For most of my career, I have worked as a program manager—a manager who oversees many concurrent, related projects—with a keen interest in scientific research and development (R&D). I've specialized in leading and facilitating software development through the complete life cycle (SDLC): from the ideation phase through Agile development to product delivery and support.

In my current role, I am a hybrid program-project manager: As part of Cisco Systems Inc.'s Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT), I taking on the management role for several related projects. I qualify my role as "hybrid" because I oversee only a small subset of projects that are part of a much larger program.

My Approach to Leadership and Management

I seek first to apply a servant leadership approach: give my people what they need to achieve their objectives and create for them the best possible working environment. I am an adherent of business consultant Peter Drucker's focus on value (via results) rather than process. Therefore, I seek to enable my people to work as efficiently as possible, which means I want them doing what they're good at and, where possible, what they most enjoy. Also as part of that approach, I minimize their administrative work and offer as many training and learning opportunities as the budget permits.

"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity." - General George S. Patton

As a leader and manager, I have learned to avoid telling peope how to do things, even in areas where I have some expertise. Patton was right: when you give people the freedom to develop their own approaches to getting a task done, you are often surprised and rewarded by their ingenuity.

When it comes to hiring people, I never try to find the "perfect fit" because even if such a person existed at the moment, the world around us will certainly change and negate that perfection. I seek smart, hard-working people who work well with others. These are the kinds of people I can help adapt to constantly changing technology; and they are the best kind of people to help themselves and their colleagues adjust to those changes as well. This is not merely a theory of mine: I have hired many people who have delivered results beyond even my high expectations and who achieved tremendous customer satisfaction over many, many projects.

For nearly two decades at US EPA, I succeeded in matching brilliant, creative, and passionate people with the R&D projects best suited to them; and then derived great joy and satisfaction in encouraging and supporting them through the planning, learning, and development phases of their respective efforts.

Scientific Programming

During the period 2000-2017, I led a team of 10-16 scientific programmers and together we supported each year 12-20 different scientific research projects for the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Research and Development. I was an employee of Leidos Corporation (formerly Lockheed Martin, IS&GS). For those 17 years, I served as manager of the scientific visualization group in the United State Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Modeling and Visualization Lab (EMVL).

My group supported areas of research ranging from modeling embryonic tissue development to integrating and visualizing multi-terabyte datasets from models, satellites, ground observations, and aircraft.


In 2018, I am pursuing my Amazon Web Services (AWS) certifications as part of my larger career objectives and as a means to add value in my role as a Cloud project manager in Cisco Systems' CSIRT group.

My professional passion is R&D program management that emphasizes technology transfer: moving ideas from the laboratory into useful, practical, and hopefully profitable, products and services. I enjoy working with scientists, engineers, and scientific programmers and seek to help such people translate the fruits of their labor into results that make a positive impact on our environment and overall quality of life.

Fortunately, my current role with Cisco provides me with this opportunity as the various CSIRT project teams are constantly adapting new products and technologies (hardware and software) to meet the need for digital systems security.

The Science of Loving What You Do

In his Study Hacks article, "Beyond Passion: The Science of Loving What You Do," Cal Newport identifies what I agree are the three principal elements of enjoyable work:

  • Autonomy
  • Competence
  • Relatedness

While I had long had a pleasant degree of autonomy in my last job--in the form of a fairly flexible schedule and hands-off management--and I had steadily worked my way up to a high level of competence through formal education and active self-directed learning, relatedness came last and was the most difficult to achieve.

Newport defines relatedness as “a feeling of connection to others.” Connecting with others requires spending time with those others. In his master work, The Effective Executive, Peter Drucker observes that time is the most precious resource an executive posesses; and Jim Rohn often observed we all have the same amount of time--approximately 24 hours each day--so we can't have any more time. Drucker and Rohn agree that we have to use the time we do have very efficiently.

I learned that I had to change my priorities and shed low-vaue tasks in order to free up time to meet one-on-one with my staff and as a team in order to listen to their concerns and ideas and share with them my thoughts and observations. In my line of work, creative, intelligent people are the driver of success. They deserve as least as much of my time as the customer does. In terms of time priorities, my own management comes in third, and everyone else, such as vendors, a distant fourth.   

As I search for my next job, I will seek a position in which these three facets of work are reprioritized: (1) Competence; (2) Relatedness; and (3) Autonomy. My goal is to build the autonomy based on the quality of the first two elements.

Leadership and Creativity in Science & Engineering

Firms often fall far short of deriving the full commercial value of the ideas and talents available from their people. Too often, intelligent, hard-working, and creative staff offer ideas and opportunities that go unrecognized. In addition to the loss of potential intellectual property and its revenue, the failure to tap these possible business opportunities often demoralizes the very staff the firm needs to perform at a high level.

For organizations involved in scientific or engineering research and development that want to make the most of their human capital, I can help. I bring more than a decade of experience and formal education in technology transfer to my work.

Since 2000, I have learned to maximize my scientific computing team’s potential by matching individuals to projects with the best possible mapping of skills to requirements, aspirations to project objectives, and personalities of the staff member with the project’s principal investigator.

In May 2009, I earned my Master of Business Administration (MBA) from North Carolina State University, concentrating in Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization (TEC). In this rigorous program, I learned the details of taking technology ideas from the laboratory to the marketplace.

Unlike most technical people with an MBA, I derive my greatest satisfaction from working with people: defining their goals with them and then leading the way in overcoming bureaucratic and financial obstacles to reach those goals. And unlike many business people in large organizations, I focus on outcomes, not processes. The scientists, programmers, and engineers I work with are creative when doing their best work. Where processes obstruct creative development, these processes need to be modified or discarded altogether.

I enjoy my work most when I’ve helped someone achieve their goal(s) and they then feel empowered to push ahead to achieve even greater things.

Professional Certifications

Program Management Professional (PgMP)

Project Management Professional (PMP)


Agile Certified Practitioner

Cloud Computing: Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Cloud Practitioner

ITIL v3 Foundation