Leader Development

It is Department of Defense (DoD) policy that a diverse cadre of highly capable, high-performing, and results-oriented civilian leaders shall be developed and sustained to lead effectively in increasingly complex environments, ensure continuity of leadership, and maintain a learning organization that drives transformation and continuous improvement across the enterprise. Accordingly, the DoD Leader Development Programs Division manages the DoD participation in the White House Leadership Development Program, and plans and executes the Vanguard Senior Executive Development Program, Defense Senior Leader Development Program, Executive Leadership Development Program, and Defense Civilian Emerging Leader Program. The following links provide information about these programs and instructions on how to apply to them.

Vanguard Senior Executive Development Program (Vanguard)

The Vanguard Senior Executive Development Program (Vanguard) is the DoD's premier executive development program designed specifically to equip Senior Executive Service (SES) members with tools to more effectively expand collaboration among Components, Federal agency partners and mutual stakeholders toward successful mission accomplishment. This six-day/five-night program focuses on enhancing the ability of SES members to serve as enterprise leaders in a joint and interagency environment. Vanguard offers SES members the unique opportunity to form strategic partnerships with top-level executives, build upon their leadership capability to overcome evolving challenges such as constrained resources, and mitigate increasingly varied threats to national security.

White House Leadership Development Program (WHLDP)

The White House Leadership Development Program, sponsored by Executive Office of the President and supported by the President's Management Council and the Performance Improvement Council, will provide a unique growth opportunity focused on developing high potential career GS-15s and equivalents poised to enter the next generation of career senior executives. Participants will work on the Federal government's high impact challenges that require the coordination of multiple federal agencies to succeed.

Defense Senior Leader Development Program (DSLDP)

The Defense Senior Leader Development Program (DSLDP) is the premier civilian leader development program for Department of Defense civilians at the GS-14 through GS-15 (or equivalent) level. DSLDP institutes a competency-based approach to the deliberate development of senior civilian leaders with the enterprise-wide perspective needed to lead organizations and programs, and achieve results in the joint, interagency, and multi-national environments.

Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP)

The Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP) provides participants with an extensive exposure to the roles and missions of the entire Department of Defense (DOD). It is open to DOD civilians at the GS-12 through GS-14 (or equivalent) level, with limited participation from military O-3 through O-4 levels and Federal Agencies. Participants of ELDP graduate from the program with an increased understanding and appreciation for today’s warfighters. The program was established in 1985 with the approval of the Secretary of Defense and has continued over the years to train the Department’s future leaders to recognize and respond to the issues facing DOD. During the course of the ten months of training, participants will travel to a variety of locations both in the United States and overseas, to train with the warfighter. Through intense, hands-on field experience, participants experience first-hand the many challenges that our Components face in carrying out the mission of the Department. ELDP is not for everyone. It is both mentally and physically challenging. It is designed for high potential individuals who have the desire to progress into senior leadership roles in the Department.

Defense Civilian Emerging Leader Program (DCELP)

DCELP is the premier Department of Defense (DOD) leader development program for civilians in the grades of GS-7 through GS-12 (or equivalent) in the DOD and other Federal Agencies. The program consists of a series of 4 one-week in-resident sessions, assessment tools, knowledge transfer activities, participant writing and briefing projects, and individual coaching. The program concentrates on the five terminal learning objectives of Know Self, Express Self, Build Teams, Manage Organizations and Understand the DOD.

White House Leadership Development Program (WHLDP)
Phone: (571) 372-2072
DSN 372-2072
Email: WHLDP Program Staff

Defense Senior Leader Development Program (DSLDP)
Phone: (571) 372-2136
DSN 372-2136
Email: DSLDP Program Staff

Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP)
Phone: (571) 372-2054
DSN 372-2054
Email: ELDP Program Staff

Defense Civilian Emerging Leader Program (DCELP)
Phone: (571) 372-2065/2126
DSN 372-2065/2126
Email: DCELP Program Staff

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