The EPA Goodwill Ambassador Program (GAP) is a proposed pilot program designed to allow those EPA employees interested in traveling to areas at or near other EPA offices the opportunity to work partial days or weeks as a visiting staff member (“Ambassador”).
The idea for this program came from my long-standing belief that in order to establish better communications between EPA Regions and Headquarters as well as to gain a better understanding of our programs at a National level, staff and managers at the Regional level should take short-term work assignments at EPA Headquarters. Conversely, Headquarters staff and managers should take advantage of similar opportunities.
The objective of GAP is to promote innovative thinking and collaboration that mutually benefits the home and host offices. GAP is intended to be used in conjunction with staff vacations where Ambassadors can visit other great areas of our country with out using annual or other forms of leave for all the time away from the home office. At the discretion of all parties, work can also be performed on a full time basis for the duration of the flexi-place agreement.
Expected benefits could include any of the following. The home office benefits from the Ambassador keeping up with some of their typical work applicable under flexi-place, and/or the host office gains short term assistance from a visiting Ambassador, preferably the latter. Both offices gain from the Ambassador’s visit by learning how their counterpart addresses challenges unique to the other EPA office. In addition, the Ambassador’s visit can promote dialogue that identifies shared goals and problem solving activities between each office. The Ambassador develops stronger working relationships with those in other office locations, experiences diverse aspects of their particular environmental program from different points-of-view, and should provide valuable assistance for the host programs.
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