White House Leadership Development Program

The WH LDP hosts a yearly symposium bringing together thought leaders from across government, academia, and the private sector.  This year’s symposium focused on Leading Transformation in the U.S. Government.

Opening remarks were provided by Dustin S. Brown, Deputy Assistant Director for Management at the Office of Management and Budget in the Executive Office of the President, and concluded with remarks from Amy Bontrager, WHLD Program Director.

The symposium brought three outstanding leaders together to lead the discussion. The panel included: Joe Henderson, Senior Distinguished Fellow, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, National Preparedness Leadership Initiative; Arlene A. Gaylord, Assistant Director/Equal Employment Opportunity Officer, Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Affairs, Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Ambassador Eric Rubin President, American Foreign Service Association, U.S. Department of State.

The panelists provided insight into their respective careers and how to best lead transformation impacting U.S. Government staff and its citizenry.  The audience included the current fellows representing Cohort 4, the incoming Cohort 5 fellows, alumni, and staff from across the U.S. Government.

In particular, Joe Henderson’s message to the group was to be bold and courageous, to realize that failure is the first attempt at learning, and that there is truth to power.  He stressed to the leaders in the audience not to allow for the process to run you but for you to drive the process.  Arlene Gaylord discussed how important it is to understand ones’ cognitive biases’ and to invest in emotional intelligence and to infuse ethics in leadership.  And, Ambassador Rubin shared his experiences about working at the State Department during the time of the Iran hostage crises and relayed how important it is to take care of your people and family.  Following their opening remarks, the three leaders answered questions from the group and held a discussion fostering the future senior leaders within the U.S. Government.