NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Executive Leadership Program Graduates 2017 Class

Bolden speaks at NIH.
Maj. Gen. Charles Bolden, former NASA administrator, addresses the ExLP audience.

Photo:  Partnership for Public Service

Dr. McGowan speaks as Ms. Berko looks on.
NIAID deputy director for science management Dr. John J. McGowan and ExLP 2017 graduate Julie Berko, acting director of the NIH Office of Human Resources, are also on hand for the commencement.

Photo:  Partnership for Public Service

Dr. Tabak speaks to crowd.
At a ceremony held in Lister Hill Center Auditorium, Dr. Lawrence Tabak shares his “3 Cs” of leadership.

Photo:  Partnership for Public Service

Dr. Johnson speaks at podium.
Dr. Alfred Johnson, NIH acting deputy director for management, also addresses ExLP graduates.

Photo:  Partnership for Public Service

Leaders are valued at NIH and NIH has supported leadership development by offering programs such as the NIH Executive Leadership Program (ExLP). Recently, 20 leaders representing 15 institutes and centers graduated from the 7-month program. 

A large number of “top 5” leaders currently are eligible to retire; in order for NIH to continue to accomplish its mission, it is critical that initiatives such as ExLP are designed to develop a cadre of new leaders.

ExLP’s graduation ceremony featured remarks by former NASA administrator Maj. Gen. Charles Bolden as well as Dr. Lawrence Tabak, NIH principal deputy director; Dr. John J. McGowan, NIAID deputy director for science management; and Dr. Alfred Johnson, NIH acting deputy director for management.

McGowan had strong words about his passion for continuous learning, noting “the world takes no pity on those who get lazy about learning.” He also summed up, “Leadership is not a position, it’s something you do.”

Bolden, describing a great leader’s unbridled curiosity, said, “As a leader, it’s okay to ask questions and not be the smartest in the room. Be the one who’s brave enough to ask a question.”

Bolden also shared his 5 pillars of leadership: Know your strengths, know yourself, do the hard things, ask questions and ask to be challenged.

Tabak encouraged the group with the “3 Cs of leadership,” telling the grads to “contribute, connect and communicate” well beyond the formal end of the ExLP.

For details about the program visit Recruitment for the 2018-2019 ExLP will begin in January.


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