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News | Aug. 14, 2019

Two rising DCMA leaders excel during Pentagon-level fellowship

By DCMA Baltimore

Wendi Duffy and Cal-Abram Johnson, two of the Defense Contract Management Agency’s rising leaders, recently graduated from the Office of the Secretary of Defense Sustainment Fellows Program.

Robert McMahon, assistant secretary of defense for sustainment, officiated the commencement ceremony June 24 to recognize the graduates for their dedication and success. During the ceremony, McMahon provided a synopsis of the program and outlined the strategic-level issues the fellows were able to embrace and tackle.

According to the OSD website, “the Sustainment Fellows Program is a year-long, hands-on, broadening and leadership program designed to enhance the career development of selected mid-level logistics professionals (military O-4 to O-5, civilian GS-13 to GS-14 or YA-02/03), by providing them with significant headquarters-level experience and opportunities. During the year, fellows are expected to fully immerse themselves in their work placement, which lies at the heart of the program. Assignments can offer unparalleled experience working with DoD officials on a variety of challenging issues.”

Never one to shy away from a challenge, Duffy, a DCMA Baltimore supervisory industrial specialist, impressed her leadership with her versatility and professionalism prior to her fellowship selection.

“She was selected to represent the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics, as well as DCMA, on the highly-visible logistics reform team, which was under the direction of the chief management officer led by the third highest civilian in the Department of Defense,” said Navy Capt. Lorenzo Williams, DCMA Baltimore's commander. “Her efforts directly supported the number one line effort, which is to reform the department. She was responsible for overseeing 12 different proof of concept studies each looking into different ways the DoD can better utilize its resources and streamline its logistics and supply chain management.”

One way the department can better utilize its resources is to expose rising decision makers like Duffy to a senior leadership environment.

“The fellowship opened my eyes to the interworking of the DoD at the highest levels,” she said. “It was a wonderful year and the knowledge gained will last a lifetime.”

Johnson, the agency’s Enterprise Architecture Group lead capital planning investment control manager, plays a key role in supporting the organization's information technology investments and Defense Business Systems certification process requirements.

“Johnson’s experience was unique from Duffy’s in that he was responsible for establishing an integrated workgroup with the armed services to assess, review and evaluate current complimentary user entity control processes in support of financial auditability,” said Williams.

“This was a great experience and learning process that has enhanced my leadership ability and appreciation for financial auditability,” said Johnson.

Ray Coleman, DCMA's chief information officer and the agency’s representative at the commencement, believes experiences like this nurture organizational success.

“We are looking forward to using the knowledge and experiences our fellows have acquired over the last year, especially those from industry. Opportunities like this allow our organization to grow and benefit from this learning environment,” he said.

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