Jacki Ponti-Lazaruk

Presentation: Developing Both Tolerance & Appetite for Risk in a Federal Organization

Abstract: The Secretary of Agriculture has outlined a strategic goal within the USDA to work efficiently, effectively, with integrity and a focus on customer service. To help facilitate this goal, a newly-created USDA Business Center now houses the Chief Risk Officer (CRO), who is fully focused on Enterprise Risk Management (ERM), cultivating a risk culture within the entire organization. Knowing that every employee makes decisions about risk each day, the CRO is dedicated to identifying, analyzing, responding to, and controlling these risks to assist with budget processes, internal control assessments, and strategic planning.

This session will show how a focused realignment was able to successfully manage essential efforts in portfolio risk identification and the innovative solutions needed to mitigate these risks. Now, when a regulation needs to be changed, a new partnership needs to be forged, or a process needs to be streamlined, in order to mitigate a portfolio risk, the team identifying those needs works hand-in-hand with the team who will make those innovative solutions a reality. Effective, efficient teamwork has streamline and strengthened the USDA’s mission.

PMI Talent Triangle: Strategic and Business Management

Biography: Jacki Ponti-Lazaruk leads the USDA’s Rural Development Innovation Center as the Chief Innovation Officer (CIO). Ms. Ponti-Lazaruk has extensive leadership experience across multiple USDA programs and business areas. Ms. Ponti-Lazaruk previously served as the USDA Rural Development’s Chief Risk Officer. In this position, she helped identify and act upon many opportunities for organizational improvement including eliminating the extreme volume of agency paper files through digitization.