From Navy Judge Advocate General Corps Public Affairs
Leah Davenport was selected for the 2018-2019 DoD Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP), a civilian education program for DoD employees who have demonstrated outstanding leadership potential.
“The Navy’s nomination and selection process is very competitive so being selected for this program speaks to the quality of Ms. Davenport’s talent, experience and leadership potential,” said Janet M. Evans, Department of the Navy Office of Civilian Human Resources. “During the course of the ten months of training, Ms. Davenport will travel to a variety of locations both in the United States and overseas to train with our warfighters. Through intense hands-on field experience, she will encounter the many challenges that our components face in carrying out the mission.”
Davenport, a native of Virginia Beach, Va., is the Legal Assistance assistant department head at Region Legal Service Office Mid-Atlantic (RLSO MIDLANT). She is responsible for the legal readiness of over 320,000 service members and providing legal assistance and support to over 150,000 dependents and retirees in the RLSO Area of Responsibility. She manages the day-to-day operations of the Legal Assistance Department and the overall operation, planning, supervision, and work quality of the Legal Assistance team, which consists of an average of 45 officers, enlisted, and civilians. Furthermore, she trains, supervises, and mentors the junior judge advocates enabling them to successfully perform in their first rotation by providing professional and correct legal advice to the clients.
“My command has supported me by promoting me to positions of leadership, sending me to courses that improve my leadership abilities, allowing me to partake in collaterals that are sometimes unrelated to my current position, recognizing my accomplishments on a regular basis, introducing me to mentors outside of the command, and always encouraging me to apply for programs such as ELDP which will provide me with more career options in the future,” said Davenport.
After completing law school, Davenport was a private practice attorney for seven years. Prior to joining RLSO MIDLANT, Davenport was an Air Force Civilian at Joint Base Langley-Eustis for four years.
“The RLSO MIDLANT family could not possibly be more proud of Ms. Davenport‘s selection for the 2018-2019 Executive Leadership Development Program,” said Capt. Peter R. Koebler, commanding officer RLSO MIDLANT. “The Navy is clearly making a wise investment because there are simply no limits to Ms. Davenport‘s potential for serving in senior leadership positions. I look forward with great anticipation to following Ms. Davenport‘s future career progression. Her enthusiasm for public service is unrivaled. I am, therefore, quite confident that she will successfully leverage all of the various lessons she learns throughout the course.”
Davenport first learned about the program from Lt. Cmdr. Denise Romeo, professional development officer, whose husband had been a previous selectee. She then talked to Cmdr. Chris Kimball, Cmdr. Marc Brewen, and Koebler, who all thought she would be an excellent candidate for the program. After doing some research on the program, she immediately became interested in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“Receiving this honor means so much, especially in a time when being a “government worker” is subject to furloughs, shutdowns, pay freezes, and reductions in force,” said Davenport. “Being selected for the ELDP means that all of the effort that I have put into my almost fifteen-year legal career has been recognized and that some of the harder times that I experienced were worth it. It also means that as I enter into my mid-career period, I will have many more exciting options available to me and the freedom to pursue different opportunities, if I so choose. Finally, and most importantly, it will be the greatest honor to work with active duty service members of all branches and to see and participate first-hand in the training and work that they do on a daily basis to serve and protect our country.”
The ELDP is open on an annual basis to DoD civilian leaders at the GS-12 through GS-14 and equivalent levels, and participants are selected by the individual military services. The course, designed to help participants gain exposure to other DoD agencies, includes monthly deployments to military facilities, combatant commands, forward-deployed locations, and other government organizations to provide an umbrella overview of the DoD and help them better understand the challenges and cultures of each of the services. Participants conduct research, write reports, and complete other homework assignments in addition to working their full-time jobs.