Sae Schatz

Director, Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative

Sae Schatz serves as the director of the Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative, a research and development program under the deputy assistant secretary of defense for force education and training. Before joining the government in 2015, Schatz worked as an applied human–systems scientist, with an emphasis on human cognition and learning, instructional technologies, adaptive systems, human performance assessment, and modeling and simulation. During that time, she led the authorship and execution of the US Marine Corps’ Making Good Instructors Great course and accompanying instructor toolkit. She was also the chief scientist for the award-winning Border Hunter research effort and the Joint Staff J7’s Blended Learning–Training project.

Schatz has worked with the defense training and education community for more than 10 years. During that time, her efforts frequently focused on ways to enhance individuals’ higher-order cognitive skills. She has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed scholarly publications, led development of three military textbooks, and received best paper awards from the I/ITSEC and MODSIM conferences.

Schatz held an assistant professor position with her alma mater, the University of Central Florida, where she taught courses in visual design, web design and development, modeling and simulation, and human–systems interaction. Today, she continues to mentor UCF graduate students from the Institute for Simulation and Training, and she serves on the digital media advisory board.

Jim Woolsey

President, Defense Acquisition University

James P. Woolsey is president of the Defense Acquisition University (DAU), a position he has held since January 2014. In that role, he is responsible for delivery of learning products through the DAU regions, the Defense Systems Management College, and the College of Contract Management; curriculum development; online learning programs; learning technology; and library services for a major Department of Defense corporate university. DAU, strategically located within five geographical regions across the country and servicing a global workforce, provides practitioner training, career management, and services to enable the acquisition, technology, and logistics community to make smart business decisions and deliver timely and affordable capabilities to the Warfighter.

He previously served as the first deputy direct for performance assessments (OA) in the office of Performance Assessments and Root Cause Analyses (PARCA). In standing up the PA organization, he created the processes and practices that allowed it to perform its statutory responsibility of assessing the progress of all major defense acquisition programs. The new office also made a substantial contribution to re-invigorating the Defense Acquisition Executive Summary process and provided the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics with unique analyses to give him improved visibility into the status of the MDAP portfolio.

James was previously an assistant director in the cost analysis and research division of the Institute for Defense Analyses. His responsibilities included management of the division’s cost analysis and research, and leadership of a wide range of cost and acquisition studies. His work included a congressionally directed cost benefit analysis of the F-35 alternate engine, an evaluation of KC-767A lease prices, C-5 re-engineering costs and benefits, F-22 production readiness, Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile costs, and space launch alternatives. He also served on a defense science board task force on long-range strike.

James’s other previous positions include service as a structures engineers for F/A-18 aircraft at Naval Air Systems Command, and work as an engineer for Lockheed Martin airlift programs in Marietta, Georgia.

He has a bachelor of science in aerospace engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, a master’s in business administration from George Mason University, and was a fellow in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Seminar XXI on international relations.

Frank Kelley

Vice President, Defense Acquisition University

Frank Kelley is the vice president of Defense Acquisition University (DAU). In this role, he is responsible for aligning DAU strategic plans to the Secretary of Defense’s and Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment’s goals while continuing to build the outstanding reputation of DAU as the Department of Defense’s primary learning institution for acquisition. He oversees the development and expansion of acquisition curriculum and learning opportunities and the delivery of those learning assets throughout the five DAU regional campuses, the Defense Systems Management College, and the College of Contract Management.

Prior to this assignment, he served as the deputy assistant secretary of the Navy Unmanned Systems from October 2015 to June 2018. In this capacity, he was the principal advisor to the assistant secretary of the navy for research, development, and acquisition on matters relating to unmanned systems across land, sea, and air.

Frank joined the civil service in 2015 following a 32-year career as a United States Marine.

Marc Brackett

Director, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence

Marc Brackett, Ph.D., is the Founder and Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and a Professor in the Child Study Center of Yale University. He is the lead developer of RULER, an evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning that has been adopted by nearly 2,000 pre-K through high schools across the United States and in other countries. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).

As a researcher for over 20 years, Brackett has focused on the role of emotions and emotional intelligence in learning, decision making, creativity, relationships, health, and performance. He has published 125 scholarly articles and received numerous awards and accolades for his work in this area. He also consults regularly with corporations, such as Facebook, Microsoft, and Google on integrating the principles of emotional intelligence into employee training and product design. Most recently, he co-founded Oji Life Lab, a corporate learning firm that develops innovative digital learning systems on emotional intelligence.

Brackett’s mission is to educate the world about the value of emotions and the skills associated with using them wisely. “I want everyone to become an emotion scientist”, he says. “We need to be curious explorers of our own and others’ emotions so they can help us achieve our goals and improve our lives.

Miguel J. Avilés-Pérez

Chief of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, US Coast Guard

Miguel J. Avilés-Pérez serves as chief of the office of diversity and inclusion and is responsible for policy development, management, planning, coordination, and execution of the US Coast Guard’s service-wide diversity and inclusion (D&I) programs.

Avilés is an award-winning D&I thought leader with more than a decade of experience. He previously served as the division chief of the Office of Recruitment and Retention Programs at the Bureau of Land Management and held several other key positions in the DoD. He started his federal career as a diversity recruiter in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico.

A TEDx speaker, Avilés wrote Hispanics 101: How to Recruit, Manage and Grow Your Hispanic Workforce, and has been featured in the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and Telemundo. He has also spoken at many change management and D&I conferences, Fortune 500 companies, and global organizations.

Avilés is the chair of the Young Government Leaders Advisory Council and the recipient of the HR Leadership Award of Greater Washington for Excellence in Mentoring 2014. A graduate of the Excellence in Government Fellows Program and the DoD DCELP, Avilés has also completed the OPM LEAD certificate. He has a bachelor’s in business administration from the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez.

Avilés lives in Fort Washington, Maryland, with his wife and best friend, Michelle Rosa, a program manager with the US Navy, and his two rescued puppies, Bella and Stella.

Melody Bell

Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Resource Management, Department of Energy

Melody C. Bell is an experienced senior executive at the US Department of Energy with more than 35 years of combined civilian and military service. She was recently selected as the deputy director for the Consolidated Business Center for the Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management (EMCBC). The EMCBC is responsible for developing and executing innovative business strategies and cost-effective contracting solutions to enable the Environmental Management (EM) mission. Prior to that she was the acting deputy assistant secretary for resource management in EM providing leadership for the integration of budget and planning, budget formulation, budget execution, oversight of information systems and cybersecurity, and workforce management activities enabling the effective execution of the mission.

Melody also served as the deputy assistant secretary for business administration and the director of program execution support in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) at DOE. Additionally, she served as the procurement deputy director of the Office of Transformation for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSAA), assistant manager for contracts and business management, at the NNSA Nevada Site Office (NSO), and director of contracts and property management division for the Nevada Operations Office (NVO) where she provided leadership, management, and guidance in the development, planning, coordination, and administration for all acquisition strategy, financial assistance, contracting, and personal property management for NVO.

Before her assignments with NNSA, Melody worked with the DOE’s Rocky Flats office as the team lead and contracting officer for the Performance-Based Integrating and Management Contract, Kaiser-Hill, and as an environmental engineer.

Melody began her career as an officer in the United States Air Force, where she managed several projects and contracts in support of major air force weapon systems. She holds a master of science degree in environmental sciences from the Colorado School of Mines, a master of business administration from Pepperdine University, and a bachelor of science in engineering mechanics from the US Air Force Academy. She is also a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School Senior Executive Fellows program.

Jason Briefel

Executive Director, Senior Executives Association (SEA)

Jason Briefel is the executive director of the Senior Executives Association (SEA), overseeing day-to-day operations of the association and leading execution of the priorities and policies of the board of directors. He also leads strategic engagement efforts with members of SEA’s corporate advisory council and other organizations. Briefel serves as SEA’s legislative director, representing the association and its members on Capitol Hill and with the administration. He represents SEA with the Federal-Postal Coalition and the Government Managers Coalition, and he is a member of the American Society of Association Executives public policy committee. Briefel is a partner at Shaw Bransford & Roth (SB&R), where he works in the firm’s government affairs department, providing legislative and organizational representation. Prior to joining SB&R, Briefel worked in Congress for a member of the North Carolina delegation and interned with a DC-based think tank. Briefel holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond and a master’s degree from North Carolina State University. He’s also a regular host of FEDtalk on Federal News Network and Editor of the FEDmanager and FEDagent e-report newsletters.

Wanda Curlee

Program Director, Business Administration, American Public University System

Dr. Wanda Curlee is the Program Director for Business Administration at American Public University. She has a Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership. She has been teaching online for over twenty years. She currently researches Artificial Intelligence topics. Dr. Curlee is active with the Project Management Institute (PMI). She currently serves on PMI’s Ethics Review Committee.

Austin Cusak

Senior Talent and Innovation Office for the Cybersecurity Division, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)

Austin Cusak is a general security specialist with years of experience conducting intelligence operations, insider threat assessments, and cyber threat analysis. With a nontechnical background in public diplomacy, Austin has specialized as a certified professional coach and talent development expert focused on growing a cyber-centric workforce.

Austin’s unique approach to talent development in the federal space has been shaped through his diverse experiences in extreme work environments: helping to mature the U.S. Army’s first cyber warfare battalion at the National Security Agency; living the radical transparency lifestyle of Ray Dalio’s hedge fund at Bridgewater Associates; performing opera and improv; instructing snowboarders at the top of Utah’s mountains; and managing underwater adventures as a dive master.

Austin earned a bachelor of arts degree in international studies and diplomacy from Brigham Young University and dual master’s degrees in international relations and public relations from Syracuse University.

Adelle J. Dantzler

Head of Government CoP, ATD DC Metro Area Chapter

Adelle J. Dantzler has over 25 years in the training field working for federal agencies, contractors, and private industry conducting analyses to design, develop, manage, and evaluate instructor-led and virtual training. She has used her master’s level knowledge in instructional design to create innovative learning solutions for high potential, manager, and senior executives for 4 federal agencies and developed GS-15 equivalent and SES candidate curriculums. She is a certified InsideOut Coaching Trainer, has managed a federal executive coaching contract, and has developed and delivered many sessions for leaders on coaching and feedback. In terms of her mentoring expertise, she has served on an interagency team for a government-wide mentoring hub, developed & delivered virtual mentoring orientations for federal employees and mentoring coordinators, conducted initial research for an agency’s mentoring program, and coordinated the mentoring program for the DC Metro Chapter of ATD for 2017 and 2018. In addition, Adelle J. Dantzler was the keynote speaker presenting “Mentoring for Agency Success” for the 2018 Training Officer’s Consortium Annual Institute (TOCAI) and discussed “Creating a World-Class Mentorship Program” at the 2018 Leadership Best Practices Conference.

Steve Dobberowsky

Senior Principal, Thought Leadership & Advisory Services, Cornerstone OnDemand

Steve formerly worked at the Treasury Department where he led numerous agencies through successful implementations of unified talent management suites. At Cornerstone, Steve has leveraged his expertise to assist organizations in all things talent management. Steve is a proven, business-savvy leader with a track record of providing high-quality, innovative services and solutions. He is a leader who develops people, fosters relationships and builds partnerships to leverage resources, knowledge, skills and technology.

Jenny Fedullo

Director, Learning Solutions, d'Vinci Interactive, Inc.

Jenny Fedullo leads the d’Vinci Learning Solutions team to provide innovative, learner-focused solutions that improve performance. She has a passion for using engaging content and technology to make learners and clients successful. Jenny has held a number of training and development positions throughout her career and knows how training can impact an individual’s performance, a department’s results, and a company’s bottom line. Jenny holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting and management from Lock Haven University and has numerous certifications in training management and instructional design.

Amy Haseltine

Director, GSA QSMO for Civilian HR Transaction Services and NewPay Program Management Office

Amy Haseltine joined GSA in October as director of the NewPay Program Management Office under GSA’s Human Resources Quality Service Management Office (QSMO). In June 2020, she assumed the dual role as the director of GSA’s QSMO for civilian HR transaction services and NewPay Program Management Office.

As director, Amy supports the President’s Management Agenda: Modernizing Government for the 21st Century (June 28, 2017), in support of the GSA’s role as co-lead for the Sharing Quality Services Cross-Agency Priority goal. Among other tasks, GSA is expected to help drive and expand the number and use of common solutions across government to reduce duplication and costs as well as improve the quality and delivery of shared services by using common solutions, standard administrative operations, and core performance metrics.

Prior to joining GSA, Amy was the deputy chief information officer for the Department of Health and Human Services and the deputy assistant secretary for grants and acquisition policy and accountability. She has spent more than 25 years in government helping drive innovation and results as exemplified by her work on HHS’ Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) efforts, leading government-wide DATA Act implementation for the federal grants community, and serving as the managing partner for

Dr. Noha Gaber

Director of Performance, Strategy, and Innovation, Architect of the Capitol

Dr. Noha Gaber is an experienced career civil servant whose federal career has included leadership positions at the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Architect of the Capitol, where she currently serves as director of performance, strategy, and innovation. During the span of her career she has focused on driving collaboration and strengthening organizational excellence and high performance. She planned and led successful initiatives and programs that have resulted in improved organizational performance and workforce engagement. Noha is active in the inter-agency space, including currently as the chair of the task force on assessing management quality and co-chair of the federal improvement team. Noha received her bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in environmental engineering from the University of Southampton in England and holds a certificate in knowledge management.

Jerry Gidner

Principal Deputy Special Trustee, Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians, Department of the Interior

Jerry Gidner, a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa Tribe, is the Principal Deputy Special Trustee and serves as Acting Special Trustee for American Indians. Mr. Gidner brings a wealth of relevant experience to his role as Acting Special Trustee. He has served throughout the Department in a variety of capacities: Director of BIA, Deputy Bureau Director for Indian Services, Chief of Staff to the Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs, Deputy Associate Bureau Director for Post-Secondary Education at the Bureau of Indian Education, and Deputy Chief Learning Officer. His most recent assignment was with the Office of Natural Resources Revenue as Senior Program Advisor.

Mr. Gidner applies his own unique view of management style to his leadership of OST. What he dubs “People-Centered Leadership” focuses on empowering one’s staff to performance excellence through support, trust, and respect. He firmly believes that treating staff in this manner leads to happier, more productive, and more dedicated employees, and this method is already showing excellent results throughout OST.

Mr. Gidner holds a law degree and a Master’s degree in Natural Resources Policy and Management from the University of Michigan and an MBA from American University. He received his Bachelor's degree in Zoology from Michigan State University.

Robert Gordon

Program Director, Reverse Logistics Management, American Public University System

Dr. Gordon’s academic background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from UCLA, a Master of Business Administration, and a Doctorate of Management and Organizational Leadership from the University of Phoenix. Dr. Gordon also holds graduate certificates in Logistics Management, Project Management and Information Systems Security as well as being a certified professional coach.

Heath Harding

Federal Executive Institute Faculty Member, Office of Personnel Management, HR Solutions, Federal Executive Institute

Dr. Heath Harding is an accomplished educator and coach with over 20 years of experience teaching organizational dynamics, teamwork and self-development. He helps people think differently by re-framing the challenges they face. His interests include community engagement and the Immunity to Change process. Dr. Harding is a faculty member at OPM’s Federal Executive Institute. He has a doctorate in leadership from the University of Nebraska Lincoln.

Marie Gould Harper Ph.D, CPC

Dean, School of Business, American Public University System

Dr. Marie Gould Harper is the Dean of the School of Business at American Public University. She holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from Wellesley College, a master’s degree in instructional systems from Pennsylvania State University and a doctorate in business from Capella University. She is a progressive coach, facilitator, writer, strategist, and human resources/organizational development professional with more than 30 years of leadership, project management, and administrative experience.

Dr. Sydney Heimbrock

Specialist Leader, Deloitte Consulting

Dr. Sydney Heimbrock has transformed learning in public, private and academic institutions worldwide for 30 years. She recently joined Deloitte to bring learning innovations to government and public sector. As a Senior Executive, she served as the Federal government’s Chief Learning Officer, and founded the Innovation Lab to teach Human Centered Design to the Federal workforce. Dr Heimbrock led the Center for Leadership Development which includes the Federal Executive Institute, USALearning and the Presidential Management Fellows Program. She served as provost for HR University, an early model of a digital, government wide shared learning solution.

Dondrae Maiden

Acting Director, Office of the Solicitor, Indian Trust Litigation Office, US Department of the Interior

Dondrae Maiden has more than 16 years of experience as an attorney and currently serves as the acting director of the Indian Trust Litigation Office in the Office of the Solicitor at the United States Department of the Interior.

He has twice been awarded the Solicitor’s Award of Excellence, a prestigious award given to lawyers within his department, for his critical role in historic settlements totaling more than $3 billion dollars. Dondrae is licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the District of Columbia, and the State of Maryland, and he is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. He earned his bachelor of arts degree in history and political science from Virginia Union University, a master’s degree in theology from Liberty University, and a doctorate of law degree from University of Maryland School of Law.

Patrick Malone

Director, Key Executive Leadership Programs

Professor Malone is the Director of American University’s Key Executive Leadership Programs and an Executive-in-Residence in the Department of Public Administration and Policy, where he teaches courses in public sector leadership, executive problem solving, organizational analysis, action learning, leadership ethics, and public administration and policy. He is a frequent guest lecturer on leadership and organizational dynamics in state and federal agencies, professional associations, and universities.

Elisa Marmol

Director, Organizational and Workforce Consulting

Ms. Elisa Marmol directs FMG's organizational and workforce consulting practice. In this role, Elisa leads human capital and business transformation solutions for clients including DHS HQ, USCIS, TSA, CISA, NLRB, and NSF. With 20 years of human capital experience, Elisa is an expert on workforce planning, future of work, and competency modeling. Prior to FMG, Elisa led Deloitte’s Future of Work team and Government and Public Services practice.

Brian McNamara

Faculty Member, Office of Personnel Management (OPM)

Brian McNamara recently joined the Office of Personnel Management’s Center for Leadership Development/Federal Executive Institute as a faculty member and coach. He serves with nearly 40 faculty nationwide who design and deliver leadership training and coaching to government employees globally. Prior to joining OPM, he served as the chief learning officer for the International Trade Administration (ITA), a bureau within the US Department of Commerce. The ITA operates in more than 75 countries and promotes US trade and investment. Brian oversaw a team responsible for ITA’s talent management, training, and development and provided strategic direction to ITA senior management on agency-wide leadership and organizational development initiatives. He is an experienced facilitator and trainer and is a professional certified coach (PCC) through the ICF and a certified professional co-active coach through the Co-Active Training Institute. He also serves as an adjunct faculty member with George Washington University’s Center for Excellence in Public Leadership and the Center for Creative Leadership. He holds a dual MBA in international business from Texas Tech University and Universidad Anahuac in Mexico City. He enjoys travel, sports, and spending time outdoors. He resides in Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife and daughter.

Amy Parker

Chief Learning Officer and Executive Director, Department of Veterans Affairs

Amy Parker became the chief learning officer and executive director of the Human Capital Services Center in June 2019, and is responsible for a diverse portfolio of learning, development, and accountability services. Prior to this, she served as executive director for both financial planning and analysis and programming, analysis, and evaluation for the Office of Management (OM). While at the VA, Parker served as a senior policy advisor to the assistant secretary/CFO and principal deputy and was OM’s chief of staff. Prior to that, Parker was the deputy director of total force planning and requirements in the Office of the Secretary at the Department of Defense. While there, she received the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service and the Joint Meritorious Unit Award. Parker began her government career as a navy civilian, including serving as the director of manpower optimization at the headquarters of the Naval Installations Command, where she coordinated the efforts of operations, contracting, human resources, and financial management functions to conduct the largest nationwide program to compete government services with the private sector, resulting in billions in savings for the navy at the enterprise level. Her private sector experience includes program management for small and large defense contractors. She is a proud wife and daughter of veterans as well as a step- and pet-parent.

Dr. Larry D. Parker Jr.

Program Director, Transportation and Logistics Management & Supply Chain Management, American Public University System

A native of Temple, Texas, Dr. Parker holds a Ph.D. in Organization and Management from Capella University, a Masters of Business Administration from Liberty University, and a B.A. in History from Wittenberg University. His published research is a qualitative study of the experience of organization members utilizing the theoretical framework of Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) Theory. Dr. Parker is the Program Director, Transportation and Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management within the School of Business at American Public University System (APUS). He has worked as a university educator for 10 years. He has contributed to academia by serving as a DBA contributing faculty, course developer for business, management and leadership programs, and adjunct faculty for several institutions.A lifelong entrepreneur on various scales; In 2014, Dr. Parker leveraged over 20 years of business, logistics and supply chain management experience to launch P42 Trucking LLC, which is a subcontracted trucking company operating throughout the southern gulf-coast region of the United States.

In addition to his service as an educator and entrepreneur, Dr. Parker is a retired military officer. Dr. Parker was an active duty Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Marine Corps and served as Command Inspector General (CIG), Marine Corps Forces Central Command (MARCENT) at MacDill AFB, Tampa, FL. Commissioned in the Marine Corps in 1995; upon graduation from The Basic School (TBS), Dr. Parker was designated a Supply Officer. His career includes a myriad of logistics leadership assignments in United States, Asia, and the Middle East. Dr. Parker is a graduate of the following military professional military education: The Basic School, Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Joint Forces Staff College, Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI), Air War College (AWC), and Department of Defense Inspector General (IG) Course.He is a member of the Association of Inspectors General. A proud family man, Dr. Parker currently resides in Tampa, FL.

Erica Roberts

Executive Director, Pathways to Excellence

Erica M. Roberts is a decorated executive, business owner, and certified coach with an enthusiasm for discovering and realizing potential for others, specifically pertaining to career success and entrepreneurship. During her public service career, she amassed a portfolio of organizational development solutions. Erica is known for driving results and transforming organizational culture and practices within government agencies. She was approved for Senior Executive Service in 2018.

After leaving federal service, Erica repurposed her expertise in organizational development, capacity building, and program design to found X Is Possible, LLC – a personal and professional development consultancy. As a small business owner, she draws upon over 15 years of experience leading change, developing people, and delivering results to design, develop and implement leadership development programs that benefit civil servants and under-represented populations.

Erica holds a Master of Business Administration degree and a Bachelor of Science degree.

Angela Sebaly

CEO, Personify Leadership and Principle Consultant of Invested Leadership

Angela Sebaly is the author of the new book, The Courageous Leader (Wiley, Spring 2017), as well as Co-Founder and CEO of Personify Leadership, LLC. Formerly the Vice-President of Leadership Development for a global oil, gas and chemicals inspection company, Angela also serves as CEO of Personify Leadership and principal consultant for the firm Invested Leadership. She has also held senior roles with major organizations in the telecommunications, construction and hospitality industries and has worked with thousands of leaders assessing their unique talent and how to move their performance to the next level.

After more than a two decades of providing feedback through a 360 process to hundreds of leaders all over the world, Angela identified key trends in leadership effectiveness that center around courage and resilience. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication from Central Missouri State University, and a master’s degree in Applied Communications and Conflict Management from the University of Denver. Angela is an author, entrepreneur, and highly sought-after coach. Education, communication, and courage are the pillars of her life’s work.

Linda Singh

Former Adjutant General of Maryland, Maryland Air National Guard

Linda L. Singh, retired major general, was appointed as the 29th adjutant general of Maryland in January 2015. In the role she was responsible for the daily operations of the Maryland Military Department, which includes the Maryland Army National Guard, Maryland Air National Guard, Maryland Emergency Management Agency, and Maryland Defense Force. She was also a senior advisor to the governor and was responsible for the readiness, administration, and training of more than 6,700 members of the military department with an annual budget of more than $314 million. As the adjutant general, she served as the official channel of communication between the governor and the National Guard Bureau and served as a member of the governor’s cabinet.

Linda is currently the CEO of Kaleidoscope Affect where she mentors, coaches, and speaks about leadership, diversity, adversity, career transition, and issues that plague women and veterans in the workplace. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business, a master of business administration, a master of strategic studies, and a doctorate in industrial and organizational psychology. She is the author of Moments of Choice: My Path to Leadership and is currently writing What’s in Your Box,.

Linda is a certified project management professional (PMP), professional certified coach (PCC), Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, and John Maxwell certified trainer and speaker. She has received numerous awards, among them are the 2013 Diversity MBA Top 100 under 50 Diverse Emerging Leaders, The Network Journal 25 Influential Black Women in Business Award for 2014 and recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for 2015. Linda was inducted into the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame in March 2015, featured on the Today show for her history-making leadership team, and named as one of InStyle’s Badass 50 in July 2019.

Michael Stallard

President and Co-Founder, E Pluribus Partners

Michael Stallard is the globally-recognized thought leader on how leaders create and maintain cultures of connection that help individuals, teams and organizations thrive for a sustained period of time. A keynote speaker, leadership trainer and executive coach, he is cofounder and president of E Pluribus Partners and Connection Culture Group, leadership training and consulting firms. Michael’s recent clients have included Costco, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Toll Brothers, U.S. Air Force, Turner Construction, Wellpath and Yale-New Haven Health. Texas Christian University founded the TCU Center for Connection Culture based on Michael’s work.

Michael is the primary author of two bestselling books, Connection Culture: The Competitive Advantage of Share Identity, Empathy and Understanding at Work and Fired Up or Burned Out: How to Reignite Your Team’s Passion, Creativity and Productivity. Articles by or about Michael or his work have appeared in business periodicals worldwide. Learn more at and A sample chapter of the Connection Culture, 2nd edition is available for free download.

Dr. Theresa R. Horne, CPTM, CSM, SHRM-SCP

Senior Program Manager, National Labor Relations Board

Dr. Theresa Horne is an experienced senior advisor in HR, human capital, training, and development who develops and aligns complex programs to business initiatives for the federal government. She has more than 15 years of experience contributing to the government, military and private industries in operations, diversity and inclusion, human capital and adult learning realms. Theresa has researched and developed comprehensive leadership and career development programs for a range of government employees, including future leaders and the executive suite. She is an award-winning novelist and industry columnist who has spoken at multiple federal agencies and private organizations on the intersection of culture, leadership, and strategic alignment. She is a proud Army veteran and enjoys reading, traveling, and coaching youth sports.

Alex D. Tremble Jr.

Career and Leadership Development Coach, GPS Leadership Solutions

Alex D. Tremble (aka The Federal Career Coach) is an award-winning speaker, author, and leadership expert who has over 10 years of experience coaching and advising some of our nation’s most senior level government leaders. Specifically, Alex teaches government employees how to use strategic networking and political savvy techniques to increase their influence and gain career advancement.

Alex began his career managing three government-wide senior leadership development programs, and quickly went on to establish GPS Leadership Solutions LLC., while publishing two bestselling books ("Reaching Senior Leadership: 10 Growth Strategies Every Government Leader Should Know” and “The GPS Guide to Success”) geared towards helping government leaders gain influence and attain career success. Alex is a Leadership Center for Excellence 40 under 40 honoree. Alex is passionate and committed to helping our nation’s government leaders reach their highest potential; personally, and professionally.

Alex received his Bachelor's degree in sociology and psychology from William Penn University and his Master's degree in industrial and organizational psychology from the University of Baltimore. Please visit to gain the tools and strategies you need to reach your leadership and career goals.

Thank You To Our Sponsors