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PCIE/ECIE OIG Leadership Development

American University's Leadership Course

To strengthen leadership and enhance succession-planning efforts in the Inspector General community, the Human Resources Committee is pleased to announce the Key Executive Leadership Certificate Program for Inspector General Leaders at the GS-13 through SES level, delivered by faculty from American University.

Program Descriptions: Overview; Session A; Session B; Session C; General Information
Schedule of Classes |   Registration Information |   Program Cost and Payment
Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Credits |   OIG Leadership Course Brochure

Program Description ~ Overview

The total program includes three Sessions with each Session building on material presented in the previous one. After taking Session A, a student may enroll in any subsequently scheduled Session B. Similarly, after taking Sessions A and B, a student may enroll in any subsequently scheduled Session C.


Session A

Courses included in Session A are as follows:

  • Leadership Development: Transforming from Managing to Leading
    Robert Tobias - Instructor

    Students explore various roles, responsibilities, and choices in creating high-performing organizations. A basic assumption is that leadership is a journey of continuously struggling to know oneself, understand one's relationship with others, and take responsibility for making conscious choices through reading, dialogue, and reflection. Students focus on their personal approaches to leadership, develop an awareness of the advantages and disadvantages that accompany them, identify personal values and understand how those values drive both a leader's and follower's behavior, learn about the role of individual vision and mission in leading others, and understand the different skills required as one is promoted to levels of increasing responsibility. (Three Days)

  • Leader as Team Builder and Facilitator
    Robert Lapidus - Instructor

    Students are challenged to provide a context for exploring the role of the leader as a team builder, including providing experiential learning activities to build the team and to use tools that can be applied in the workplace.

    A self-introductory exercise is used to launch the course by exploring the theme of "intentional leadership" and using oneself as an instrument of change. Participants describe the culture in which the OIG operates and its attitude toward teams. Students review class norms and discuss how they have been used. The FIRO B instrument is administered and processed by looking at three levels: the individual, the team, and the agency. Group activities focus on the dimensions of inclusion, control, and openness to relationships. Participants are challenged to critically review their leadership/ management style to see whether they are receiving the results they want with their direct reports, peers, bosses, and key stakeholders. If not, students are challenged to identify behaviors they might choose to change to be more effective with those they lead.

    In addition, students examine the actions needed to create a high-performing team. Participants are guided as to behaviors they should engage in when facilitating a team through the stages of group development, including "forming, storming, norming, and performing." Students also discuss the importance of developing a team charter, which includes the need for addressing goals, roles, norms, and relationships. (Two Days)

  • Ethics for Public Managers
    Nanette Blandin - Instructor

    The course is designed to approach ethics in an applied and practical manner and to focus on the various processes by which students can achieve ethical decision-making and enhance integrity in organizations. During Session 1, students will discuss the text, Defining Moments, with particular emphasis on the idea of "right vs. right" decisions and the need for reflection. Students also review fundamental principles and historical foundations of moral philosophy and examine major frameworks for thinking about ethics and integrity. (One Day)

  • Leading in the Context of Constitutional Government
    Elaine Kaplan, Instructor

    The goal of this course is to give OIG leaders a better appreciation for the constitutional context in which public sector enterprises, including the Offices of Inspector General, function. To gain this appreciation, students read decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court and discuss them in class, with an eye toward relating the legal concepts discussed to the role of government, generally, and the work of the Inspectors General in particular.

    During the first session, students examine aspects of the Constitution that govern the relationship between the government and its employees. Students focus primarily upon free speech issues, including whistleblower protection. The class will read excerpts from several important Supreme Court decisions involving the First Amendment rights of public employees. Students discuss the relationship between the government's interest as an employer in the efficient operation of its workplace, employees' interests in free expression of their opinions, and the public's interest in hearing the views of government employees. The class will apply the principles discussed in the context of real-life situations, including those they experience at their worksite. Members of the class will be encouraged to share their views about how OIGs can best work with government employee whistleblowers to accomplish the OIG mission. (One Day)

  • Executive Problem Solving: Action Learning
    John Czajkowski, Instructor

    The Action Learning course offers new approaches to executive problem solving. The Action Learning framework is a modern application of proven classical methods of questioning and reflection and provides a very adaptable structure for exploring creative approaches to a variety of problems. As a problem-solving tool, it provides an effective means of arriving at mutually acceptable solutions. Simultaneously, participants gain new insights into how their behavior affects others and how learning leaders can use this self-awareness to collaborate more effectively.

    The goal of this course is to give leaders renewed awareness of the impact they have on groups and individuals, as well as provide practical techniques for discussing and solving problems. In short, one basic objective is to draw attention to the value of being a learning leader, rather than simply a learned leader. Through increased self-awareness, leaders have more opportunities to make deliberate choices about how to approach problems and situations, interact with others, and contribute meaningfully to the growth of the people and organizations to which they have dedicated their service. To accomplish this, a series of increasingly intensive Action Learning exercises are conducted, using different combinations of roles and topics to demonstrate the full potential of Action Learning. Students are encouraged to propose exercise topics that involve problems facing the Inspector General community but are free to suggest any topic for discussion. (One Day)

  • Coaching Session A

    Each student will conduct a 360-degree evaluation and be assigned an Executive Coach to interpret the results in a 2-hour meeting during Session A. A second coaching session of 1.5 hours will be scheduled within 90 to 120 days after Session A.


Session B

Courses included in Session B are as follows:

  • Leadership Development: Transforming from Managing to Leading
    Robert Tobias -Instructor

    Students continue working on incorporating reflection and practicing dialogue to understand why others would choose to follow a leader. Students focus on creating commitment to individual and organizational goals through an understanding of what creates commitment and how a leader's behavior encourages or inhibits it. In addition, students will learn processes for managing conflict for positive results. (Two Days)

  • Ethics for Public Managers
    Nanette Blandin - Instructor

    The second day in this series focuses on ethics in the context of the public service, particularly the role of OIG leaders in modeling and promoting ethics and integrity in their organizations. Key concepts reviewed include trust, public confidence, accountability, self awareness, and learning. Each participant will develop an individual action plan to integrate and build upon the major themes in the course. (One Day)

  • Leading in the Context of Constitutional Government
    Elaine Kaplan, Instructor

    In the second session students examine the constitutional context of the relationship between the government and its citizens, the structure of the federal courts, and the role the courts play in making public policy. The readings concern equal protection of the laws, substantive due process, and judicial activism. By reading some of the "hot-button" cases in these areas, students explore the difference between legal reasoning and policymaking. In addition, students discuss issues of official immunity - i.e., the extent to which government employees and officials can be held personally liable in suits that challenge the lawfulness of the governmental actions in which they have been involved. (One Day)

  • Executive Problem Solving: Action Learning
    John Czajkowski, Instructor

    In the second session, students further explore Action Learning techniques and principles. More complex exercises will be carried out using problems presented by the group members. These exercises will be based on current, real-life problems facing the Inspector General community as well as personal issues that can affect anyone. Participants will leave with a heightened sense of the impact they have on their colleagues and the consequences of the choices they can make in order to communicate more effectively. (One Day)

  • Coaching Session B

    A coaching session of 1.5 hours will be scheduled for each Session B student within 30 days prior to Session B, and a second session of 1.5 hours will be scheduled within 90 to 120 days after Session B.


Session C

Courses included in Session C are as follows:

  • Leadership Development: Transforming from Managing to Leading
    Robert Tobias- Instructor

    The first two sessions focus on leading direct reports and those who might be colleagues. We revisit the different mix of leadership skills required at different levels of responsibility and introduce the leadership skills necessary to work across an organization and outside an organization. (One Day).

  • Leader as Team Builder and Facilitator
    Robert Lapidus - Instructor

    Students will facilitate the group through a real-time, team-building exercise. Each facilitation team will address the essential elements of building a team charter, including defining the purpose, clarifying the roles, addressing the norms/procedures, and improving the relationships. After each facilitation team finishes, they will receive feedback from the group. The course will conclude with a review of each individual's learning goals and an action plan to apply the tools and skills learned back in the workplace and throughout the OIG community. (One Day)

  • Leading in the Context of Constitutional Government
    Elaine Kaplan, Instructor

    In the third session, students consider issues related to the separation of powers between the branches of government. Students also discuss the special role of Inspectors General, constitutional considerations related to their independence, and related issues. In addition, the class explores several crucial aspects of administrative law: what role administrative agencies play in making law through regulation, the role of OMB, and how the courts and Congress oversee the administration of statutes by the Executive Branch. (One Day)

  • Leading Organizational Change for Results
    Catherine Fox - Instructor

    Leading Organizational Change for Results presents useful concepts and practical tools to enable participants to lead a successful organizational change effort. The course addresses situational change, the psychological aspects of transitioning through change, and deep change.

    Participants define basic concepts related to organization change; identify models for examining, setting the stage for, and implementing a structured change process; assess change readiness; increase understanding of self and others' behavior styles as these styles relate to change; increase ability to move beyond resistance; determine a personally relevant framework for assessing organizational performance; reflect on the role of perceptions, assumptions, beliefs, and values crucial to change initiatives; and increase self-awareness for a strengthened ability to manage self in the midst of organizational change. (Two Days)

  • Coaching Session C

    Each student will conduct a 360-degree evaluation, and the student's assigned executive coach will interpret the results in a 2-hour meeting during Session C.



At the conclusion of each Session, students will receive a certificate indicating they have completed Session A, Session B, or Session C of the Key Executive Leadership Certificate Program for Inspector General Leaders, as appropriate. Students who complete all three Sessions will receive a Certificate indicating they have completed the entire program and will be eligible for up to nine credit hours toward a Master's degree in public administration from the Key Executive MPA Program at American University. (Students may apply credits toward a Key MPA only after applying and being accepted into the Program.)

Course Material

All course material will be supplied by American University

Number of Students

The Sessions will be offered to a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 25 students


Schedule of Classes ~ 2009 Calendar will be updated with additional sessions

Session A Final Date for Registration
A(1) October 26-November 2, 2007 Completed - 22 attendees
A(2) April 11-18, 2008 Completed - 26 attendees
A(3) June 13-20, 2008 Completed - 19 attendees
A(4) Rescheduled
A(4) January 23-30, 2009 December 15, 2008

Session B Final Date for Registration
B(1) May 5-9, 2008 Completed - 15 attendees
B(2) Closed Class Full
B(3) May 18-22, 2009 April 1, 2009

Session C Final Date for Registration
C(1) February 2-6, 2009 January 5, 2009
C(2) July 13-17, 2009 June 1, 2009



Contact Sophie Idilbi, Academic Advisor, at 202-885-6256 or si8400a@american.edu to register for the Program.


Program Cost

Session A: $4,650/student, which includes 8 days of instruction, a 360-degree evaluation, a 2-hour coaching session, and a 1.5-hour coaching session.

Session B: $3,050/student, which includes 5 days of instruction and two 1.5-hour coaching sessions.

Session C: $3,200/student, which includes 5 days of instruction, a 360-degree evaluation, and one 2-hour coaching session.

Program Payment

The process for payment may include the submission of SF-182 forms to American University. American University will submit individual invoices as a basis for payment.


Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Credits