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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics

Beltsville Area Diversity Taskforce

Spotlight on Diversity

Activities of the Diversity Taskforce

Diversity Training Opportunity: New Leader Program

The New Leader Program is offered to Federal employees at the GS 7-11 level through Graduate School USA. This 6-month program is designed to develop future public service leaders by providing assessment, experiential learning, and individual development opportunities. The program includes 3 one-week residential training sessions that cover topics such as communication, problem solving, team building, and diversity. I recently participated in the New Leader Program from March to September 2012.

At the beginning of the program, I was introduced to the team members who would be my support system throughout the program. Participants are purposely grouped into diverse teams that include people of different ages, races, and genders. I personally had a wonderful group to work with, and they have provided me with guidance and encouragement throughout the past 6 months. As the program drew to a close, each team delivered a fun and creative presentation of what we learned throughout the program.

During the 6-month program, participants focus on their own personal career goals within the Federal government. Each participant reviews 3 books on topics relating to leadership and conducts 2 management interviews with career employees from the GS 13 to the Senior Executive Service level. There is a 3-day shadowing assignment with a senior federal manager (GS 13 or higher).

The most exciting part of the program is being able to do a 4-6 week developmental assignment. I was able to work at the Environmental Protection Agency for 6 weeks as a program analyst with the Superfund Community Involvement and Program Initiatives Branch. This experience was truly rewarding for me, and I am grateful to have had this opportunity.

The New Leader Program has provided me with the foundation to be a leader in my life and at work. I was able to network and meet people I otherwise would never have had the opportunity to meet. I also gained valuable work experience that was completely different from what I do on a daily basis as a laboratory technician. I would recommend this program to anyone working for the Federal government who meets the qualifications and is looking to gain new skills and experience. Information on the various leadership development programs offered through Graduate School USA can be found at

- Jennifer Kramer

Participants in New Leader Program 2012
Participants in New Leader Program 2012-1 (left to right): Patricia Walton, John
Krouse, Rena Dupree, Kathleen Bloxham, Willie Coleman, Katherine McLaughlin,
and Jennifer Kramer

If you are interested in getting involved in any of these activities, please contact:
Verneta Gaskins
For information about Spotlight on Diversity contact:
Tasha Sprague tasha,

Last Modified: 8/12/2016
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