One of the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville’s own was selected to represent the Army Acquisition Workforce in the 2017 Defense Civilian Emerging Leader Program.
Lourdes Roman, an Electronic Security Systems contract specialist, was one of two dozen acquisition professionals Army-wide, and one of three U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ employees, selected to attend four, one-week seminars starting early this year.
The seminars will be held over a six-month period at the Department of Defense Executive Management Training Center, Southbridge, Massachusetts, and are designed to develop the next generation of innovative leaders with the technical competence to meet the future leadership needs of the Department of Defense.
“I am constantly seeking opportunities for improvement and self-actualization from both a career and personal standpoint,” Roman said. “I knew this program would provide a great foundation for me in terms of honing my leadership and interpersonal skills. It’s challenging environments like these where we grow as people as well as professionals.”
Leadership programs, like the DCELP, should be taken advantage of because it allows employees to expand their knowledge of how the federal government works at different levels, said Chip Marin, director of the Installation Support and Programs Management Directorate.
“Many times, we do not understand the decrees from higher headquarters, but when you go to these kinds of classes, you then understand why they are asking for that information,” he said. “It’s perfect for anyone who is going to be a future leader.”
Roman, who came to Huntsville Center in March 2016 from the Defense Contract Management Agency where she worked as a contract administrator, was interested in the program long before she arrived at Huntsville Center.
While at DCMA, she filled out an application for the 2015 Defense Civilian Emerging Leader Program. However, not long after submitting the application she accepted a job with Huntsville Center. It was then she found out that she would have to give up her seat in the program in order to fulfill her obligation to the Corps of Engineers, she said.
Once onboard at Huntsville Center, Roman was encouraged to resubmit her application for the 2017 Defense Civilian Emerging Leader Program, which she did in May. Roman was notified of her selection in October.
Roman is excited about her second chance at the program, and has already started looking into the requirements and preparing herself for the road ahead.
“The most rewarding and challenging aspect of the program for me will be the 360-degree evaluations where I will receive honest and objective criticism based on my performance of the given training exercises. That kind of impartial assessment is rare and immensely invaluable, and it will influence me throughout my career for years to come,” she said.