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News & Press: Ascend National News

Ascend at the White House

Wednesday, April 11, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Mike Nguyen
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Ascend's trip to the White House to participate in the inaugural Asian American Government Executives Network - Senior Executive Series (AAGEN SES) Development Program was exceptional. Twenty-two executive mentors volunteered their time for this one-year long program. Many mentors agree that the Ascend leadership programs are terrific and unique to their participants in the various stages of their careers. Hot topics included "The Myth of Asian Leadership," "Your Personal Brand," and "Take Risk, Not Recklessness."

Recently Ascend had the honor of visiting the White House and participating in the inaugural AAGEN SES Development Program, part of the Obama Executive Order to increase participation of Asian Americans in Federal Programs on Oct 14, 2009. 20 pre-executive students were selected from 115 applicants.  They come from a variety of govt agencies:  IRS, SSA, USAID, OMB, DOD, DOJ, HHS, EPA, DOC, and DOE. 22 executive mentors volunteered their time for this one-year long program.
Ascend's Wes Hom and Larry Chang had the pleasure of talking extensively to one of the mentors:  Maj Gen Sharon Dunbar, Dept of Defense, US Air Force.  She is half Korean and agreed with our observations that many of the GS14 and GS15 senior managers are too technical, too silo oriented (spent entire career in one govt agency with very little or no lateral movements across agencies), and do not start with the big picture.  She thinks Ascend leadership programs are terrific and unique that we address all segments from college students, to professional individual contributors, to managers, and to executives.  She encouraged us to think about starting the leadership training program at elementary schools where children need to start early on developing leadership skills.
Ascend presented "the Myth of Asian Leadership", "Your Personal Brand", and "Take Risk, Not Recklessness".  Feedback was terrific and extremely positive (4.5 to 4.6/out of 5).  Many asked for the other three modules.  Leaders of the AAGEN and HR of OPM are looking for ways to fund the next phase with Ascend.

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