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Joint Academy-White House Leadership Development Alumni Program: How You Can Turn Technology's Promise into Reality

December 16, 2022 @ 01:00:00 pm - December 16, 2022 @ 02:00:00 pm
Eastern Time (ET)


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

*** Informal gathering @ 12:45 pm for anyone who can join early ***

The National Academy of Public Administration (the Academy) is working to develop 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 such 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 second session on Friday, December 16th. The business portion of the meeting will start at 1 pm Eastern and conclude at 2 pm Eastern. It will be held virtually. We will open the line at 12:45 pm for informal conversations and leave the line open until 2:15 pm for more informal conversations.

In 2023, future sessions will resume on our regular cadence of the second Friday of each month from 9 am to 10 am (also with the line open for 15 minutes before and after for anyone who can join for informal conversations).

The 2nd session will consist of:

  • Moderated conversation with Margie Graves and Dave Wennergren on how you can turn technology’s promise into reality in your agencies.
  • Networking among alumni from all WHLDP cohorts

Please join us for this 2nd 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 (


Margie Graves, Senior Fellow at the IBM Center for the Business of Government

Ms. Graves has led technology-focused organizations and initiatives in government, industry, and the non-profit sector. As Senior Fellow at the IBM Center, she focuses on research, public speaking, and writing across a broad range of technology and data issues including cloud computing, analytics, emerging technology, and cybersecurity. Ms. Graves is the former Deputy Federal CIO for the Office of Management and Budget and led the Office of the Federal Chief Information Officer efforts to drive value in federal IT, deliver digital services, protect federal IT assets and information, and develop the next generation IT workforce. She was a key driver of the President’s Management Agenda on key elements including IT Modernization; Data, Accountability, and Transparency (Leveraging Data as a Strategic Asset); and Workforce for the 21st Century. Before joining OMB, she served as the Deputy CIO at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) where she had oversight of a $5.4 billion IT portfolio of programs. In addition, she managed the operations of the Office of the Chief Information Officer, covering the functional areas of Applied Technology, Enterprise Architecture, Data Management, IT Security, Infrastructure Operations, IT Accessibility, and Budget and Acquisition. Prior to her tenure as DHS Deputy CIO, Ms. Graves was the Executive Director of the Enterprise Business Management Office within the DHS Office of the CIO, where she developed and executed IT portfolio strategies in alignment with the DHS mission. She also served as the Deputy Program Manager for the DHS Border and Transportation Security IT Integration Program, which established the operational foundation and roadmap for consolidating and securing segments of the DHS application portfolio, data architecture and IT infrastructure.

Ms. Graves has private sector experience in the management consulting industry, in which she worked for several global firms including ten years with A.T. Kearney. She has experience in the areas of mergers and acquisitions and venture capital planning, systems engineering, business process reengineering, strategic planning and financial management. She worked with clients in the chemical, utility and healthcare services industries and held leadership positions in technology and financial management.

Ms. Graves is currently the Chair of the Industry Advisory Council (IAC), which works with the government-led American Council for Technology (ACT) for which she is former President. She is the only executive to have led both sides of ACT-IAC, the public-private partnership that brings leaders together to improve government through the effective and innovative application of technology. Margie is also a Fellow with the National Academy of Public Administration, and a CIO SAGE with the Partnership for Public Service. She holds an M.B.A. from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business and a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Virginia.

Dave Wennergren, Chief Executive Officer of the American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council

Mr. Wennergren is the CEO of ACT-IAC, the national non-profit public-private partnership dedicated to advancing the business of government through the application of technology. He has extensive leadership experience in information technology and change management and has served in many senior positions, most recently in the private sector as a Managing Director at Deloitte Consulting LLP, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Professional Services Council and a Vice President at CACI International Inc. During his career in government, he served as the Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer, Vice Chair of the U.S. Government’s Federal CIO Council, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Information Management, Integration and Technology/Deputy Chief Information Officer and Department of Defense (DoD) Assistant Deputy Chief Management Officer.

Mr. Wennergren is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and a CIOSAGE at the Partnership for Public Service. He received his B.A. in Communications/Public Relations from Mansfield University, and received the University’s Alumni Citation Award in 2012. He was a recipient of a Secretary of the Navy Civilian Fellowship in Financial Management, culminating in a Master of Public Policy (MPP) from the University of Maryland's School of Public Affairs. His awards include the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award, the Department of the Navy Distinguished, Superior and Meritorious Civilian Service Awards, the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Award, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense Exceptional Civilian Service Award. Other honors include the 2012 Roger W. Jones Award for Executive Leadership (American University), TechAmerica Terman Award 2010 Government Technology Executive of the Year, Federal CIO Council 2008 Azimuth Award winner, Federal Computer Week 2006 Eagle Award (Government Leader of the Year), 2006 John J. Franke Jr. Award from the American Council for Technology, Government Computer News 2005 Defense Executive of the Year, three Fed 100 Awards, Computerworld Premier 100 Award, and 2008 General James M. Rockwell AFCEAN of the Year. A huge believer in the “power of team,” he is also honored to have worked in two organizations that were awarded the Department of the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation.

Ed DeSeve, Coordinator of the Agile Government Center

Mr. DeSeve has served at all three levels of government and in the private sector during his illustrious career. At the federal level, he was responsible for implementing the $800 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as a Special Advisor to President Barack Obama. He was also Deputy Director for Management and Controller at the Office of Management and Budget and Chief Financial Officer of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. At the state and local levels, Mr. DeSeve was a Special Assistant to the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Director of Finance for the City of Philadelphia. In the private sector, he was a managing director at Merrill Lynch Capital Markets and the founder and president of Public Financial Management, which is the nation’s largest independent financial advisor to the government.

Joseph Mitchell, Director of Strategic Initiatives & International Programs (Moderator)

Dr. Mitchell is Director of Strategic Initiatives & International Programs at the Academy. He leads the Grand Challenges in Public Administration initiative, co-leads the Agile Government Center along with Academy Fellows from the IBM Center for the Business of Government, and advances cutting-edge thought leadership. He served at the General Services Administration to help set up the Office of Shared Solutions and Performance Improvement, where he built and led a team to manage multi-functional and cross-agency projects and initiatives in support of the President’s Management Agenda. From 2011 to 2017, he led and managed the Academy’s organizational studies program. He serves on the National Science Foundation’s Business and Operations Advisory Committee. He was a recipient of the Fed 100 award in 2022 for his distinguished contributions to improving the federal government. 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.


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