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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.

				
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posted:3/21/2010
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