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STAR Graduates Two Managers from Prestigious Leadership Programs

5 March 2014 - Last month two STAR managers graduated from two different leadership programs. Coral Reef Watch's Mark Eakin completed NOAA's Leadership Competencies Development Program, and JPSS's Lihang Zhou graduated from the Department of Commerce Executive Leadership Development (ELDP) Program. STAR congratulates them both on their efforts, and looks forward to benefiting from the expansion of their skills and education.

NOAA Leadership Competencies Development Program VIII - April 2012 - October 2013

NOAA Leadership Competencies Development Program VIII - April 2012 - October 2013
Mark Eakin is pictured at the top right.

Mark Eakin and NOAA's Leadership Competencies Development Program

The twenty-two members of NOAA's Leadership Competencies Development Program (LCDP) Class VIII graduated from their 21-month leadership program on Friday, January 31, 2014. The graduation ceremony was held in the NOAA Auditorium in Silver Spring, MD. Dr. Sullivan provided introductory remarks, VADM Devany was the keynote speaker, and Christine Carpino was the Master of Ceremonies. The event was attended by 250 guests, including leadership from most line offices.

One of the three program graduates from NESDIS was our very own Dr. Mark Eakin. Mark is the Coordinator of NOAA's Coral Reef Watch in the Center for Satellite Applications and Research. Mark's first LCDP developmental assignment was with the NOAA Office of External Affairs, where he worked to strengthen connections between NOAA and some of its "dry side" partners in the satellite and weather industries, developed a framework for presenting NOAA's "water story," and served as the External Affairs representative in preparations for the release of NOAA's proposal to list 66 species of corals under the Endangered Species Act. Mark continued on the latter theme in his second LCDP developmental assignment, assisting NOAA Fisheries Protected Resources Division at the Pacific Islands Regional Office with the roll out, public meetings, and preparation for the proposal to list corals. Through his developmental assignments, Mark practiced his new leadership skills while developing new connections within and outside of NOAA and gaining greater insight into the workings of both headquarters and field operations.

The LCDP is a competitive leadership development program. It provides a series of training and learning experiences for a cadre of NOAA employees who have high potential for assuming greater leadership responsibilities in the agency. The program promotes cross-line, multidisciplinary experiences that broaden participants' understanding of NOAA's strategic vision, mission, and goals, as well as our business processes. The LCDP, a key component of NOAA's Strategic Human Capital Management Plan, is NOAA's premier succession planning initiative. Applications are currently being accepted for the next cohort (through 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, March 11, 2014.) For more information about LCDP and to apply, visit:

Dept. of Commerce ELDP Graduation - February 6, 2014

NOAA Graduates of the Dept. of Commerce Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program (SESCDP)
and Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP) Graduation Ceremony - February 6, 2014
Lihang Zhou is pictured third from right.

Lihang Zhou and DOC's Executive Leadership Development (ELDP) Program

Lihang was one of 23 graduates from this year's cohort in the ELDP, 10 of whom were from NOAA. Lihang said "I want to thank STAR management for supporting my participation in the ELDP program. It's absolutely a fabulous experience. I would highly recommend this program to all my colleagues."

The Executive Leadership Development Program is designed for high potential employees at the GS-13 and 14 levels or equivalent whose career plans include moving into upper management positions. It is one of the "flagship" leadership development programs managed and funded by the Department of Commerce that support the Human Capital Management Plan and workforce succession planning. These programs target "mission critical" positions expected to experience major attrition through retirements and other reasons. The program provides leadership development opportunities and addresses key competencies. Formal training and leadership development activities are the foundation of this program resulting in a cadre of well-trained, well-qualified employees for leadership roles in the Department of Commerce. Individuals selected for this program remain in their current positions and grade levels. Selected participants are expected to be self-starters and highly motivated individuals who, through their experience, training and education, show potential to grow into a strong leadership role. The program is demanding, and the curriculum must be completed in twelve (12) months while balancing current job assignments.