DVIDS – News – Chief of Medical Facilities Completes Prestigious Harvard Leadership Program

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Chief of the Mandatory Medical Facilities Center of Expertise at the US Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, has completed a prestigious professional development program for senior federal officials from Harvard University.

Tony Travia, the senior health care engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, was the only USACE employee selected to participate in the 2022 John F. Kennedy School of Government Senior Executive Fellows program.

The four-week program, led each year by a renowned team of Harvard professors and expert practitioners, provides participants with a framework for problem-solving, conditioning them to see their work in the “bigger picture” of the organization. . Senior managers develop practical and effective skills to help them:

Identify and analyze the challenges and opportunities facing their organizations
Develop strategic action plans using communication, negotiation and coalition building skills
Manage tensions between long-term political goals and short-term political pressures
Create an organizational environment that is responsive to change but also true to its purpose and tradition.
According to Travia, the program challenged him in all aspects of public leadership, from strategic planning and risk-based analysis to high-level negotiation and communication. In order to guide participants in developing skills that can be applied to their unique work environment, the course did not follow a linear curriculum, but rather included lectures on a variety of topics and provided ample time for work. in class, group work and individual study.

Each participant entered the program with an individual leadership challenge they wanted to take on, Travia said.

“The program was like taking 57 independent lectures at master’s level, and to really get the most out of this explosive information, you had to know precisely what you wanted to get out of it,” he said. “Just learning the material was a lot of work, but synthesizing and applying it was a long process that took all the time.”

Travia’s leadership challenge was to communicate with stakeholders, ensuring that key messages were delivered effectively for mission success. He said lessons learned from the principles of negotiation were key to meeting this challenge.

“Even though you’ve been doing it for years and instinctively learned these things, there’s so much more to the formal logic of negotiation, and now I have a framework that I can apply rather than just following instinct. “, he said.

To broaden participants’ perspectives, instructors provided many relevant case studies on topics such as Ukraine, American political discourse, public health, and diversity.

“These case studies helped us see how everything is connected – climate change, fossil fuel policy, Russia’s position as a declining close peer versus China’s position as a close peer. rising – and they directly affect our projects in terms of the cost and price of materials, the supply chain, our workforce,” he said. “It’s all connected, and this type of Strategic thinking helps us prepare for whatever comes our way.”

Travia is no stranger to problem solving and leading teams in times of crisis. He led USACE’s healthcare engineering effort in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He and his team have supported national and international efforts to provide alternative care sites, increase vaccine production capacity, and design federal vaccination centers.

Travia said he feels even more ready for new, unforeseen challenges after completing the program.

“I learned a lot that I can apply to my job, and I hope to continue to use those skills to accomplish the mission, improve the organization, and take care of people,” he said.

Date taken: 05.10.2022
Date posted: 05.10.2022 11:24
Story ID: 420351

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Kevin E. Boling