Laura Brown

Presentation: Certification for Federal Program/Project Managers Discussion Panel

Abstract: Join us for a lively discussion of the issues surrounding federal program and project management certification. The position of PMIAA is that certifications alone have not shown a positive impact in the improvement of federal programs. This panel will explore many of the questions revolving around certifications, including types of certifications, experience vs. certifications, and recruitment and retention of program/project managers.

What certifications should be required for federal program and project managers: FAC-P/PM? PMP? DAWIA? Other? How will existing certifications tie into the Program Management Accountability and Improvement Act (PMIAA) implementation? How to influence agencies to provide opportunities for certification? How best to account for differences between program and project management? Also, how do we balance the importance of certifications vs. experience? How to attract program and project managers from outside the federal government to enter federal careers? How do we provide a credential that is transportable between agencies? Should PM certifications be a requirement in federal hiring? What type of learning and development should be considered to expand the skills of PMs beyond certification training? How is the FAC-P/PM-IT certification utilized in federal agencies?

PMI Talent Triangle Skill: Strategic and Business Management

Biography:  Laura Brown is the Associate Acquisition Career Manager and Acquisition Workforce Branch Supervisor for the Department of Veterans Affairs.   In this role, she oversees the Department’s Federal Acquisition Certification programs and strategic workforce development initiatives for VA’s 15,000 plus acquisition workforce.  Laura is a solution-driven learning leader, focused on shaping  acquisition workforce direction and talent management through collaboration with Industry and Federal partners to improve Federal acquisitions outcomes.

Before joining the VA, Laura served for 10 years as a program manager and senior advisor within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Procurement Operations (OPO) and later with DHS Office of the Chief Procurement Officer (OCPO).  Before leaving DHS, Laura managed an organization-wide workplace transformation initiative involving cultural tranformation, workspace change,  and increased mobility for OCPO. In addition, she has several years of private sector experience with Verizon Communications where she managed both strategic and operational business improvement initiatives.

Laura has a passion for excellence.  Improving operational efficiencies, leveraging diversity and team dynamics to create high-performing teams and high-quality outcomes, and exceeding customer expectations ‘bakes her cookies’!  Laura holds a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology from Potomac University and a Master’s degree in Engineering Management  from the George Washington University.  Laura currently lives in Prince Georges County, but hails from Pittsburgh, Pa – Yay Steelers!  She is number four of 13 siblings – seven boys and six girls.  Her interests include competitive swing dancing, Southern cooking, reading, traveling and spending time with friends.