Tag: BEE

Understanding the inner workings of the federal government and how it impacts business through a residency with Brookings Executive Education (BEE) is one of the unique components of the Executive MBA program at Olin. And beginning in March 2018, Olin full-time MBA students will also have the opportunity to take advantage of the Washington D.C. residency that provides an insider’s view of bureaucracy, policy, and process.

Lamar Pierce at Brookings“Our goal with the residency is to cut through the political polarization that dominates the story coming out of Washington,” explains Lamar Pierce, Associate Professor of Organization and Strategy and at Olin and BEE faculty member. “We want our students to understand that most of the people in our capital are committed to helping create a better world, and although they may disagree about how to achieve that, they’re trying to solve the same problems.”

Earlier this month, 36 Executive MBA students (pictured above), traveled to Washington, D.C. to engage with policymakers, senior-ranking officials, and other key decision-makers in the nation’s capital. The BEE four-day immersion program introduces students to practitioners from government, industry, and NGO’s in an experiential format, and allows dialogue with experts that have worked at the highest levels of the White House, Congress, and other policy making institutions. EMBA Class 49 even had one such conversation on the Floor of the House of Representatives, just one week after the President’s address to a Joint Session of Congress.

Brookings_ExecEd_482The program broadens students’ perspectives and offers unique insight into how non-market strategy shapes and frames the institutional landscapes in which firms operate. Through active participation and dialogue, the program reminds leaders in both the private and public sector that the best solutions to complex problems result from healthy collaboration between business, government, and broader society.

BEE is a partnership between two world-renowned organizations: the Brookings Institution and Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis. Instrumental to both, St. Louis businessman Robert S. Brookings (1850–1932) founded the D.C.-based think tank and led Washington University’s governing board for 33 years.

Visit the Brookings Executive Education website for more information.

Guest Blogger: Evie Kallenbach, Brookings Executive Education

A former Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and the first woman to lead a major US intelligence agency, Letitia A. Long, has joined Brookings Executive Education (BEE) as an Executive in Residence. BEE is a partnership between the Brookings Institution and Olin Business School.

In her new role, Long will work with faculty at Washington University in St. Louis  to deliver cutting-edge, research-based curriculum to equip public leaders with the knowledge and tools they will need to lead during times of transition and instability. Among the courses she teaches is Visioning and Leading Change, which provides leaders in the public sector with tools and processes to successfully facilitate organizational change.

Letitia A. Long

Letitia A. Long

“I have long admired the work of the Brookings Institution and BEE,” Long says. “I am delighted to now have an opportunity to work with highly regarded faculty to incorporate my experiences in organizational leadership and strategic planning. I was particularly drawn to BEE because of its Crossroads of Change framework—a new way to think about whom to engage in the change process, when to engage them, and how engagement may differ across constituencies. It will be a great reflective experience for me, and even more important, an opportunity for current public leaders to learn research-based practical information from someone who has been in their shoes.”

The Brookings Institution and BEE have a long history of tapping top talent among public sector leaders. Long led NGA during critical periods of change and transition, including becoming the first United States agency to adopt open-source software development to aid natural disaster first responders and providing support to the operation that led to the death of Osama bin Laden.

Starting her career in Naval Intelligence, Long went on to serve as the Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence, and then the first Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence (Policy, Requirements and Resources), the first Chief Information Officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Deputy Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Long currently sits on the boards of Raytheon Company, Urthecast Corporation and Noblis, Inc. She is also on the board of the Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs.

“We are delighted that Long has joined our staff. The public leaders who attend courses at BEE have come to expect high-caliber instruction and research-based curriculum that is practical and can be applied as soon as they leave the classroom. Long will help us continue this tradition and provide unparalleled insight to those facing daunting challenges in their organizations,” said Jackson Nickerson, Associate Dean and Director of BEE and Frahm Family Professor at Olin Business School.

Long earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech, a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the Catholic University of America and was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Strategic Intelligence by the National Intelligence University.


Many of us who have no formal training or background in accounting/finance find ourselves overseeing big budgets. As we continue to advance in our careers, the size of those budgets continues to grow, along with the expectations and LIABILITIES. Brookings Executive Education (BEE) Finance for Non-Financial Managers course addresses some of the potential pitfalls for federal employees with no professional training in the field, yet who are responsible and held accountable for major budgets every day. Below, BEE instructor Sallyanne Harper offers us a little advice on successfully managing this process and three key tips to keep us out of hot water.

Risk management is a key component of what we explore in the BEE Finance for Non-Financial Managers course.  What risks do we mean? Typically the risks on the business side of the program arise from the resources management areas like finance, appropriations and budget, acquisition management, and internal controls. These are likely outside of your comfort zone, but essential to your success and typically among your hidden vulnerabilities as a line manager. Because they involve public funds, these are risks that can derail your career and program, lead to unwelcome headlines, or earn you an invitation to testify in front of a Congressional oversight committee.

Programs often end up in trouble when problems arise over the money, contract support, and property associated with executing the program or running the operations. The lack of adequate controls leaves them vulnerable to fraud, waste and mismanagement of funds and other resources.

So what can you do to mitigate some of the inherent risks associated with federal resources management? The good news is that you do not need to become an expert in procurement law, finance and internal controls, or the nuances of appropriations and budget execution. However, there are a few important steps you can take to lay the groundwork for managing program risks associated with resources management, starting with understanding how to assure adequate internal controls.

Step 1:  Tone at the Top

“Tone at the Top” describes the program or operations manager’s commitment to transparency, honesty, integrity and ethical behavior, and the accountability to that commitment of the leadership team and each employee on the team. It is the essential foundation for all other resources management (funds, people, contracts, budget, and property) risk mitigation. If you and your managers uphold honesty, integrity and ethical behavior, and you do so openly and transparently, your employees are likely to uphold those values as well. That is your first and most powerful line of defense. If you get this right, you have taken one of the most important steps you can in addressing resources management risks.

Step 2: Ask the Right Questions

While you do not need to be an expert in all the business disciplines associated with getting things done in the federal government, it pays handsomely if you have some basic underpinnings. Knowing the right questions to ask (based on understanding the basics) will help you avoid potential catastrophic control failures.

Step 3: Build Your Network

You need to know who to call when in doubt or need. Build a network of key relationships beyond the technical side of the house.  This would include your key contacts in the budget shop, the procurement shop, the appropriations law folks, and your financial manager.  This network of expertise will not only help you know who to ask what when, but it will also help you and your program navigate the inherent bureaucracy of administrative business functions like contracting, budget and finance.

Click here for more information on the course Finance for Nonfinancial Managers.


Brookings Executive Education (BEE) is proud to introduce the first graduating class of the Master of Science in Leadership:

Ray Morris
Brett Smith
Rick Thomas
Delores Barber
Katrina Lewis

BEE offers the opportunity for government executives and managers to earn a Master of Science in Leadership (MS-Leadership) degree granted by the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis. This unique degree is designed to develop leaders to serve as senior federal executives and to improve the capacity of incumbent members of the Senior Executive Service (SES).

To watch the full graduation ceremony follow this link: http://stream.nts.wustl.edu/EMBA42SH12_DEC2014/

It is a deeply rooted history that ties together the presently partnered Brookings Executive Education and Olin Business School.  The inaugural source of this connection can be attributed to an innovative, thought leader:  Robert S. Brookings.

Brookings Executive Education (BEE) is a direct beneficiary of Robert S. Brookings, the St. Louis businessman and philanthropist who was president of WUSTL’s Board of Trustees from 1895 to 1928. During this time, Brookings played a pivotal role in the development of the University’s main campus. Through his leadership and foresight, Brookings marshaled the resources to create the original buildings on campus. As head of the University’s governing board, he gave much of his time, fortune, and personal estate to revitalize the University and its medical school.

Robert Brookings

In 1916, Brookings worked with other government reformers to create the first private organization devoted to the fact-based study of public policy. The new Institute for Government Research became the chief advocate for effective and efficient public service, and sought to bring “science” to the study of government. He was called to service by President Woodrow Wilson to run the Pricing Board during World War I. It was during this service that he realized the need for developing leaders in government who were schooled in the art of handling problems. Brookings then created two sister organizations, the Institute of Economics (1922) and the Robert S. Brookings Graduate School (1923.) In 1927, these three organizations combined to create the establishment that bears his name: the Brookings Institution.

Brookings’ deep commitment to public service and education is reflected in the partnership between these two institutions for which he was a common benefactor. BEE is committed to delivering on his promise to “teach the art of handling problems rather than simply impart accumulated knowledge.” Through BEE, the remarkable legacy of Robert S. Brookings continues into a new century, and all who engage in BEE classes are direct beneficiaries of this remarkable man.

Photo credit: Brookings Hall, WUSTL campus, Joe Angeles