Human Capital

Recipient of the 2005 Excellence In Leadership Award

James A. Sturdevant

In recognition of your outstanding acts, services, and achievements that exemplify and support the USGS goals throughout the bureau.

The award will be presented at U.S. Geological Survey's Honor Awards Ceremony on October 27, 2005, in Reston, Virginia.

Excellence in Leadership Award


James A. Sturdevant

James Sturdevant, Deputy Chief of the National Center for Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS), is a leader whose individuality, humor, generosity, and sincerity are without equal. He is deeply respected for living by the principles of the USGS Leadership Program, and innumerable USGS employees have benefited from his example through formal courses and mentoring, informal guidance, and simple association.

Jim is an excellent example of what principle-centered leadership should be all about. In a debate, he listens to all sides and then presents a synthesis solution that makes everyone feel heard. Although Jim's calendar is always full, he does not forget the individual employee that needs his time. He always rewards others who demonstrate the qualities he promotes and further reinforces that set of values in the organization. Jim would be the first to tell you that he is fallible. But he responds to that fallibility with honesty and integrity, which is what has garnered Jim even more respect from colleagues.

Jim shares his experiences and lessons-learned with many other USGS employees as an instructor of ?What Makes Our Work Life Rewarding? in the USGS Leadership Program. He gives generously of himself in time and talent, and he shares with his students that they should expect the same of themselves, their supervisors, and the work environment where they spend so many hours of their day. Jim teaches by example, both by sharing personal experiences and by living the leadership principles. Even in times of stress, such as our Landsat 7 hardware failure, Jim seeks to always find the positive in order to make EROS and the USGS a rewarding work environment.

Jim believes in the USGS Mentoring Program, and the philosophy that mentoring responds to critical needs in the life of a person in ways that prepare the individual for greater career satisfaction, productivity, and achievement. Jim was one of the first to volunteer his time when the USGS rolled out its 1-Year Guided Mentoring Program and was instrumental in bringing and continuing the Self-Directed Mentoring Program at EROS. Jim is often sought out by new USGS employees to help them gain the knowledge and understanding they need to be successful as they begin and/or continue their career within the Survey. Jim views and demonstrates through his words and actions that mentoring is a true partnership with both individuals learning and growing through their shared experiences.

In addition, Jim consistently promotes the development of leadership, communication, and teamwork skills. Jim recommended and sponsored the creation of a continuing series of workshops held biweekly at EROS to enhance teamwork and conflict resolution skills. He reviewed the plans as they developed, encouraged the team as the series was initiated, and personally introduced the new series at an all-hands meeting encouraging all employees to attend. Jim, in a show of visible support, has attended and actively participated in numerous sessions.

Although organizational change can be challenging, Jim has taken leadership roles in many aspects of recent contracting and management policies. Jim has guided, advised, and mentored EROS management and technical staff in the standards and guidelines for performance-based contracting. Jim's efforts have been instrumental in the evolution of the EROS Technical Support Services Contract (TSSC) as a model for service contracting within the USGS and the DOI. Concurrent with his commitment to implementation of advanced contracting practices, Jim was also the driving force behind investigating and revising the Management Operations Concept for the EROS Government staff.

Jim's true leadership skill rests upon his sense of humor. He uses his sense of humor to make connections with people. From sharing a story in the hallway to juggling in a ringleader costume in front of the entire EROS staff, Jim uses his humor to create a sense of friendship, of family. Jim's sincerity paired with his humor is a leadership tool that is without measure.

Through his commitment to excellence, his discipline in management and leadership processes, his dedication to advancing his peers in their aspirations as USGS managers, and his sense of humor through it all, Jim Sturdevant has demonstrated that he is deserving to be the recipient of the 2005 USGS Excellence in Leadership Award.

« Back to USGS Excellence in Leadership Award - Description Page


Sandy Bruner

Leadership Development Program Manager
Office of Employee Development
Phone: 703-648-5764

Kim Miller

Leadership Intensive/Mentoring Programs Manager
Office of Employee Development
Phone: 304-743-5429