Lashae Lambert (State Government)

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I am the DEI Policy and Implementation Strategist at the Department of Medical Assistance Services for the Commonwealth of Virginia. My job is to ensure that all aspects of public health, regarding the Medicaid community, is done through an equity lens, and that our internal agency structure and culture reflects equitable practices. From ensuring that information is accessible to everyone (e.g. Are the materials written in the members native language? Is there a non online option for those who do not have internet?), to strategically planning covid-19 vaccination clinics around the commonwealth that members can transport to even if they do not have a personal vehicle. Additionally, I focus on internal equity solutions to assist my agency with implementing equitable practices from within.
Equity is at the core of society’s well being. We understand that not everyone starts at the same place in life, and it is important to assist and elevate those who have been given a rough start, an unfair disadvantage, or have fallen on hard times. In relation to healthcare, giving all Virgininans the opportunity to have their social determinants of health needs met is an act of public service not just for those receiving assistance, but for the commonwealth as a whole. A healthy community is a prosperous community.
Outside of my career in state government I continue my public service in the world of pageantry. I am the current USOA’s Ms. Capitol Hill and will be competing for Ms. District of Columbia this fall. My platform is advocacy for Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Sex Trafficking survivors. My focus is to bridge the gap between policy /legislation and a survivors road to recovery. I am focusing on ways in which we can bring awareness to these issues, establish intervention and prevention pathways , and establish legislation that will protect survivors.
I’m happy to meet new people so feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.

Natalie Donahue (Federal Government)

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My name is Natalie Donahue and I am the Chief of Evaluation in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) at the U.S. Department of State.
In my spare time I also serve as the Membership Chair for the Washington Evaluators (the American Evaluation Association’s DC region local affiliate organization) and teach public policy courses for The Ohio State University (my alma mater).
I lead an incredible staff of Monitoring and Evaluation Specialists in measuring and evaluating the effectiveness and long-term outcomes of ECA’s exchange programs through conducting complex analyses and evaluations, monitoring our programs, and building the evaluation capacity of our colleagues and external partners. I am also responsible for coordinating ECA evaluation initiatives and policy within the Bureau and ensuring ECA’s evaluation efforts are aligned with Department of State and Congressional policies and priorities.
I lead an incredible staff of Monitoring and Evaluation Specialists in measuring and evaluating the effectiveness and long-term outcomes of ECA’s exchange programs through conducting complex analyses and evaluations, monitoring our programs, and building the evaluation capacity of our colleagues and external partners. I am also responsible for coordinating ECA evaluation initiatives and policy within the Bureau and ensuring ECA’s evaluation efforts are aligned with Department of State and Congressional policies and priorities.
My team’s work provides a means to better understand where ECA programs are successful and where improvements can be made – all in the effort to ensure U.S. taxpayer dollars are being spent effectively. The data and analyses provided by my team’s efforts enable ECA program staff and senior leadership to assess performance and inform strategic planning at both the Bureau and individual exchange program levels. As our Bureau is dedicated to transparency and accountability, all evaluation reports are posted online so the American people are aware of and understand the effectiveness of ECA exchange programming.
It’s an exciting time for my team and I as we are now piloting our new Monitoring Data for ECA (MODE) Framework; our Bureau-wide monitoring system we collaboratively created with relevant stakeholders throughout 2019. This includes a strategy crosswalk of how ECA programs advance National Security Strategy priorities. You can find out more about the MODE Framework here.
I’m always happy to meet new people (particularly those with good book recommendations!) so feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. I’d love to hear from you!

Steven Putansu, PhD (Federal Government)

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I split my time as a public servant at the US Government Accountability Office (GAO); a professorial lecturer at American University; and a public management scholar. I try, as much as I can, to find connections between research and practice, and across academic fields and disciplines, to advocate for thoughtful development and use of policy knowledge in government decisions. This means finding a balance between often competing goals and working to ensure that considerations of the four pillars of economy, effectiveness, efficiency, and social equity are incorporated throughout decision making, policy implementation, strategic management, and evaluation processes.
I have been a dedicated public servant for over ten years. This role has given me the opportunity to generate and analyze evidence to support results-oriented policy and effective, efficient, and equitable governance. My methodological contributions have ensured rigorous technical standards in hundreds of GAO performance audits, helped provide policymakers with high-quality information for overseeing federal programs, and supported the best use of taxpayer dollars. I am so proud to be a part of the team at GAO, where I am surrounded by other dedicated and committed public servants working to improve federal government spending, processes, management, and outcomes. GAO has given me the opportunity to work in dozens of policy areas, and I am always excited to understand and try to find opportunities to improve federal programs across the spectrum of policy. That said, two of the contributions I am most proud of are 1) Evidence-Based Policy and 2) Policy Coherence.
I have supported many GAO engagements that have reviewed the use of strategic planning, performance management, evaluation, and evidence-based policy to support and improve decision making across the government. This has given me an appreciation for evidence that is sufficient and appropriate for different purposes, for the values and tradeoffs among different methodological approaches, and for the continued importance of ideological, interest, and institutional influence on decision making. This work helps ensure that federal programs generate and use strong evidence to support their decisions. It also gave me many important insights for my book, which assessed how policy knowledge works in concert with political factors in decisions about federal education policy.
Over the past ten years, GAO has built a body of work on fragmentation, overlap, and duplication (DOF, for short) in the federal government, and I have been lucky to be a part of this work for nearly the entire time. This work comprehensively looks at the effects of DOF – both positive and harmful – and thoughtfully considers how actions to reduce, eliminate, or better manage these areas can improve how government works. This body of work has led to over $400 billion in financial benefits for the federal government, and numerous non-financial improvements to the planning, coordination, and implementation of fragmented, overlapping, and duplicative programs.
There are many amazing public servants and academics on twitter! You can follow me at @steveputansu – then check out who I follow to find some real superstars!

Connie L. Berhane (Federal Government)

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It gives me great pleasure to introduce myself. I am a Senior Management Analyst with over 20 years of Federal Civil Service. I currently work for the Department of the Army, Force Management Support Agency.
First, some fun facts about me. I love to travel!  My previous excursions were Aruba, Dominican Republic and Grand Turks and Caicos.  I was scheduled to cruise to Alaska in June of this year but Covid19 had its say….what a bummer! I enjoy spending time with family and friends, volunteering in my spare time and “chalking up” a few steps with Fitbit Workweek hustle! That’s how I exercise and it’s fun too!
As a Senior Management Analyst, I oversee diverse portfolios of Army organization structure and major systems for multiple Army Commands.  The products I provide are data driven, integrate manpower, personnel and equipment. I offer comprehensive leadership, management and technical guidance across organization management communities.
My agency plays a vital role in processes which establishes and resources mission-ready Army organizations and all elements of the Army Organizational Life Cycle Model that meets the Secretary of the Army’s statutory requirements to resource; maintain and station the Army.
We ensure the Army is efficiently and effectively organized, manned, equipped, trained, and sustained through delivery of our products. My work is very unique.  I am able to evaluate and apply organization designs and models that meet the critical needs of the Army. I am proud to serve as a member of the Army team and Institution.
It has been a pleasure sharing a few tidbits about me!  I can be reach reached at clberhane@gmail.com or connect with me on LinkedIn.

Arthur Elkins (Local Government)

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My name is Arthur Elkins and my employer is the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC). I serve in the role of Inspector General at WSSC.
As the independent Inspector General for WSSC, I provide leadership to a team of auditors, investigator, legal counsel and support staff whose mission is to assist WSSC with recommendations designed to enhance programmatic and operational efficiencies and effectiveness, compliance with relevant laws, regulations, and policies that support and advance WSSC’s mission to provide safe and reliable water to our environment in an ethical, sustainable, and financially responsible manner.
Our independent work provides a means for transparency, accountability, and assurance to WSSC rate payers, who are citizens of Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties Maryland, that their funds are being used as intended by State law, regulations, and policies.
I can be reached at a564e@msn.com or via LinkedIn.

Nawras Taffal (Federal Government)

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I am a leader with a strong engineering and public administration background, and executive skills that when put to use can make things happen. I have a passion for success and believe strongly in honesty, integrity, hard work, commitment to work and core principles. I’m a strong leader, a talented engineer, and a problem solver with strong interpersonal skills.

I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from The State University of New York at Buffalo, a Certification in Management & Executive Negotiation from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Master of Public Administration at George Mason University.

I am the Founder and CEO of Young Engineers of America (YEA). I also work at the Department of Defense as a Civil Engineering Project Manager, and I bring about 8 years of professional experience in engineering, public administration, and executive management. I am also the current director at the National Capital Chapter of the American Concrete Institute (ACI), and a membership champion at the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Chris Harrington (Local Government)

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Budget and Management Analyst, Dept. of Finance, City of Baltimore

I currently work for the City of Baltimore in the Department of Finance as a Budget and Management Analyst. Before coming to Baltimore, I spent nearly three years leading government affairs for a statewide advocacy organization in Connecticut.

As a Budget and Management analyst I am responsible for guiding eight agencies through the City’s outcome based budgeting process. Additionally, Baltimore is nationally recognized for its fiscal responsibility and budgetary prowess. I assist my portfolio of agencies in financial planning during the current fiscal year to ensure that operational goals are effectively met and resourced. Finally, I also identify and implement managerial and procedural changes to make City government work more efficiently.

Outside of my work with the City, I am researching and developing a public health toolkit, which is designed to integrate explicit considerations of public health in decisions including policies, practices, programs, and budgets. Too often, policies and programs are developed and implemented without thoughtful consideration of public health outcomes. When public health is not explicitly brought into operations and decision-making, poor public health outcomes are likely to be perpetuated.

The problems that our world faces are becoming increasingly more complex. In trying to solve these problems, I help government to understand how the financial and administrative decisions they make today can impact the people they serve years down the road. Our current environment is the sum of all the decisions that were made before us. It is our responsibility to do everything that we can to better our present and future.

I look forward to connecting with more ASPA-NCAC members. Feel free to reach out to me through my LinkedIn profile, or email me at Christophereharrington@gmail.com

Isaac White (Federal Government)

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Systems Analyst, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)

I decided on a career in public administration while serving as an Army combat medic in Iraq. I witnessed some of the outcomes that policy decisions produce and became interested in the processes that generate decisions of such consequence. After undergraduate studies in political science and economics at Edinboro University, I began working for the Social Security Administration. I started with SSA as a claims representative processing disability, retirement, and survivors applications and later moved into the IT department as a systems analyst.

Last year, while completing my MPA degree at Arkansas State University, I transferred to my current position with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service within USDA. As a systems analyst, I conduct a wide range of duties including business process analyses, systems evaluations, capital and resource planning, and project management. The task consuming most of my time lately is serving as the project manager for an application being developing internally for agricultural inspectors at our nation’s ports. When completed, the application will provide a simplified method for obtaining regulatory guidance regarding which commodities can be granted entry into the country and under what conditions.

My project is just one of many at the agency with the goal of protecting American agriculture by preventing and controlling the spread of invasive species. Pests such as the Spotted Lanternfly, which is currently threatening fruit crops and trees in southwestern Pennsylvania, threaten our food supplies and can cause billions of dollars in damage if left uncontrolled.

I look forward to connecting with more ASPA-NCAC members. Feel free to reach out to me through my LinkedIn profile, or chat with me at the next chapter event!

Yianni Alepohoritis (Federal Government)

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Management and Program Analyst, U.S. Department of Education

I am a Management and Program Analyst at the U.S. Department of Education. I serve as a Program Officer for the Education Innovation and Research Program (EIR)–formerly the Investing in Innovation Fund (i3)-within the Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII) at the U.S. Department of Education.

I wear many hats in my position with EIR. Some of the roles include being a steward of the taxpayer dollar by monitoring my program’s grantees for fiscal compliance, helping manage the competition process in which applicants compete for federal grants, and fostering communities of practice amongst our grantees and the educational field at large by leading the planning of our annual conference as well as other dissemination efforts.

The work of my program is important to public service because it provides grants to tackle persistent educational challenges and improve student achievement for high-need students. It does so by generating, validating, and scaling evidence-based solutions in order to serve substantially larger numbers of students throughout the country

I welcome the opportunity to network with my fellow administrators. You may contact me at Yianni.alepohoritis@ed.gov and through my LinkedIn.