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Joint Academy-White House Leadership Development Alumni Program: Building Networks to Transcend Boundaries in Government

April 14, 2023 @ 09:00:00 am - April 14, 2023 @ 10:00:00 am
Eastern Time (ET)


Please note that this event is open only to current WHLDP fellows and alumni.

*** Informal gathering @ 8:45 am for anyone who can join early ***

The National Academy of Public Administration (the Academy) has developed a partnership with you, the alumni of White House Leadership Development Program (WHLDP), over the course of FY 2023. The Academy is an independent, non-partisan institution of top policy and management leaders who tackle the most critical, timely and challenging problems facing government. Established in 1967 and chartered by Congress, our organization is trusted across government to be objective and to find practical, innovative solutions by bringing the best thinking and experience to bear on government problems. Our unique feature is nearly 1,000 distinguished Fellows, who guide and lead the institution and its work. Among our Fellows are former cabinet officers; members of Congress; governors, mayors, and state legislators; and distinguished career public administrators, scholars, and business executives.

As an alum of the prestigious WHLDP program, you have made a valuable investment in your career of service to the federal government. The Academy’s Fellows and staff seek to further this investment by giving you the ability to interact with leaders who are addressing the most important governmental and societal challenges, including through new tools such as agile management. The challenges to be addressed in this program—built along the core concepts of a “Master Class”—are some of those embodied in the Grand Challenges in Public Administration, the President’s Management Agenda, the Federal Learning Agenda, and the Federal Workforce Priorities.

Over the course of the year, the program will provide you with an opportunity to:

  • Dialogue with high-profile leaders about how they have addressed major challenges while inspiring, engaging, and supporting their workforce through transformational change
  • Focus on such critical issues as Social Equity, the Public Workforce, Customer Experience, Public Service Delivery, the Business of Government, Data Security, and Public Governance and Engagement
  • Develop a deeper understanding of the key concepts of agile management and learn strategies for creating an agile culture and agile teams
  • Discuss practical ways to address the federal government’s major challenges and to adopt innovative practices within the culture of your agency/program
  • Collaborate with peers to expand your personal and professional networks.

At each session, we will have 1 or more high-profile speakers who are experts in a particular challenge discuss the current situation, identify lessons learned from their careers, and dialogue with participants about the best ways to address these issues. Participants will have an opportunity to discuss the challenges among themselves in groups, and the Academy staff will identify resources to assist the groups.

We invite you to attend the sixth session on Friday, April 14, 2023. The business portion of this virtual meeting will start at 9 am Eastern and conclude at 10 am Eastern. We will open the line at 8:45 am for informal conversations and will leave the line open until 10:15 am for additional networking.

The 6th session will consist of:

  • Moderated conversation with Don Kettl, former Dean and professor emeritus at the University of Maryland at College Park, on his forthcoming book, Bridgebuilders: How Government Can Transcend Boundaries to Solve Big Problems
  • Networking among alumni from all WHLDP cohorts

Please join us for this 6th session and throughout the year! If you have any questions, you may reach out to Joe Mitchell, the Academy’s Director of Strategic Initiatives and International Programs (


Donald Kettl, Former Dean and Professor Emeritus at the University of Maryland at College Park

Dr. Kettl specializes in public management and public policy. He previously served as dean in the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, and is a nonresident senior fellow at the Volcker Alliance, the Brookings Institution and the Partnership for Public Service. He has authored or edited numerous books, including The Divided States of America: Why Federalism Doesn't Work (2020); Can Governments Earn Our Trust? (2017); Little Bites of Big Data for Public Policy (2017); The Politics of the Administrative Process (7th edition, 2017); Escaping Jurassic Government: Restoring America's Lost Commitment to Competence (2016); System Under Stress: The Challenge to 21st Century American Democracy Homeland Security and American Politics (2014); The Next Government of the United States: Why Our Institutions Fail Us and How to Fix Them (2008); and The Global Public Management Revolution (2005).

Dr. Kettl has received three lifetime achievement awards: the American Political Science Association's John Gaus Award, the Warner W. Stockberger Achievement Award of the International Public Management Association for Human Resources, and the Donald C. Stone Award of the American Society for Public Administration. He has twice won the Louis Brownlow Book Award of the National Academy of Public Administration for The Transformation of Governance (2002); and System Under Stress: Homeland Security and American Politics (2005). His book, Escaping Jurassic Government: How to Recover America's Lost Commitment to Competence, won the 2016 award for book of the year from the American Society for Public Administration.

Dr. Kettl has consulted for government organizations at all levels, including most recently the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He has appeared frequently in national and international media. He has chaired two gubernatorial blue-ribbon commissions for the Wisconsin state government—one on campaign finance reform; the other on government structure and finance.

Joseph P. Mitchell, Director of Strategic Initiatives & International Programs

Dr. Mitchell leads the Academy’s thought leadership activities, including the Grand Challenges in Public Administration and the Agile Government Center; manages the Academy’s externally sponsored events; and oversees the Center for Intergovernmental Partnerships. He served as the project director for prior studies on how to build an agile federal government and how federal regulatory agencies can adopt agile practices. Previously, at the General Services Administration, he worked with other leaders in the Office of Government-wide Policy to stand up the Office of Shared Solutions and Performance Improvement and led a team responsible for cross-agency efforts in support of the President’s Management Agenda. Before serving at GSA, he led the Academy’s organizational studies program; managed projects requested by the U.S. Congress and agencies; and served as a senior analyst on reviews of a wide array of agencies across the federal government. He received a Fed 100 Award in 2022 for his contributions to increasing the agility of the federal government. He moderated a joint series with the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee that received the Public/Private Partnership Award from the Council of Inspectors General (CIGIE). He is currently completing a second term on the National Science Foundation’s Business and Operations Advisory Committee. He holds a Ph.D. from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, a Master of International Public Policy from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, a Master of Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and a BA in History from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He’s currently enrolled in an executive nonprofit leadership program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.


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