Stuck in the Middle – How to Manage Up and Down

1-Hour Breakout Session
Wednesday, Sept. 21 from 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. ET
ECQ 4: Business Acumen
Attendees Can Earn 1 CPE Credit

Middle managers make up the vast majority of supervisors in government. How do you make sure you aren’t lost in the shuffle but are executing the needs of both your team and your direct supervisors?

Key Takeaway: In this session, you will hear from a government leader about how to effectively manage up and down without losing your marbles. 

Relevant Competencies: Problem Solving, External Awareness


Alex D. Tremble, Career and Culture Coach at G.P.S. Leadership Solutions and Host of The Executive Appeal Podcast

Alex is an award-winning speaker, author, and leadership expert who has over a decade of experience coaching and advising some of our nation’s most senior-level government leaders. He is also the host of The Executive Appeal podcast, which is focused on providing ambitious leaders with the leadership and career advancement skills required to excel as senior and executive leaders.

Alex began his career managing three government-wide senior leadership development programs, and quickly went on to establish the Tremble Influence Academy, while publishing two bestselling books (“Reaching Senior Leadership: 10 Growth Strategies Every Government Leader Should Know” and “The GPS Guide to Success”) geared towards helping leaders gain influence and attain career success. Alex is a Leadership Center for Excellence 40 under 40 honoree and is passionate and committed to helping our leaders across the world reach their highest potential; personally, and professionally. In addition to his speaking, he serves as the Chief Culture Officer for America’s second-largest national conservation corps; American Conservation Experience. Alex received his Bachelor’s degree in sociology and psychology from William Penn University and his Master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology from the University of Baltimore. Please visit to gain the tools and strategies you need to reach your leadership and career goals.

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Dr. Theresa Horne, Director, Diversity and Equal Opportunity Office (DEO), Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency

Dr. Theresa R. Horne is the Director of the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity of the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA). In this capacity, Dr. Horne exercises leadership of the diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) and equal employment opportunity (EEO) teams supporting approximately 14,000 federal employees and contractors. Dr. Horne manages, directs, and coordinates the day-to-day operations and strategic vision of the office. She is responsible for interpreting EEO policy and regulations to implement higher-level actions that directly shape the culture at DCSA and improve operations throughout the agency.

Prior to this role, Dr. Horne served as the Chief Diversity Officer for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) where she created and managed the implementation of the DEIA Strategic Plan, advised the Executive Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council on key opportunities to bolster women and underserved groups through sourcing, recruitment, retention and upward mobility for a 21,000+ employee organization. Dr. Horne successfully led the reasonable accommodations team, Anti-Harassment program, organizational climate assessments team, special emphasis programming team, diversity training, and the agency-wide vaccine exemption planning process, building policy and processes that were utilized across the Department of Homeland Security.

Additionally, Dr. Horne led award-winning culture efforts internationally in Yokosuka, Japan with Defense Logistics Agency before returning to Washington, DC to continue her work as a Senior Program Manager at the National Labor Relations Board. Her culture work has been recognized by federal and private industry earning her many awards like the Meritorious Service Award as well as being recognized as one of Mogul’s Top 100 DEI Leaders in 2021 due to her extensive inclusion work for women and people of color across the federal government. Dr. Horne is a sought-after speaker and trusted thought leader on the intersection of DEIA, leadership development and human capital. 


Ben Baldwin, Youth Partnership Program Fund Manager, Experienced Services Program Coordinator, Youth Conservation Corps Program Coordinator, Youth – Facilities Liaison, National Park Service, Youth Program Division

Ben is currently the NPS Youth Program Fund Manager and coordinates several service-wide programs.  He began his NPS career at Rocky Mountain National Park, working with DEIA, citizen science, and youth programs.  He then became the Youth and Volunteer Program manager for the Intermountain Region and more recently moved to the national level with the youth programs.

His career has focused on creatively working in bureaucracies; local, state, and federal. Ben has a love for developing innovative programs to address long-term wicked problems. He is comfortable operating in novel systems to lead the way. His experience has helped him develop a strong focus on value alignment and working to address issues in real time with limited resources. Ben’s career shifted from field-based resource management to program administration which has allowed him to focus on leveraging his efforts to have a larger, lasting impact on resource stewardship and professional development.

Ben works remotely in Colorado and enjoys spending time with his fantasy team and blaming his son for his Lego addiction.