OMAHA – Ten civilian employees of the Department of Defense (DoD) will come together on Friday, May 30, to be recognized as the inaugural graduating class of a first-of-its-kind program from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) and the United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM).
For the past 13 weeks, the members of the USSTRATCOM Leader Fellowship Program have partnered with University of Nebraska experts and local government and business leaders to gain graduate-level leadership development skills. Friday’s ceremony is a celebration of the completion of the program.
"Opportunities for substantial professional education are rare - particularly for extended in-residence education that produces a synergy of learning that only comes from daily, face-to-face interaction with fellow students and faculty,” USSTRATCOM Commander Admiral Cecil D. Haney said. “This program affirms our commitment to support the growth and development of our civilian workforce"
Friday’s ceremony, which is not open to the public but is available to media, will take place at the University of Nebraska Peter Kiewit Institute on the UNO Pacific Campus beginning at 1 p.m.
The event’s keynote address will be given by Pat McKenna, senior advisor to USSTRATCOM’s J5 Plans and Policy Group.
Also in attendance at the ceremony will be Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Bob Hinson, who served in the United States Air Force from 1971 to 2003, including two years as Deputy Commander of USSSTRATCOM.
Hinson now serves as the Executive Director of the National Strategic Institute (NSRI), which launched the USSTRATCOM Leader Fellowship Program on March 1 through the University of Nebraska’s University Affiliated Research Center (UARC), a long-term partnership established between the University of Nebraska and USSTRATCOM.
The program, which was co-directed by Gina Ligon, assistant professor of management at UNO, and Doug Derrick, assistant professor of IT innovation at UNO, included graduate-level coursework, goal-defined research and hands-on experiences at some of Nebraska’s leading businesses, including Union Pacific and First National Bank, and government facilities.
“The experiential leader development program of the USSTRATCOM Fellowship is a program that focuses on leader cognition — we didn’t train them how to act like leaders, we gave them experiences that helped them learn to think like strategic leaders,” said Ligon.
The members of the first Leader Fellowship Program were competitively selected across multiple command directorates for their potential for increased responsibilities at USSTRATCOM and the DoD.
“USSTRATCOM has important plans for these ten individuals. We are excited to see how they continue to lead once they return back to their teams,” said Derrick.
During the program, participants worked full time at UNO’s Mammel Hall, home of UNO’s College of Business Administration, inside the building’s new state-of-the-art Strategic Leadership Laboratory, which is part of the Center for Collaboration Science.
Following Friday’s graduation, each of the participants will return to their previous posts where they will begin working on ways to incorporate their lessons and research into the nation’s security efforts.
For additional information or media requests please contact Charley Reed, UNO media relations coordinator, at email@example.com or by phone at 402.554.2129.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.