University of Nebraska Awards Ten USSTRATCOM Leadership Fellows with Certificates

“Best-of-the-best civilian leaders at USSTRATCOM” receive certificates from UNO

May 05, 2015

The University of Nebraska has awarded ten handpicked U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) civilian employees with certificates after completing a select 13 week program.  The ten individuals were carefully chosen to be the 2015 Fellows by “a selection board of the Senior Executive Service (SES), who are the highest ranking civilian leaders at USSTRATCOM,” said Douglas Derrick, Ph.D., assistant professor of IT Innovation at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). “Quite simply, they are the best-of-the-best civilian leaders at USSTRATCOM, which is why the government is making a significant investment in their development.”  

The ten select individuals make up the second graduating class of USSTRATCOM Fellows.  The USSTRATCOM Leadership Fellows Program is the result of a special partnership between the National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) at the University of Nebraska and USSTRATCOM.  The program is designed to enhance the management skills and technical expertise of civilians as they progress to strategic supervisory roles. USSTRATCOM senior officials, civilian personnel and academic professionals recognized the graduating fellows during a ceremony at the University of Nebraska’s Peter Kiewit Institute in Omaha, May 1.

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. John Uberti, USSTRATCOM chief of staff, gave the keynote speech at the ceremony.  “The fellows were nominated by their leaders and selected because we saw in them the potential to grow and make an impact not only to the command, but to the community,” he said. “[They] have not only gained knowledge, but they’ve grown as thinkers and leaders; and we’re here to celebrate their success.”

Uberti challenged the fellows to bring the “fresh perspectives” they gained as Fellows and apply them in their day to day work approach and their expanding roles back at USSTRATCOM.

“We know USSTRATCOM must remain a high-performing organization in an environment which is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous,” he said. “We’re counting on you to help us lead through this time of change. As Yogi Berra said, ‘The future ain’t what it used to be’.”

The NSRI and USSTRATCOM launched the Leadership Fellows Program in March 2014 as a first-of-its-kind initiative under the NSRI, a University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) dedicated to delivering solutions for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) to USSTRATCOM.  The program includes classroom-based and hands-on learning opportunities to provide graduate-level leadership development to civilian leaders within USSTRATCOM.

Following graduation, participants will return to their departments within USSTRATCOM.  The graduate credits earned through the 13-week certificate program will count toward a future UNO graduate degree.

The 2015 USSTRATCOM Strategic Leadership Fellows Program participants are:

•    Todd Ballou - Cyberspace Operations Branch, Deputy Chief
•    Rachel Buckner - Global Strike Capabilities Division, Program Analyst
•    Gregory Campbell - Distributed Command Center Branch, Functional Manager
•    Brian Claus - Joint Fires Element, Joint Targeting Coordinator
•    Mark Crown - Deterrence and Functional Plans Division, Strategic Planner and Analyst
•    Harlan Fangmeyer - JFCC Global Strike, Strategic Plans Analyst
•    Heather Kearney - Deterrence and Functional Plans Division, Strategic Planner and Analyst
•    Randy Lay - Lessons Learned and After Actions Branch, Lessons Learned Analyst
•    Daniel Lewis - Strategic Plans Division, Strategic Planner
•    Ian Pelletier - Global Strike Capabilities Division, Nuclear Weapons Analyst

About NSRI
Founded in 2012, the National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) at the University of Nebraska is the only University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) in the country dedicated to delivering solutions for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) to U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) and across other federal agencies. NSRI provides research and development for the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and other governmental agencies in multiple mission-critical competency areas — including development of medical countermeasures to WMD; nuclear detection and forensics; consequence management; chemical and biological weapons detection; and space, cyber, and telecom law. Learn more at

About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.

USSTRATCOM is one of nine DoD unified combatant commands and is charged with strategic deterrence; space operations; cyberspace operations; joint electronic warfare; global strike; missile defense; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; combating weapons of mass destruction; and analysis and targeting.

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