Employee profile: Deputy Program Manager Malanie English
Malanie English is a Program Manager on the Training Delivery Services Contract for the Center for Domestic Preparedness. We recently interviewed her about her career and supporting the CDP's mission.
Can you tell us a little about your background and how you came to your current role? How long have you been at Leidos and how long have you supported CDP?
I have 36 years of professional experience with the U.S. Army and Leidos. For the majority of that time, I have specialized in working with weapons of mass destruction (WMD), chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear explosives (CBRNE), and hazardous materials (HAZMAT). I have a Master of Science in emergency management, a Master of Public Administration (MPA), and a technical certificate in foundations of chemical engineering.
For the past decade, I have supported the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP). I started as the Chemical, Ordnance, Biological, and Radiological Training Facility (COBRATF) task manager, where I managed all training conducted within the COBRATF. I managed the Commanders Emergency Response Program (CERP) certification for instructors and support personnel, and when needed, I served as a qualified instructor. I worked closely with the CDP and other COBRATF contractors on the initial integration of biological agents into the COBRATF courses in 2012. In 2015, I accepted the position as the deputy program manager for Leidos’ CDP Training Delivery Services Contract.
In my current role, I oversee and supervise the training management teams for the COBRATF, the main training facility, Noble Training Facility, and the exercise department ensuring the flawless execution of all resident and non-resident courses on the contract.
What do you enjoy most about your role? What do you find most challenging?
While serving in the military, I felt a sense of service to others. My current role still allows me to achieve that satisfaction because I am serving others by training first responders across the country.
The most challenging aspect of my role is the constant change. No two weeks are the same. But that also keeps me engaged and excited to come to work.
Your program trains first responders and receivers to react in some of the most stressful situations in an ever-changing environment. How do you keep trainings up to date and realistic?
First, we start with highly-qualified instructors. We select the best instructors with the experience needed, nationally-known and still actively engaged in their profession within their community. We use them as subject matter experts (SME) to support the government in curriculum development. We also require that our SME staff have a minimum of 10 years of experience and have hands-on experience responding to a major incident. Second, we rely on ongoing industry and regulatory research and student surveys to improve course materials. Finally, we rely on our highly-trained role players in the live exercises to help make the training more realistic.
What does it mean to you to “Train the best for the worst?”
The students that attend our training are passionate about helping and supporting others during manmade and natural disasters. They enjoy learning how to prepare for and respond to events while ensuring life preservation. What our contract does daily truly supports the overall mission as we continue to provide the best training to our students and we continue to prepare them for the worst.
What is one thing that surprises most people about your role?
I my role, I apply the knowledge and skills I’ve gained from decades of experience to ensure the seamless execution of our courses. However, I also have the opportunity, ability, and even the expectation to maintain a current active instructor status and provide training to students as needed. In addition to being the deputy program manager, I still provide classroom instruction and continue working in live agent training.
How do you see the trainings evolving to remain effective in the future?
Currently our SMEs are working with curriculum to develop advanced courses in areas of HAZMAT, healthcare, and law enforcement. Some of our courses end the week in an integrated exercise. Leidos and the CDP have discussed the potential of expanding the integrated exercise to include other classes. In addition, we’ve identified a need for customized, mobile exercises based on a community’s specific needs. This type of course could ensure that the community can function as a whole to resolve any disastrous event. As we look to develop future trainings, we will always be evolving our courses to address emerging needs and changing events taking place in our country.