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U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC)

U.S. Fleet Forces Command Civilians Advance Leadership Skills through Local College Program

by NORFOLK, VA
15 September 2023
U.S. Fleet Forces Command Civilians Advance Leadership Skills through Local College Program
NORFOLK, Va. (Aug. 31, 2023) Matthew H. Swartz, executive director and chief of staff for U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC), left, alongside Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., Old Dominion University (ODU) President, right, pose with graduates of the Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Leadership (GCPSL) program and ODU staff on the Norfolk, Va., campus. GCPSL is a program founded in partnership between USFFC and ODU in 2015 to provide civilian employees within the USFFC enterprise an opportunity for further education in leadership through a 12-credit graduate certificate program for middle and upper management. (U.S. Navy courtesy photo)
U.S. Fleet Forces Command Civilians Advance Leadership Skills through Local College Program
230831-N-NO701-1001
NORFOLK, Va. (Aug. 31, 2023) Matthew H. Swartz, executive director and chief of staff for U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC), left, alongside Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., Old Dominion University (ODU) President, right, pose with graduates of the Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Leadership (GCPSL) program and ODU staff on the Norfolk, Va., campus. GCPSL is a program founded in partnership between USFFC and ODU in 2015 to provide civilian employees within the USFFC enterprise an opportunity for further education in leadership through a 12-credit graduate certificate program for middle and upper management. (U.S. Navy courtesy photo)
Photo By: U.S. Navy
VIRIN: 230831-N-NO701-1001

Civilian employees within the U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC) enterprise are furthering their leadership skills through a longstanding partnership with Old Dominion University.

Started in 2015, the Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Leadership (GCPSL)program provides high performing Department of the Navy civilian leaders with the opportunity for further education in leadership.

Today, the GCPSL, a 12-credit graduate certificate program for middle and upper management, has certified 149 students from USFFC and its subordinate commands since its inception.

“This graduate certificate program does an outstanding job at improving corporate Navy leadership,” said Matthew H. Swartz, executive director and chief of staff for USFFC.

Swartz, alongside Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., Old Dominion University President, spoke to the most recent graduating class on Aug. 31. They were joined by ODU leadership, including the Vice President for Digital Learning Nina Rodriguez Gonser and Director of Continuing Education Robert Doherty.

Swartz encouraged graduates to apply what they’ve learned to be a leader of change in their field of work.

“But don’t stop here,” said Swartz. “Seek new challenges and embrace a passion for lifelong learning.”

Through completing the GCPSL, students develop a broad base of knowledge and experience to lead Federal, State, and local government organizations and programs.

Students attend weekly classes hosted by the ODU Norfolk campus, with the option to participate as a distance learning student online. Lessons include a two-day data analytics class and four, 10-week sessions in cyber principles, financial management, organizational development and change and contracting principles.

Monica Causey, a recent graduate of GCPSL, described the experience as “intense,” saying that as a single mother raising a teenage son, she found the program to be both challenging and rewarding. Causey is the division lead for network operations and information technology support at Navy Expeditionary Combat Command in Virginia Beach, Va.

“The most impactful thing I came away with was how important it is to establish relationships founded on trust and transparency,” she said. “It matters how you establish, build and sustain relationships both vertically and horizontally to see a goal to fruition. We all have a common goal in mind, and that’s service to our country.”

The GCPSL course is offered annually to eligible public sector employees. Candidates must be nominated by their directorate heads with input from the candidate's chain-of-command. Once selected, the command fully funds the course.

Candidates must be permanent civilians in paygrades GS 13-15 or equivalent in the Hampton Roads area, have a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree, a 3.6 or higher on their most recent performance summary rating or overall rating and have an active individual development plan.

For more information visit https://odu.edu/cepd/execed/public-sector-leadership
 
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