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IWR Works to Incorporate Climate Change and Sustainability Training into Federal Leadership and Educational Programs

Published June 29, 2015
IWR’s Dr. Jeff Arnold (left) and Dr. Paul Wagner (right) participate on the IWR training team.

IWR’s Dr. Jeff Arnold (left) and Dr. Paul Wagner (right) participate on the IWR training team.

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA.   Executive Order 13693 builds on the President’s Climate Action Plan and recent executive orders and calls on The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to initiate the inclusion of environmental sustainability and climate preparedness and resilience into Federal leadership and educational programs in courses and training. 

To answer the call to action, OPM has partnered with the Corps’ Institute for Water Resources (IWR) and they are together leading a cross-sector interagency team that is continues developing and delivering climate and leadership training to not only Senior Executive Service and GS-15 personnel (called for in the Executive Order), but are also making the curriculum available to State, Local, and Tribal leaders consistent with the broader aspirations of the President’s Climate Action Plan.  As part of this program, Dr. Paul Wagner presented a seminar last month entitled “Climate Change for Federal Managers and Senior Leaders.”

The recently developed course “Climate Change and Sustainability for Senior Leaders” has already helped over 500 Senior Executives and senior managers from more than 35 federal agencies improve their abilities to lead their agencies through climate change and sustainability challenges.  A similar course is being developed for delivery through Senior Executive Service Candidate Development (SESCDP) programs, as well as for other executive programs such as The Federal Executive Institute’s (FEI) Leadership for a Democratic Society (LDS).   The importance of Federal leadership in responding to climate change doesn’t rest solely with Senior Executives.  Recognizing this, OPM is developing a climate change and sustainability course for inclusion in our Leadership Education and Development Program.  This multi-day offering will bring together managers and leaders from across the government and beyond and will focus on delivering the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for effective leadership in a changing climate.  Finally, there are a number of short courses and seminar series that are being developed for those agencies or leaders who want a shorter or more customized experience.

While classes have already begun, the OPM-IWR leadership team is working with CEQ, OSTP, and other partners to continue development and refinement, which will be an ongoing process for some time to come.   Agencies not yet represented are encouraged to participate in a dialog with us to ensure that broad consideration is given to the needs across agencies. 

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