Webvent Academy

Bringing Professionals Together

Talent Identification and Development in DoD

Thursday, June 29, 2023 11:00am - 12:00pm EDT

Host: Association for Talent Development
By: Karen Fray, Chief of Staff, National Security Innovation Network (NSIN); Dr. Wendy Walsh, Chief Learning Officer, Air Education and Training Command; Dr. Marina Theodotou, Organizational Change Expert, Defense Acquisition University; and Christina Parker, Chief Learning Officer, US Air Force

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To identify and develop innovative talent across the US Department of Defense (DoD) requires much more than permission to think outside the box. It requires a composite of exceptional minds encouraged to expand and multiply their ideas through discussion, analysis, and extensive questioning of each other. To accomplish this task, hiring and assignment practices are key. They must be designed to identify and attract key skills, knowledge, and other attributes that can substantively enhance the mix of teams created for innovation. Join us in discussing how we can better empower the military to identify talent and better promote and manage that talent to defend our nation.


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Karen Fray
Karen Fray

Chief of Staff, National Security Innovation Network (NSIN)

Karen Fray is the Chief of Staff (CoS) of the National Security Innovation Network (NSIN). She joined NSIN in 2021 and has been unwavering in her commitment to create a collaborative workforce that values talent equity.

Before moving to her current position, she served as the Director of NSIN’s Talent Portfolio, where she was responsible for providing flexible pathways to official service within the Department of Defense (DoD).

Under her leadership, NSIN provided experiential learning opportunities for talent, generated solutions for DoD. NSIN’s efforts fuel the workforce pipeline, bringing together the military, academia, and venture communities to develop actionable solutions to our military’s most pressing emerging problem sets.

Fray has also served as president of Central Florida’s Women in Defense (WID) chapter for two years and in 2019 presided over the Chapter's 10 year anniversary celebration. She also serves on the subcommittee of the National Training Simulation Association (NTSA)’s Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) which covers a diverse set of topics essential to the simulation, training, and education communities. 

Dr. Wendy Walsh
Dr. Wendy Walsh

Chief Learning Officer, Air Education and Training Command

Dr. Wendy D. Walsh is the Chief Learning Officer, Air Education and Training Command, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. She is responsible for providing leadership, support and technical direction to enable an Air Force culture of learning. Dr. Walsh connects learning professionals to collectively build, share, and sustain an accessible, meaningful continuum of learning for Airmen.

Dr. Walsh graduated in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and master of public administration in 2003 from Sonoma State University. She earned her doctorate in Education Leadership from Frostburg State University in 2021. A career public servant, she has worked in both state and federal agencies for the last 30 years. Dr. Walsh has an impressive track record collaborating with governments, academia, industry and communities to develop research, grow education, apply innovation and expand possibilities to create culturally relevant, effective educational experiences responsive to organizational needs. 

Dr. Marina Theodotou
Dr. Marina Theodotou

Organizational Change Expert, Defense Acquisition University

Dr. Marina Theodotou is an organizational change expert at the Defense Acquisition University, at the U.S. Department of Defense and the curator and host of the "Think Differently" webcast series, one of the 13 series of the award-winning DAU webcasts program that inspires and empowers the workforce to think differently, learn deliberately and lead boldly. She recently completed a rotation as director for learning experiences at NavalX at the U.S. Department of the Navy.

Throughout her career, Dr. Theodotou has been leading people, leading change, building coalitions, leveraging astute business acumen and delivering business outcomes. She has led diverse teams globally and together solved problems in learning and development, strategy, innovation, digital transformation, entrepreneurship, operational efficiency, customer satisfaction and financial efficiency. She has delivered these results in four verticals including banking and finance, management consulting, learning and development, and defense. She did this work in three geographies: the Americas, the European Union and the Middle East. Most recently Dr. Theodotou led Defense Acquisition University’s flagship learning experience, TEDxDAU for for two consecutive years, which resulted in boosting the university brand and inspiring and empowering over 5,000 Department of Defense workforce members.

Dr. Theodotou is an assistant professor at the Jack Welch Management Institute, a mentor in the Executive Women in Government Program and a Chief Learning Officer Learning in Practice Awards judge since 2020.

Dr. Theodotou has advised governments in Latin America, the European Union and the Middle East on financial sector development, foreign direct investment and innovation ecosystems. She is a Rotary International Fellow, a Competent Toastmaster and a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation scholarship winner. Committed to giving back, Dr. Theodotou is a mentor in the Executive Women in Government program. 

Christina Parker
Christina Parker

Chief Learning Officer, US Air Force

Christina K. Parker, is the Chief of the Faculty and Staff Development Branch for the Directorate of Training and Doctrine (DOTD) for the United States Aviation Center of Excellence (USAACE), Fort Rucker, Alabama. Dr. Parker serves as a leading expert for learning technology research as well as curriculum design, development, and delivery to ensure force readiness through high caliber learning and performance planning, programming, and implementation. She researches
and develops data driven solutions to support, sustain, and improve the development of USAACE human capital, talent management, and operational mission accomplishment. Her solutions seek to integrate future concept design, future Army operations, and advanced learning technology to fight and win against attacks across all multi-operational domains.