FEMA Weekly January 7, 2014

FEMA Weekly Employee News Bulletin Masthead

NOTE: You may submit your articles and announcements to the FEMA-Weekly by noon on Thursday. Please allow 24-48 hours for your article or announcement to be posted.

Main Content


Jeh Johnson Sworn in as Fourth Secretary of Homeland Security - December 23, 2013.  Read more. >>

NDRS Team Members Receive High Honors from Louisiana Parishes - FEMA’s National Disaster Recovery Support (NDRS) team continues to receive high acclaim in Louisiana as two FEMA employees are honored for their work in St. John the Baptist and Plaquemines parishes.  Read more. >>

DSA, Air OPS. and MERS Play Ball with a GATR - A GATR is not a semi-aquatic reptile, or a Florida footballer.  The acronym stands for “Ground Antenna Transmit & Receive.”  It is a small, lightweight unit resembling an oversized beach ball, and can fit in two cases weighing less than 99 pounds each, making it ideal for transport in a helicopter.  It can be set up in about 45 minutes, with additional time required to obtain a network signal.  Read more.  >>

First Class of the FEMA Incident Workforce Academy (FIMA) - Through a joint effort, the Incident Workforce Management Division (IWMD), and the Emergency Management Institute (EMI), developed and delivered the pilot offering of the FEMA Incident Workforce Academy (FIWA).  The session took place December 8th – 20th at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Charleston, South Carolina.  Read more. >>

DHS CFO Awards for Excellence - OCFO is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s DHS CFO Awards for Excellence.  The awards ceremony will take place on Thursday, January 9th at 10 a.m. in the GSA Regional Office Building at 7th and D Streets, SW.  Read more. >>

FEMA Logistics Has Major Success With New Training Event in Colorado - FEMA’s Logistics Management Directorate received a large, enthusiastic response from a wide cross-section of its federal partners with the hosting of a newly-condensed version of its popular Interagency Logistics Course (L675) held December 3-5 in Colorado Springs, Colo. Read more. >>

Message from Darryl Madden, Director of the Ready Campaign.  Read message. >>

Welcome to the Travel Toolbox - The Travel Toolbox is intended to support FEMA travelers by providing the necessary tools and resources to help travelers before, during, and after their travel. This site is broken out into content areas based on traveler feedback.  Access and bookmark the Travel Toolbox. >>

How to Donate Unused Annual Leave - Employees may donate “use or lose” annual leave to approved recipients under the Agency’s Leave Transfer Program.  Click here for specific guidance.

Should you have further questions regarding “use or lose” leave or donating your annual leave, please contact OCCHCO Operations-Payroll Unit at 1-866-896-8003 or email: FEMA-HC-MYPAYSOLUTIONS@DHS.GOVEmployees may also work with their local designated timekeepers or Time & Attendance Organization Representative to address “Use or Lose” leave questions. 


Employee Opportunities



Winter Storm Update:  Author: Dan Watson

At the end of each week, we post a "What We’re Watching" blog as we look ahead to the weekend and recap events from the week. We encourage you to share it with your friends and family, and have a safe weekend.



Please read and take advantage of the following training opportunities being offered to the FEMA workforce.

Rotational Assignment Opportunities:

Rotational Assignments are great ways to build proficiency in technical and leader competencies, while learning about other organizations.  To learn more about rotations, visit the Internal Rotations Program Page  or email edu@fema.dhs.gov
Employees can apply for rotations and supervisors can post rotational assignment opportunities directly on that site.   The following rotation(s) are seeking applicants:


Executive Officer GS-11-12-13

Protection & National Preparedness


Program Analyst – Budget GS-11

Office of Policy & Programs Analysis


NEW!  Now Accepting Applications for the National Defense University Program for Emerging Leaders!

The FEMA Leader Development Council is now accepting applications for the National Defense University program, the Program for Emerging Leaders (PEL), sponsored by the National Defense University’s (NDU) Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).  Its goal is to foster a community of rising U.S. government leaders with the awareness and skill-set for responding to the dangers of WMD. 

This is a three-year long professional development opportunity, but does not confer either a degree or Graduate Certificate.  (There is, however, the option of earning graduate credit through National Defense University.)  The first event will be a one-week immersion in WMD-related issues to be held June 16-20, 2014 at Ft. McNair in Washington, DC.  Taking part in the Summer Immersion is mandatory for the first year. Activities are designed to allow participation while members remain in their current jobs with minimal disruption to their duties, however, employees who participate may need flexible scheduling.  Any program-related expenses will be incurred by the Home Agency.   Based on the scheduling, applicants must be working in the National Capital Region.  

For further information about PEL, please go to the website http://wmdcenter.dodlive.mil/pel/ or review the attached Frequently Asked Questions.

Applications for the Program for Emerging Leaders are due to the FEMA Leader Development Council no later than 12:00 PM, January 14, 2014. 


  • PFT GS-11through GS-13 with at least one year’s experience with FEMA
  • Have at least three years of post-baccalaureate experience
  • Possess a Secret clearance
  • Must have responsibility related to national security
  • Have leadership potential
  • Have an interest in learning about WMD-related issues
  • Participant must sign a 2-year Continuing Service Agreement


The Employee Development Division will fund travel for the scheduled in-person sessions.


Please email LDC@fema.dhs.gov for application materials.  Applicants will complete an internal-nomination application and an online application.

NEW!  Continual Learning opportunity – Leadership in an Age of Righteousness

Our partners at the Department of Energy are presenting a new session as part of our continual learning series for supervisors.

With the pitched battle in Congress that led to the recent government shutdown and the growing debt-ceiling debate, can leadership lessons be drawn from this conflict to help leaders of organizations deal with similar internal battles? - Jackson Nickerson

As the conflict surrounding the funding battles highlighted the walls which divide our elected leaders as well as our society, Jackson Nickerson of Brookings Executive Education explored the polarizing effects of righteousness and the paths which leaders can travel in pursuit of the resolution of righteous conflict. Nickerson identified four paths: War, Concessions, Governance, and Formulation, which leaders may follow to resolve the conflict of righteousness. In exploring these different paths, Nickerson identifies the implications for leaders of traversing each path. While the ability to resolve the conflicts of righteousness in the political/societal arenas of today remains problematic. Nickerson provides insight into the lessons we can glean from the righteous conflicts and offers hope of a way forward within the context of organizational leadership.  Jackson Nickerson will lead us in a highly interactive session to discuss this increasingly prevalent challenge, and address his insights into the lessons organizational leaders can draw from the righteous battles our elected officials have been waging.

Session Information

  • Date:  Thursday, January 16, 2014
  • Time:  1:00 – 3:00pm
  • Location:  Department of Energy – Forrestal Building

Anyone interested should email the FEMA Employee Development University at edu@fema.dhs.gov to register.

Jackson Nickerson will lead us in a highly interactive session to discuss this increasingly prevalent challenge, and address his insights into the lessons organizational leaders can draw from the righteous battles our elected officials have been waging.

Online Courses – OPM’s Manager’s Corner

As your agency is gearing up for end-of-year performance reviews, be sure to point your supervisors, managers, and executives to OPM’s Manager’s Corner for a variety of great resources and training opportunities. We have plenty of courses to assist them during the performance appraisal process. A few (FREE!) courses to consider:

FEMA supervisors who complete an OPM course can receive continual learning credit by emailing a copy of their completion confirmation/certificate to LDC@fema.dhs.gov.

The next Virtual Employee Development Fair will be on Monday, January 21st!

The FEMA Employee Development Division is pleased to announce it will be hosting the next Virtual Employee Development Fair at 2pm on Monday, January 21st.  Learn about the numerous employee development opportunities available to you, including the FEMA Rotations Program, the FEMA Mentoring Program, Academic Programs and much more!  To join the Virtual Employee Development Fair, simply sign-on as a Guest to the Adobe Connect session at https://fema.connectsolutions.com/vedf/There is limited connectivity, so we encourage program offices, Regions, NPSCs and other fixed sites to block a conference room for group participation.

NEW!  Learn how you can meet the Continual Learning and Leader as Teacher requirements!

DHS requires each supervisor to complete 12 hours of continual learning and 12 hours of ‘give-back’ each year.   Half-hour webinars will help you find creative ways to meet that requirement.  You will learn about:

  • Forums and Webinars that are available
  • The FEMA Leadership Library
  • Participating in a Mentor – Protégé relationship
  • How to get pre-approval for activity
  • Other innovative ways to meet these requirements

Monthly webinars are held the first Wednesday of the month at 2pm Eastern time and are open to all individuals who are permanently on a supervisory position description.    To join the webinar, login to Adobe Connect as Guest using this link:  https://fema.connectsolutions.com/contlearn/

You may receive two permission boxes asking if you would like to continue during the connection process.  Please say ‘yes’ both times.  If you are delayed in connecting, or the system seems to be hung up, please minimize the window – you will see the permission box.


Last Updated: 
07/24/2014 - 16:00
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