and implement an Enterprise Resource Planning business toolset across the Agency under IEMP. The IEM projects have had many complexities and challenges, both technical (e.g. data clean-up and conversion volumes highest of any Center in the Agency) and 4 cultural (e.g. resistance to change management practices in communications, training, and organizational alignment). Through The candidate’s leadership development and training opportunities he was able substantially strengthen his executive core abilities and successfully implement change management initiatives. Training Activities: The candidate pursued a comprehensive training program in support of his development. The SES CDP Orientation training provided an extensive assessment of his leadership strengths and areas for improvement. A team of leadership consultants suggested specific courses and work assignments to increase his leadership effectiveness both in terms of enhanced self-awareness as well as leading and interacting with others. The SES CDP mid-point program provided a forum to assess progress against developmental and learning goals associated with general leadership, team management, and the building of effective relationships. Of particular note was the seminar and practicum associated with media training. This provided the candidate with a new understanding of the scrutiny associated with media and politics and allowed him to see his behavior and communications through videotaping playback and review. The candidate attended the heralded 4 week Federal Executive Institute’s “Leadership for a Democratic Society” residential program. There he was exposed to a diverse and rich set of leadership models and practicum. Non-traditional learning opportunities were also revealed to the candidate relative to fitness, nutrition, and work/life balance all tied back to workplace stress and how that affects leadership styles. As a 20-year plus NASA employee the opportunity to interact and build networks with 60 or so non-NASA federal professionals was an additional lasting benefit to the candidate’s attendance at FEI. The candidate participated in the NASA “Human Element” course, providing him with additional insight into building effective relationships as well as further developing self- awareness. He took the NASA “Business Education Program” which provided him with a solid foundation on the issues facing NASA at the Agency level and enhanced his ECQs in Results Driven, Building Coalitions, and Business Acumen. The candidate attended a series of conferences attended by both government and industry executives. Here he was exposed to how today’s national leaders are addressing current challenges in IT management. The Congressional Operations Program rounded out the candidate’s training by providing a foundational understanding of the government and the budgetary/legislative processes. This extensive range of successfully completed training experiences has ensured that the candidate will be well prepared for challenges he will face in the Senior Executive Service. Developmental Work Assignments: The candidate has completed two successful long-term rotational tours while working within the SES CDP. The first, from November 2004 through June 2005, was at the LaRC where he served as the Acting Deputy Director of the Office of Human Capital Management (OHCM) (ECQ2: Leading People). This was a tumultuous period for LaRC in that it was facing substantial budget reductions in Aeronautical research. There were and continue to be major shifts in 5 programmatic approaches that affected budgetary guidelines and human capital planning and management. As the Acting Deputy Director, The candidate worked and learned in the midst of this period of LaRC’s storied history. He worked with the Director of and OCHM staff to manage a series of buy-out offers. He observed and learned from the A-76 competition affecting a portion of the technician workforce and through which the government’s Most Efficient Organization was competitively selected. He served as a senior reviewer on a General & Administrative (G&A) center-wide review team tasked with making a 35% reduction to an already strapped G&A budget. In this role the candidate evaluated salary dollar and procurement reduction proposals from other directorates as well as making specific recommendations on reductions within OHCM. He judged their impact to both Center services and employee morale. He joined the review team chair in making final recommendations to the Center Director and senior management. He assisted in the rollout of a Position Management training and implementation plan. He represented the Director of at LaRC’s Senior Leadership Council and Center Program Management Council thus observing first hand those governance structures in contrast to The candidate’s experiences with GSFC’s and NASA Headquarters (ECQ4: Business Acumen). Due to the executive time demands on the Director of OHCM, The candidate often performed operational duties on her behalf including developing and defending the OHCM budget, chairing the LaRC Exchange Council, and conducting the year-end performance appraisals for OHCM’s line managers and senior staff. These duties included working to successfully resolve significant human capital issues and position management and with a new directorate-level office created to co-lead and facilitate LaRC’s programmatic transformation (Strategic Partnering, Planning, and Management Office). At the Director of OHCM’s request, the candidate also used his prior experience in IEMP to serve as a liaison between LaRC and NASA HQ’s regarding the use and future of WIMS (Workforce Integration Management System). The candidate took the initiative to begin a dialogue with NASA HQ’s management concerning a lack of configuration management and coordination (illustrated by WIMS) for all Agency-wide business and management systems. Although action on that issue was not immediately taken, the kernel of that thought is present in the current Program Analysis and Evaluation (PA&E) efforts to in fact strengthen and better align the development and governance over Agency-wide management and business systems. This knowledge was directly applied to LaRC during the spring 2005, budgetary planning cycle where the annual use of WIMS was suspended due to the serious uncertainties about workforce ceilings and budgetary guidelines. The candidate partnered with colleagues within LaRC’s OHCM and members of the Office of the Chief Financial Officer to develop a budget and workforce planning process absent the usual benefit of the WIMS decision support tool (ECQ1: Leading Change, ECQ5: Building Coalitions and Communication). The candidate’s second extended rotation took place at his home center. However, it is in and with an entirely new enterprise, that being in a critical leadership role within a newly established directorate (Information Technology and Communications Directorate, Code 700). The candidate joined Code 700 as the Acting Deputy Director of, an SES position (ECQ2: Leading People). He joined Code 700 at the end of June 2005 just prior to its official establishment (July 25, 2005). The candidate joined Code 700 at a crucial and timely juncture. His leadership training and background and his recent experiences in Flight Programs and Projects and at LaRC were well suited to the needs of this new organization. As the Acting Deputy Director of, the candidate has served three directorate leaders. He has instituted IT project management practices 6 and standards reportable to the GSFC Program Management Council (GPMC) that were previously absent. He has developed significant budget reduction and impact strategies for his directorate associated with the recent Center Management & Operations process (ECQ4: Business Acumen). He serves as the directorate representative to the GSFC Diversity Council, Executive Development Advisory Panel, and Management Systems Council (ECQ5: Building Coalitions and Communication). He represents the Director of at Management Council and the GPMC. The candidate continues to work with the other members of the Code 700 leadership team to formulate a communications model with one another and the entire workforce that demonstrates trust, authenticity, competency, and understanding. Its manifestation is leadership, learning, and effectiveness in the challenging and important enabling role assigned to Code 700 (ECQ1: Leading Change). Sandwiched between these two longer tours were short but noteworthy short-term assignments. In March 2005 the candidate was given the opportunity to shadow Center Director James Kennedy at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC). By being granted access and insight at the highest leadership levels at KSC The candidate saw in real-time powerful leadership behaviors by a man and a leadership team who were at that time working diligently on the Return To Flight mission (ECQ1: Leading Change, ECQ2: Leading People). The fact that Roy Bridges, who was The candidate’s Center Director at LaRC, preceded Mr. Kennedy at KSC exposed The candidate to contrasting leadership styles but also constancy of commitment and focus to the legacy and achievements at KSC. In the spring and into the summer of 2005 the candidate was a contributing member of a small team comprised primarily of other SES CDP participants tasked to assist the PA&E Office in the creation of is Readiness Division. The candidate joined other SES CDP members and senior staff in an interview process of the GSFC Deputy and Associate Director as part of Agency-wide interview process of comparable key leaders that led to a comprehensive report used to define the scope and objectives of a Readiness Division within PA&E formally established later that calendar year. Through this short-term yet significant activity the candidate gained early insight into the governance strategies and priorities of the Administrator and his leadership team (ECQ3: Results Driven). Summary: The candidate has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills in a variety of roles in his 25 years as a high-performing public servant. The SES CDP provided an opportunity to enhance and further broaden his leadership talents. I believe his demonstrated experience and training fully satisfy the requirements of the Executive Core Qualifications. I recommend certification of his Managerial Qualification and completion of the SES CDP.