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Three chosen from Nevada National Security site for leadership institute

Three employees from the Nevada National Security Site were selected to be part of the 2019 Project Leadership Institute (PLI)—a program that only accepts roughly more than two dozen employees, who are chosen from throughout the U.S. Department of Energy.

The year-long program will contain leaders from throughout the Department of Energy, bringing them together in order to “build a network of project delivery practitioners,” a news release from the Nevada National Security Site stated.

The three representatives from the Nevada National Security Site include Senior Principal Intelligence Analyst Marlis Breitkreut, who will represent mission execution for NNSS; Nonproliferation Program Manager Dr. Alexander Plionis, for program integration; and Senior Principal Project Manager Jeff Biagini, for mission support, according to a news release from the national security site.

“The most exciting part of this is getting to be exposed to world-class program management,” said Breitkreut. “How have they succeeded? How have they failed? How have they made their project management better because of their successes and their failures? It’s exciting to be exposed to so many people who do this.”

This is the second year an employee from the national security site has been chosen for the program that began in 2014. Senior Principal Engineer Ben Simpson, who completed the program in 2018, was the first site employee to do so, according to the news release.

“Most programs outside our company are more commercial focused,” said Simpson. “This one appealed to me as a DOE link and being able to go share with people who have similar experiences.”

The Project Leadership Institute began after an analysis by what’s known as the Project Management Group, which was formed at the request of former U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz in August 2013.

“The findings (of the analysis) determined greater enterprise-wide perspective regarding project management was needed,” according to a news release from the national security site.

The program is a partnership between the Department of Energy and Stanford University and involves five in-person instructional sessions, a single online session and a cumulative capstone project.

According to a news release from the national security site, the key objectives of the program include “strategic thinking and analysis, organizational and general management skills, team building and communications that can be applied to real-time DOE assignments.”

“The people [who are part of the PLI] are on large-scale, complex projects,” said Simpson. “You build an environment and network of best practices or network sharing.”

Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at jmeehan@pvtimes.com

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