16-012 Corps Contracting Chief selected for Harvard Fellows program

Published March 22, 2016

Corps Contracting Chief selected for Harvard Fellows program


WALLA WALLA, Wash. – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District’s Chief of Contracting Division was selected to attend the John F. Kennedy School of Government Senior Executive Fellows (SEF) program at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.

Ruthann Haider, who resides in Walla Walla, Washington, and directs contracting operations at the District’s headquarters downtown, was selected to attend the month-long SEF program designed for upper-level Army managers who have advanced rapidly into senior positions and are now required to focus on "the larger picture" of the organization.

About 80 participants were chosen for the SEF program scheduled during April-May -- most attendees represent state and federal organizations from locations within the U.S. and overseas. The training places emphasis on skills relating to policy making, authentic leadership, strategy, negotiations, persuasion, implementation, decision making and understanding and using data. It provides its attendees with practical, effective tools that can help:

-- identify and analyze the challenges and opportunities facing your organization, and master them politically, as well as technically,

-- develop strategic plans of action using communication, negotiation and coalition-building skills,

-- manage the tensions between long-term policy goals and short-term political pressures, and

-- create an organizational environment that is responsive to change, but also true to its purpose and tradition.

Harvard executive education programs are led by full-time faculty members who design courses that engage and challenge participants in every aspect of public leadership, from strategic management and performance measurement to communication and negotiation. The Kennedy School of Government Senior Executive Fellows program for Army Civilian managers does not teach answers to specific problems -- it provides a strategic approach to problem-solving. From the start, participants take on a leadership role, discovering ways to look at issues from new perspectives. Fellows learn how to generate a more diverse array of possible interpretations, and therefore, a wider range of possible solutions. Through classwork, group work and individual study, fellows practice strategic analysis daily, until it becomes a natural, ingrained response.

Haider anticipates immediate benefits from attending the program.

“I plan to bring value back to the District, with new critical reasoning and analysis concepts focused on reaching faster, better, less costly resolutions to the challenging issues we face in the Corps of Engineers,” said Haider. “This training will also help me better shape the Corps contracting leaders of tomorrow, as I share what I learn with others, and incorporate new skills and techniques into local training for our staff.”



Release no. 16-012