Aspiring Leaders Executive Development Program


The Department of Administrative Services, in partnership with the Connecticut Training & Development Network (CTDN), is pleased to offer the Aspiring Leaders Executive Development Program for State of Connecticut managers.

Aspiring Leaders is designed to develop up and coming managers to become our next generation of leaders. It focuses on the critical skills needed for effective leadership today and in the future.  Our newly expanded program includes high level speakers in government leadership from the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches. Each manager will develop a capstone project proposal, utilizing training from the program, to address critical agency needs, such as succession planning, improving internal processes, implementing cultural change initiatives to improve customer service, or other important goals selected by your agency.


Aspiring Leaders is 10 full training days completed over a 3 month period (note: there are homework assignments in this program).  The modules are:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Results Based Accountability / Data Analysis and Presentation
  • Project Management
  • Process Improvement
  • MBTI Self Assessment
  • Leadership (2 days)
  • Leading through Change and Presentation Skills
  • Presentation of Capstone Project Proposals  (2 days) and Graduation

Similar management programs covering these topics can cost thousands of dollars in the education and private sectors.   The cost of Aspiring Leaders is made truly affordable through the collaborative efforts of managers from the CTDN network and state government officials who teach or give presentations for this program.  Each year that cost is shared in a letter to all agency heads.  You can be sure (for the near term) it will not exceed a few hundred dollars at most.   Class size is limited to 35.

Nomination Process

As noted above, your agency head is sent a letter from DAS notifying them of an upcoming program (your Staff Development or HR Office is usually cc’d.  This letter contains the dates of the program and cost and a deadline for sending in each agency’s nomination. 

The Agency Leadership evaluates and selects nominees for the program; those nominees meet the following conditions:

  • Must be in the managerial series
  • Cannot have previously attended a management development program five days or more in length (not including the New Manager Orientation Program)
  • Should be a rising lower or middle level manager
  • Should be in good standing with the agency
  • Must be approved by the agency head or designee with signature

From the eligible nominations, the final 35 class members are selected and their agencies notified. 

It is important to note that this program requires a full commitment.  Applicants should review the dates and times of each session and be sure that they are able to attend the entire program and, (mentally) make the decision that they will apply themselves to this opportunity before taking a seat from someone else.

For more information please contact the program coordinator, Peggy Zabawar, DAS or to ask questions specific concerning this program, below is the list of core instructors:

Cheryl Cepelak, DOC – 860-692-7844
Deana Giordano, DOL – 860-263-6677
Alan Hyla, Judicial – 860-827-7083
Cheryl Malerba, DOT – 860-594-3607
Bob McGarry, DMV – 860-263-5735