CIGIE Fellows Program
The CIGIE Fellows Program (CFP) is designed to broaden perspectives of GS‐13‐15 participants and prepare them for future challenges. The program provides each Fellow a temporary senior level interagency assignment (6‐months) to help develop or enhance specific leadership competencies identified by both the Fellow and his/her home agency Supervisor. These competencies align with the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) and would be outlined in the Fellow's Individual Development Plan (IDP). To complement and facilitate the rotation assignment, an Executive/SES mentorship/sponsorship component by home OIGs is also built into this program; to provide executive review of IDP development and facilitate smooth transitions both, into and from, the host OIG for the Fellow.
Beyond the above, the CFP supports the agency’s strategic plan and performance objectives; allows for expansion or enhancement of an employee’s current job; enables an employee to perform needed or potentially needed duties outside their current job; and meets current/future organizational needs in response to human resources plans.
OIG participation in this program is voluntary. An OIG may host a Fellow, send a Fellow, both, or neither. The CFP's Management Team's role is to help coordinate and facilitate agency participation and then evaluate the program in meetings its objectives. The initiative relies on maximum flexibility afforded individual OIG agencies to customize the program to advance their own strategic goals in succession planning, workforce development, and to further the individual performance objectives of their own aspiring executive leaders.
The CFP provides selected IG community employees with opportunities to expand their leadership competencies, broaden their organizational experiences, and foster professional networks. Specifically, the program aims to:
- Deliver a collaborative, cross‐OIG temporary (6‐month) senior level assignment opportunity that fosters growth and development, especially in the areas related to needed OPM’s SES ECQs.
- Expose the Fellows to executive‐level mentorship/sponsorship during the rotation assignment.
- Expand the Fellows' experience, either within or outside of their current area of expertise.
- Offer engaging cohort events and activities that allow Fellows to network with peers and executives from other OIGs.
- Expose Fellows to new operational procedures within other OIGs; thereby cultivating the exchange of best practices.
Program Process and Components
- With CIGIE PDC and Executive Council approval, a program announcement will be made to the IG community seeking up to 20 rotation assignment opportunities. These would be full‐time temporary positions from OIGs who seek to host one, or more, of the CIGIE Fellows. At the same time, OIGs are solicited to nominate GS13 ‐ GS15 staff who Supervisors believe would benefit from a senior level inter‐agency 6‐month assignment, complimented by Executive‐level mentorship opportunity by the home OIG.
- The target cohort start date is October 2018, with the rotational assignments ending between October and April 2019.
- Home OIGs develop, negotiate, and approve the Fellow’s IDP.
- Approved candidates identify their preferred interagency assignments in order of preference but host OIGs, in consultation with the CFP Management Team, make the final decision on which Fellow is selected to which OIG based on the needs of the Host OIG, qualifications of the Fellow and stated preferences of the Fellow.
- Host and Home OIGs collaboratively define the goals, responsibilities, training, travel, and other factors associated with the rotation assignment.
- Host and home OIGs sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining assignment terms.
- Home OIG assigns an executive‐level mentor to their Fellow to support the assignment from beginning to end of assignment; to include a smooth transition of Fellow back to home OIG.
- Once an assignment is negotiated and finalized, the Fellow, OIG home and host supervisors, program liaisons, and CFP Management Team, participate in an orientation seminar designed to improve the rotation assignment outcomes and manage expectations prior to the actual start of the assignment.
- CIGIE Training Institute facilitates a number of developmental activities for the cohort of Fellows to participate in as a group during the program.
- There will be a least two meetings between the CFP Management Team and OIG Program Liaisons to address emerging issues, share best practices and contribute to program improvement.
- Host OIG supervisors provide feedback to the Fellows and home supervisors on performance.
- Fellows transition back into their home agencies at the end of the fellowship.
Roles & Responsibilities
COUNCIL OF THE INSPECTORS GENERAL ON INTEGRITY AND EFFICIENCY
- Facilitates an interagency fellows program to develop high potential talent and develop stronger relationships across OIGs.
- Oversees, assesses, and provides strategic direction to the program.
- Appoints a volunteer Management Team to facilitate the day‐to‐day operations of the program.
PARTICIPANT (“CIGIE Fellow”)
- Complete a Statement of Interest Form.
- Ensure work transition and continuity in home office.
- Sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
- Work with home agency supervisor to add fellowship goals to annual performance plan.
- Help create an IDP with home supervisor to identify the leadership competencies the Fellow will develop or enhance during the fellowship.
- Coordinate with the home and host supervisors to set goals for the temporary assignment and actively pursue tasks that lead toward the fulfillment of those goals and contribute to the mission of both home and host OIG.
- Maintain contact with the home supervisor on relevant administrative matters and progress throughout the fellowship.
- Actively work with the executive‐level mentor throughout fellowship period; including transition back to home OIG.
- Establish relationships and expand professional networks within the host organization and with others in the cohort/IG community.
- Document experience for professional use and application upon returning to home OIG.
HOME AND HOST OIG AGENCY
- Appoints an agency POC (Program Liaison) to coordinate the program within their OIG.
- Internally requests, screens, and competitively nominates candidates to the Fellows program.
- Develops and promulgate appropriate Fellowship assignment opportunities.
- Reviews and signs the MOU governing the fellowship upon matching a Fellow nominee to an assignment.
HOME OIG EXECUTIVE LEVEL MENTOR
- Provide input for developing the Fellow’s IDP in coordination with the home OIG supervisor.
- Facilitate induction into the interagency assignment and transition back to the home OIG upon completion of the assignment.
- Mentor the Fellow during the rotation assignment in a manner deemed useful and appropriate by the home OIG.
HOME OIG SUPERVISOR
- Assist in developing the Fellow’s IDP.
- Coordinate assignment of an SES/equivalent to your Fellow. In consultation with host OIG Supervisor, establishes plan for how performance will be evaluated during the assignment.
- Arrange transition of the Fellow’s work during the temporary assignment.
- Continue to actively engage with the Fellow and work closely with host supervisor on performance inputs.
- Support the Fellows’ formal transition back to their home OIG.
HOST OIG SUPERVISOR
- Provide a work space, computer, phone, and building access and arranges any necessary training or travel.
- Support the Fellow’s development throughout the entire fellowship including access to senior leadership.
- Assign meaningful developmental assignments, tasks, and duties based on the specific leadership competencies identified by the Fellow and the home supervisor in the IDP.
- Evaluate Fellow’s progress throughout the entire term of the fellowship and provides frequent feedback/coaching to Fellow.
- At the midpoint of the fellowship, communicate with home supervisor on the Fellow’s performance and progress toward goals.
- Submit final performance review inputs to both the Fellow and to the home supervisor near or upon completion of fellowship. However, the home supervisor always retains complete control and final say over the Fellow’s formal appraisal.
HOME AND HOST OIG AGENCY PROGRAM LIAISON
- Serves as primary POC for your OIG for participating OIGs, and CFP Management Team.
- Coordinates administrative requirements for incoming and outgoing Fellows.
- Serves as their agency representative on a Fellows Program Liaison Workgroup.
Q. What is the purpose of the CIGIE Fellows Program?
The CIGIE Fellows Program (CFP) enables leaders and potential leaders from member OIGs to broaden their organizational experience, expand their leadership competencies, and foster networks. Specifically, the program aims to:
- Deliver a collaborative, cross‐OIG program that fosters growth and development, especially in the areas covered by the ECQs.
- Enhance the Fellows' leadership competencies through a meaningful fellowship assignment outside of their current agencies.
- Expand the Fellows' interagency experience and networks, either within or outside their current area of expertise.
- Offer engaging and insightful interagency cohort events that allow the Fellows to network with others in their cohort and senior executives.
- Expose the Fellows to the operational procedures of other OIGs; thereby, cultivating the exchange of best practices.
Q. What is the target audience for the Fellows program?
Participation is limited to high‐potential GS 13‐15 employees who would benefit from a challenging assignment outside of their employing OIG.
Q. Which agencies are eligible participate in the program?
All CIGIE member OIGs are eligible and encouraged to participate in the program. Cohort size is limited to no more than 20 Fellows for the 2018 class.
Q. Will Fellows be promoted because of or at the completion of their fellowship?
Participation in the CFP is for developmental and training purposes and does not obligate management to promote the Fellow upon return to the home office.
INFORMATION ABOUT FELLOWSHIPS
Q. How long is the fellowship?
Fellowships are 6‐months in duration. If there are compelling needs, the home and host OIGs may tailor the length of the fellowship, but the duration may not exceed 12‐months.
Q. What happens to the Fellow’s current position while participating in the fellowship?
The Fellow’s position of record remains the same during the course of the fellowship; however, the home agency supervisor should assign the Fellow’s duties to other personnel during his/her fellowship.
Q. What are the roles and responsibilities for the fellows?
The Fellow is to learn and grow from the experiences guided by an IDP based on the OPM’s ECQs. The Fellow should develop the IDP with the home supervisor and discuss it with the host supervisor; complete the work assigned; participate in cohort activities; maintain a relationship with the home OIG, and ensure that his/her annual performance plan includes fellowship goals.
Q. What are the responsibilities of supervisors, executive mentor/sponsor, and program staff?
- The home supervisor will arrange to transition the Fellow’s work during the fellowship assignment, assist in developing the Fellow’s IDP, proactively seek performance input from the host supervisor, and clearly convey how performance will be evaluated upon return. The home supervisor is responsible for the Fellow’s performance reviews, time and attendance, and other human capital needs that may arise.
- The host supervisor will assign meaningful work and developmental activities. They will provide the Fellow with a work space, computer, phone, building access, and the travel and training expenses required to achieve assigned objectives. They should discuss the Fellow’s work products and deliverables, as well as provide performance feedback and guidance. They will also provide performance input to the home supervisor upon completion of the fellowship.
- The executive level mentor role is to coordinate with the home OIG supervisor to develop an IDP that addresses appropriate ECQs and facilitate induction and transition back to the home OIG. The method, style, frequency and duration of mentoring activities is solely at the home OIG’s discretion.
- The managaement team, will ensure CIGIE policy, rules, objectives, and procedures established for the program are implemented. The program manager will actively advocate for participation across the CIGIE community and coordinate with participating OIGs throughout the program. The Management Team will coordinate meaningful cohort learning and networking opportunities.
Q. Who will conduct the performance review?
The home OIG supervisor of record will conduct performance reviews. The Fellow should work with the host OIG supervisor to outline the goals of the fellowship and discuss those with the home supervisor at the beginning of the fellowship. Agreement should be reached among the two Supervisors (home and host) before the fellow’s assignment commences. The host supervisor will provide feedback to the Fellow and the home supervisor of record periodically, and in writing at the end of the fellowship. The home supervisor, using the inputs as he/she deem fit in the final analysis of a final official performance appraisal.
Q. How will the interagency fellowship be reflected in the year-end performance review?
The host OIG Supervisor provides inputs to the home Supervisor for consideration in the Fellow’s annual performance appraisal. However, the home supervisor is accountable and the responsible officer, throughout.
Agency and Office: Department of Defense, Special Plans and Operations
Agency and Office: Department of State, Investigations
Agency and Office: Peace Corps, OIG
Agency and Office: Department of Justice, Diversity
Agency and Office: Department of Justice, Management and Planning Division
Agency and Office: Department of Justice, Engagement
Agency and Office: Department of Justice, Office of Internal Comm & Records
Agency and Office: PBGC, Immediate Office
Agency and Office: USAID, Leadership Support
Agency and Office: USAID, Process Improvement/Project Management
Agency and Office: USAID, Immediate Office/QAR Division
Agency and Office: USAID, Immediate Office/QAR Division
Agency and Office: USAID, Federal Financial Statements
Note: This opportunity will not begin until after the current GMRA season is over, approximately in early December 2018.
Agency and Office: Social Security Administration, Criminal Investigations Division (CID)
Agency and Office: National Security Agency, OIG Records Management
Agency and Office: CIGIE, Training Institute/Leadership & Mission Support
Agency and Office: Department of Homeland Security, Enterprise Risk Identification
Agency and Office: Department of Homeland Security, Office of Management and Mission Support
Agency and Office: GSA, Office of Inspections
Agency and Office: Farm Credit Administration, Investigations/Legal
Agency and Office: Farm Credit Administration, Risk Management/Legal
Agency and Office: Farm Credit Administration, Public Affairs/Infor. Technology
Agency and Office: USDA, Office of Management
Agency and Office: USDA, Office of Data Sciences
Agency and Office: AbilityOne Commission
Agency and Office: Department of Energy, Office of Audits
Agency and Office: Department of Energy, Office of Investigations
Agency and Office: U.S. Office of Special Counsel, Investigation and Prosecution
Agency and Office: Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Investigations
Agency and Office: Smithsonian, Office of Audits
Agency and Office: Smithsonian, Audit & Investigations
Agency and Office: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Audits & Evaluations and IT Audits & Cyber
Agency and Office: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of Management
Agency and Office: Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Evaluation
Agency and Office: Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Legal Counsel
CFP Liaison Resources
- Program Description
- Fellowship Program Memorandum of Understanding Template (Word)
- 2018 CIGIE Fellowship Opportunity Description (fillable)
- 2018 CFP Application
- Nomination Requirements
- 2018 CFP Advertisement/Flier: Is the CIGIE Fellows Program right for you?
Matching a nominee with a fellowship assignment involves several steps requiring coordination between the home and host OIGs, and CIGIE Fellows Program CFP Management Team.
Upon being nominated, employees will rank, in order of preference the top 5 available assignments they qualify for. Some assignments may have special qualification requirements such as security clearances, medical requirements, etc. An OIG employee’s nomination to the Fellowship program by their home OIG does not guarantee placement in any particular fellowship assignment. Adapting to change and mobility within and between agencies are desirable senior executive attributes. OIG employees accepting a nomination into the CFP are expected to accept a fellowship assignment offered by a hosting OIG.
Hosting OIGs will review all Fellowship nominee packets, conduct interviews as necessary and tender placement offers through the CFP management team to the nominee’s Home OIG. Hosting OIGs will have final discretion on accepting or rejecting any particular nominee. The CFP Management Team will, through due diligence, attempt to facilitate the placement of all nominees into an assignment taking into consideration, to the extent practical, the nominees stated preferences.
Home OIG Program Liaison:
- Direct each nominee to view current fellowship opportunities at the CFP’s “Fellow Opportunities” webpage (to be provided later) and rank in order of preference their top 5.
- Submit each nominee’s statement of interest, resume, and other supporting documentation (if required) to the CFP Management Team.
- Coordinate with the Host OIG Program Liaisons throughout the entire matching process to set up interviews when requested by the Hosting OIG.
- Coordinate with Host OIG Program Liaison to finalize MOUs for finalized accepted offers.
Host OIG Program Liaison:
- Receive each qualified nominee’s statements of interest, resume, and supporting documentation from the CFP Management Team.
- Review, rank, and submit a certificate of selectees to the CFP Management Team for each assignment.
- Coordinate with each nominee’s Home OIG Program Liaison to set up interviews when required.
- Notify the CFP Management Team of scheduled interviews and meeting dates.
- Coordinate with Host OIG Program Liaison to finalize MOUs for finalized accepted offers.
If you need further assistance matching a nominee to a fellowship, please contact the CFP Program Management at email@example.com.
Latest News and Updates
April 20, 2018
Meet the 2017 CIGIE Fellows
Adeline Agbedo is a senior auditor with the Department of Energy – Office of Inspector General (DOE-OIG), Germantown Audit Group. As part of the DOE-OIG team, she aims to inspire public confidence in the integrity and security of agency programs by conducting reviews, audits and evaluations that promote the economy and efficiency of DOE and National Nuclear Security Administration’s programs and operations. Her division conducts performance audits of the Department’s corporate level programs and operations and develops risk assessment reports for certain risk areas, including project, contract and procurement management.
Adeline performs audits and evaluations of the Department’s programs and operations in accordance with OIG policies/procedures and auditing standards. Her responsibilities include, ensuring the appropriateness of the data gathered, analytical method employed, reasonableness of audit conclusions and observations; and communicating the audit observations or findings in a concise and clear manner, etc. She is always looking for ways to effect positive change and audits/evaluations of program effectiveness and efficiency is one of the many ways she’s been able to impact agency operations. In addition, living in different continents as a military spouse, has helped hone her ability to work with individuals from all works of life and she has a knack for effectively communicating program goals and gaining consensus that deliver results, no matter the project. Adeline received her B.S in Accounting, with honors, from National University and a MBA from University of Maryland University College. This will be Adeline’s first experience as a Fellow and hopes that the Fellowship will help develop her ability to act as a catalyst for organizational change.
Placement: Social Security Administration OIG
Joseph Aiosa is a Special Agent in the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General (SSA/OIG). Joseph began his federal law enforcement career 23 years ago with the U.S. Secret Service and was assigned in Baltimore, Maryland and Washington D.C. For the past 17 years, Joseph has held various positions with SSA/OIG, most recently assigned as the Assistant to the Special Agent-in-Charge in the Cooperative Disability Investigations Division. In this capacity, he oversaw 39 Cooperative Disability Investigations (CDI) units covering 33 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. During his tenure, the CDI Program has grown by 11 CDI units and 5 states. In 2017, Joseph received the Assistant Inspector General’s Award and SSA Deputy Commissioner for Operations Award. Joseph received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from the University of Baltimore.
Placement: U.S. Agency for International Development OIG
Ronald Anderson is an Audit Manager in the Social Security Administration (SSA), Office of the Inspector General (OIG), Office of Quality Assurance and Professional Responsibility. He has worked for the SSA-OIG for 14 years and became an Audit Manager in June 2015. In this role, Ronald conducts exhaustive functional reviews of OIG offices to ensure compliance with Federal laws and regulations, policies, and relevant professional standards. He also oversees reviews to ensure that the OIG is performing audits, investigations, legal and administrative work in accordance with applicable professional standards. Lastly, Ronald ensures each component has strong employee morale and customer service. He reports directly to the Inspector General and Chief of Staff. Prior to becoming an Audit Manager, Ronald served as a Senior Auditor in the OIG Financial Audit Division. Additionally, in September of 2014, Ronald had the opportunity to serve a 7-month detail in SSA’s Office of Data Exchange and Policy Publications. Prior to joining SSA, Ronald was an Experienced Senior Consultant for Arthur Andersen (later Protiviti Consulting). In this role, he performed process risk evaluations and internal audit activities. Ronald is married with an 11-year-old son, graduated from Morgan State University with a degree in Accounting, and serves as an Assistant Pastor at his church.
Placement: Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation OIG
Kristopher Brash Dixon currently serves as a GS-13 Inspector (Program Analyst) in the Evaluation and Inspections Division with the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General. He is responsible for examining issues throughout the Department of Justice and providing recommendations for needed improvements. His primary duties include representing the Office of the Inspector General during the course of program reviews, qualitative and quantitate analysis, and providing relevant information to management to assist in the decision making process. Based on feedback received from staff, he has worked with management in the Evaluation and Inspections Division to address employee engagement.
Before his tenure at the Office of the Inspector General, Mr. Brash Dixon served as an intern for the Defense Intelligence Agency and the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security. He received both his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Political Science from Howard University. As a student at Howard University, Mr. Brash Dixon oversaw the operations of a college dormitory housing 200 students and managed 10 professional and student staff members.
Mr. Brash Dixon applied for the CIGIE Interagency Fellowship Program to gain the opportunity to broaden his skills and further develop his leadership capabilities. He hopes that the Fellowship program will allow him to identify and share best practices between members of the fellowship cohort, and the IG community. He knows that collaborating with members of other OIGs will help in further developing the mission of CIGIE. It will enable him to leverage his knowledge and experience, with the knowledge and experience of others in the cohort in order to further grow in his career.
Mr. Brash Dixon experience has taught him to “Strive for Excellence” in all that he does. He believes his past experience has shown him that with determination and the write tools he can overcome any obstacle. This fellowship will help provide him the tools to further his career and continue to be an asset for an organization.
Placement: Department of Defense OIG
Fara Damelin currently serves as Director, Office of Investigations Legal Division for the National Science Foundation Office of Inspector General (NSF OIG), and has been an Investigative Attorney with NSF OIG since August 2003. In addition to supervising a staff of seven investigative attorneys, she is responsible for investigating allegations of civil, criminal, and administrative wrongdoing related to NSF programs and operations, including theft and misuse of NSF grant funds, and for referring matters to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) for civil and criminal prosecution. As part of NSF OIG outreach efforts, Ms. Damelin has provided numerous presentations to grant recipients, professional organizations, and university groups on the IG mission, responsible treatment of federal funds, fraud schemes identified in small business grant programs, and the significant benefits of voluntary compliance programs at recipient institutions. She also serves as an adjunct instructor for the Inspector General Academy, and provides grant fraud training and outreach to the DOJ and IG communities. Prior to joining the NSF OIG staff, Ms. Damelin served for eight years as an employment attorney in the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the General Counsel, representing that agency in discrimination complaints before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and adverse action appeals before the Merit Systems Protection Board. Ms. Damelin received a BA in Political Science from SUNY Binghamton in 1991, and received her JD from the George Washington University National Law Center in 1994. She has been a Certified Fraud Examiner since 2008.
Placement: General Services Administration OIG
Christie Deskiewicz currently serves as a GS 13 Contracting Officer (CO) in the Management and Planning Division for the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (OIG). In her role as CO, Christie is responsible for providing technical advice and guidance on federal procurement regulations, policies, and procedures, and performs all aspects of contracting transactions for OIG requirements, including developing procurement strategies, preparing solicitation packages, evaluating proposals, negotiating terms and conditions, and managing resulting contracts. In addition to her duties as a CO, Christie is also a representative of the Department of Justice in the Executive Office of Management and Budget’s Acquisition Innovation Council, where representatives from Agencies across the Federal Government discuss new, improved, or underutilized acquisition strategies that may potentially reduce delivery time, lower transaction costs, and increase access to innovative contractors which can better enable federal agencies to carry out their missions.
Christie applied for the CIGIE Interagency Fellowship Program because she aims to push herself out of her comfort zone and submerge herself in thought-provoking projects. Christie knows that in persistently placing herself in diverse and challenging roles, she will continue to learn unique and valuable lessons which she can apply as she moves forward in her career. Christie also hopes to learn and develop innovative ideas from other CIGIE fellows of different career backgrounds, as well as the experienced leaders that she will have the opportunity to interact with. She feels that this experience will be irreplaceable in her long term goal to become part of the Senior Executive Service.
Christie has a Master of Business Administration with concentrations in Accounting and I.T. Management, and also just successfully completed her law degree while working full time as a Contracting Officer, often taking lead on, and managing contracts valued over $100 Million. During this time, she also took on multiple legal internships and special projects geared toward creating efficiencies in the federal government’s procurement process. She looks at her experience as an amazing developmental opportunity because it was often challenging, diverse, and mission critical. She believes that the Fellowship will be a great next step as she looks to develop herself further.
Placement: Securities and Exchange Commission OIG
Christine Fagioletti currently serves as a GS-13 Program Analyst as part of the Medical Assessment Division with The Department of Defense, Office of Inspector General, Special Plans and Operations. Her division works to evaluate healthcare and public health initiatives that serve the warfighter. One responsibility of her role is to serve as the executive officer for project teams. To fulfill this duty she has contributed to project design, coordination of site visits, creation of work papers, program evaluation, data analysis, and development of findings and recommendations. Her achievements in this role include a CIGIE Award for Excellence as part of the DoDSER Data Quality Assessment Team, 2015, and the Deputy Inspector General for Special Plans and Operations, Annual Award for Individual Special Achievement, 2014.
Christine applied for the CIGIE Interagency Fellowship Program because she wants to gain a broader understanding of impacts the oversight community has across the federal government, and how effective leadership can enable oversight agencies to meet their mission.
Christine says, "I have worked toward my goal of advancing health policy and public health by working to improve the effectiveness of health and healthcare systems. I hope to gain a broader understanding of other areas in the oversight community, and how they use oversight as an agent to improve effectiveness in the federal government through the CIGIE Interagency Fellowship Program. During the fellowship I hope to develop skills such as how to be an agent for change, hone my business acumen, and learn best practices in leading others in order to prepare me for future leadership opportunities in the oversight community."
Placement: Department of State OIG
Nichole Fleming currently serves as a GS-14-1811, Special Agent of the Investigations Division with the Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, Washington Field Office. She is responsible for utilizing specialized investigative skills to plan, conduct and document quality, timely investigations that are complete and thorough. Her division serves as the investigative arm of the OIG, responsible for investigating alleged violations of fraud, abuse, and integrity laws that govern DOJ employees, operations, grantees, and contractors. Investigations Division Special Agents develop cases for criminal prosecution, civil, or administrative action. She prepares and edits Reports of Investigation, Memoranda of Investigation, applications for search and seizure warrants, applications for IG subpoenas and Procedural Reform Recommendations. Her primary duties involve conducting interviews; collecting physical, documentary and electronic evidence; conducting research and database queries in support of investigations; executing arrest warrants; and testifying before grand juries and other court proceedings.
Nichole has applied for the CIGIE Interagency Fellowship Program to further develop her leadership and management skills and to increase her knowledge of the overall federal government.
By interacting with leaders, employees and the missions of other agencies through the CIFP, Nichole believes she will gain a broader understanding of a wider range of methods for leading people, developing coalitions and achieving results. This increased understanding will contribute to her further development in gaining more of a "big picture" perspective. Additionally, it would allow her to share that knowledge and experience with other members of the DOJ/OIG through her increased abilities to be an informal or formal leader or mentor.
Placement: U.S. Agency for International Development OIG
Mark Gray started his career with the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General ten years ago as a Special Agent. During his career at SSA/OIG, Mark served as the Assistant to the Special Agent in Charge for the Office of Quality Assurance and Professional Review. Mark was also part of several multi-agency task forces in the Baltimore-Washington area. Currently he serves as a Criminal Investigator in the Washington Field Office and regional instructor for SSA/OIG.
Mark began his federal career as a Presidential Management Fellow (PMF). As a PMF, Mark completed several developmental rotations and attended numerous leadership courses. During his rotational assignments, Mark assisted in analyzing the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, served as a project officer for the construction and security implementation of off-site data back-up centers, and created and reviewed Memorandums of Understanding with federal, state, and local agencies.
Prior to being a federal employee, Mark was a Police Officer in Southeast North Carolina. While he was there, Mark attended the University of North Carolina at Wilmington under-graduate and graduate school and earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Master’s in Public Administration.
Placement: Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency
David Huff currently serves as a GS-14 Team Leader on the Nuclear Team in the Intelligence and Special Program Assessments Component of the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General. David is responsible for leading team efforts to evaluate the Department of Defense, the military Services, and supporting agencies in achieving the national strategy for nuclear weapon employment. The umbrella of coverage provided by David and his team encompasses all Department of Defense nuclear systems, nuclear procedures, nuclear personnel, and nuclear capabilities that make up the Department of Defense nuclear enterprise.
David analyzes the Department of Defense nuclear enterprise and reports on Department of Defense’s ability to sustain an aging deterrent force. David also analyzes Department of Defense efforts to modernize the nuclear weapon delivery systems; early warning of attack, and the command and control systems needed for an effective nuclear deterrent. During the course of his career, he has examined the majority of nuclear weapons systems and the required supporting infrastructure. David’s primary duties involve data collection and analysis, writing, editing, and briefing reports at the senior official level. His work transcends the Department of Defense; his on-going project includes collaboration with the Departments of State and Energy, as well as the intelligence community.
David applied for the CIGIE Interagency Fellowship Program because he wants to broaden his knowledge beyond that of the Department of Defense. David wants to experience work outside of the Department of Defense and experience a different corporate culture first hand. He has a desire to understand organizational financial processes, justifications, and the administration of the budget to achieve organizational goals. David wants the opportunity to see project execution from a more macro level, and the managerial and leadership skills that contribute to success in addition to the actual project execution. David applied to this program to experience firsthand how another government agency functions, achieves goals, and adds value to the oversight community. Finally, many of the topics or programs he has evaluated are programs that required a steep learning curve. He educated himself on the topic, discovered the heart of the problem and made meaningful recommendations. He would like to use his problem solving skills in a different environment to improve his overall leadership capabilities.
David has not had past fellowship experience. He believes this fellowship will help improve his management and leadership skills thus contributing more to the oversight community. David has worked under the rigors of the DoD for over 15 years. He would like to see and experience government oversight from a different perspective. Finally, David would like to apply his experience and contribute to the success of another government agency within the oversight community.
Placement: Department of Homeland Security OIG
Alex Rzasa currently serves in the Office of the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration, and his foremost interest is law enforcement cybersecurity. Earlier in his Federal career, Alex also protected our nation’s Social Security safety net by assisting with the appellate operations of one of the world’s largest public insurance benefits programs. During prior practice as an attorney, he zealously defended the interests of local non-profit organizations and businesses, both by litigating and by helping clients create forward-thinking risk management strategies. In addition to his private sector IT work, Alex has applied his technical and legal knowledge at the Maryland General Assembly, where he assisted lawmakers from both parties by drafting legislation, providing policy research and analysis, and staffing the Joint Technology Oversight Committee as well as the Business, Technology, and Economic Development Workgroup. Alex has received numerous performance awards, including OIG awards for civil monetary penalty enforcement as well as for spearheading a new cybersecurity initiative and investigatory IT solution. He earned a B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Maryland, College Park, where he was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Fellow. A past associate editor of the Maryland Law Review, Alex holds a J.D. with Honors from the University of Maryland School of Law and is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional.
Placement: Department of Agriculture OIG
Elizabeth Sweetland is an attorney who has worked in the Inspector General community for over 5 years. Her combined service to the military and the civil service spans over 25 years. Her areas of expertise are federal appropriations law, ethics, the Freedom of Information Act, the Federal Tort Claims Act, as well as federal and military criminal law. In 2016, in her capacity as the Assistant Counsel to the Inspector General at the National Science Foundation (NSF), she was awarded the NSF Director’s award for excellence. As an Army Officer in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, she rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. During her military career, she was stationed in Germany, Texas, Saudi Arabia, and at various assignments in the Washington D.C. area. In addition to her extensive experience in the executive branch, she began her legal career working in the judicial branch. She served as a judicial law clerk for one year at the Court of Appeals of Virginia and one year at the Superior Court of Guam. She holds a B.A., with distinction, from the University of Virginia, and a J.D., also from the University of Virginia. During her military career she earned an L.L.M. in military administrative law at the Army Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School.
Placement: Peace Corps OIG
2017 Fellows Cohort Activities
CIGIE Fellows Cohort Activity – Gettysburg Leadership Tour, September 2017
The CIGIE Fellows, along with the Fellows Program Manager, CIGIE Leadership Development Subcommittee (LDS) Chair, and LDS Co-Chair, visited the Gettysburg National Military Park in Gettysburg, PA. The group toured the battlefield with a certified Gettysburg Tour Guide, who provided thought provoking explanations at various sites on the battle of Gettysburg. The Fellows learned about strategy execution and leadership, specifically the consequences of leadership decisions that were made during the battle. Described as the turning point of the civil war, the three-day battle that began on the first day of July 1863 would prove that the proper combination of leadership and skills can be the difference between victory and defeat.
CIGIE Fellows Cohort Activity – CIGIE Leadership Forum, October 2017
The CIGIE Fellows attended the 4th Annual CIGIE Leadership Forum at the NASA auditorium in Washington, DC. The forum was welcomed by the Honorable Michael Horowitz, DOJ Inspector General, and the keynote address was provided by the Honorable Paul Martin, NASA Inspector General. The forum featured a presentation on organizational culture by an American University professor, and two panels of Inspectors General and Office of Inspector General (OIG) staff discussing leadership, culture and change in OIGs. Throughout the forum, the Fellows and other attendees asked questions and engaged in discussion about the forum topics of leadership, culture, and change; and, a few of the Fellows had the opportunity to share their Fellowship experiences during a special panel. Closing remarks were provided by Robert Westbrooks, PBGC Inspector General and CIGIE Professional Development Committee Chair. The forum was attended by more than 650 IG professionals, with approximately 200 people attending in-person, as well as more than 450 virtually.
CIGIE Fellows Cohort Activity – IG Case Study in Culture Change, November 2017
After reviewing a case study on culture change at Amtrak OIG, the Fellows had the opportunity to meet with Tom Howard, Amtrak Inspector General, and learn about his experience in leading culture change first-hand. CIGIE Fellows learned about the leadership principles he employed, and still employs, and were able to ask questions and engage in informative discussions with IG Howard.
CIGIE Fellows Cohort Activities – ECQs and 360 Assessments, December 2017
CIGIE Fellows attended an Office of Personnel Management presentation explaining the executive core qualifications (ECQs) for the Senior Executive Service (SES). The presentation detailed the five ECQs and provided information to Fellows regarding how to think critically about leadership development and behaviors, recognize present ECQ proficiency, create a plan to achieve desired ECQ proficiencies, and determine the level of ECQ proficiency appropriate for the Fellows desired result. After the ECQ presentation, the Fellows learned how to interpret and understand their results from OPM’s 360 Leadership Assessment. All twelve of the Fellows were provided a 360 Leadership Assessment as part of the program.