Leadership is on the Curriculum for Jefferson Lab SLLP Participants

  • Strategic Lab Leadership Program

Alumni of the Strategic Lab Leadership Program acquire expertise, skills and build relationships with the national lab community that are an asset not only for their own professional growth, but to the lab community.

Strategic Lab Leadership Program is an investment in lab’s people and future

Developing our employees into leaders at the lab is one of the most impactful things we can do. It enhances not only their skills and experience but creates resources that are available to their colleagues, multiplying the positive impact beyond just the participants.  This is particularly true for four Jefferson Lab employees who recently completed the Strategic Laboratory Leadership Program (SLLP), a non-degree executive leadership program designed for emerging leaders in the national lab system sponsored by University of Chicago Argonne, LLC.

Investing in Leadership Skills

This program was developed by the Chicago Booth School of Business exclusively for staff of Argonne, Fermilab, Idaho National Laboratory and Jefferson Lab, providing a curriculum that allows lab programmatic and operations staff selected for their high potential to build leadership skills, network,  and gain cross-functional knowledge. This program is unique in that the instructors have studied the Labs and have created a curriculum that compliments the Department of Energy R&D environments. The goal is to prepare those who complete the program for expanded leadership roles in the lab. The cohort participated in classroom sessions held at the University of Chicago where they cover a variety of topics including Fostering Innovative Thinking and Industry Disruption, Interpersonal Dynamics, Organizational Change, and Developing Talented Leaders. The participants must also complete a team project that is completed between the on-site sessions. “Many of us advance or even drift into leadership positions based on our technical expertise and only learn the essential soft skills of leadership through trial and error.   Programs like SLLP expose those with high leadership potential to these non-obvious skills and accelerate their professionally development.  SLLP graduates are the "Jedi Knights" of our organization, people who can think about our challenges in new and creative ways and can help us seize the opportunities that will carry Jefferson Lab forward to future greatness" says Mike Maier, Chief Operating Officer.

Leveraging Experience and Training Across the Lab

The staff selected for the SLLP program came from across the lab. Yves Roblin, a staff scientist in the Center for Advanced Studies of Accelerators, Joe Matalevich, a mechanical engineer in Engineering, Jennifer Williams, an industrial health manager in ESH&Q and Ruben Fair, a magnet group leader in Engineering, are the most recent Jefferson Lab alumni from the program. Ruben found the program particularly helpful in fine-tuning his performance as a manager. “It allowed me to reflect objectively on my performance as a manager, Fair says, “Professionally I was given the opportunity to meet like-minded professionals from the other labs and to understand some of the challenges they face.”

Building Skills and Relationships

Besides the learning of new skills as part of the program, participants gain insight and, perhaps more importantly, build relationships with professionals from other labs, sometimes with very different missions. It is those varied perspectives that make the program valuable to the alumni, and ultimately to Jefferson Lab. “Over the course of the program, the sharing of experiences with people from other labs and professional disciplines as well as the relationships that are formed during the process may be the most lasting benefit of the program,” says Joe Matelevich. “Two of the primary benefits of the program for me are the tools that were presented for self-evaluation and the relationships that were forged with people from other DOE labs.”

Contact: Deborah Dowd, Jefferson Lab Communications Office, 757-269-7180, dowd@jlab.org

Further Reading: https://leadershipinstitute.anl.gov/services/leadership-development/strategic-laboratory-leadership-program/


Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, manages and operates the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, or Jefferson Lab, for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. JSA is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Southeastern Universities Research Association, Inc. (SURA).

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://energy.gov/science