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“Pride in public service” crucial to success, Dawson members tell Corps

Updated: Jun 6, 2020

Lester Edelman, Senior Counsel / Senior Advocate

Earlier today in Fairfax County, Virginia, our firm’s leadership had the honor of participating in the Planning Associates Program of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  The event was held at the Humphrey Engineering Center in Fairfax County, Virginia and speakers included our firm’s founder Robert Dawson, our Chief Operating Officer Brigadier General (Ret.) Richard Capka , and Senior Counsel/Senior Advocate Lester Edelman.

For more than two hours, Bob, Rick and Les engaged attendees in a spirited and comprehensive discussion about Governmental Relations and its role in assisting the Corps of Engineers and the Corps’ public and private sector partners.  They also looked at how lobbying can assist planning missions and other issues involving mutual goals of the Corps and the general public.

Bob and Rick began by presenting a case study of how our firm worked with the Corps and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to resolve a Florida issue which resulted in the granting of a permit for a vital road construction project by the Corps while maximizing the protection of an endangered species.

This was followed by important and timely remarks from Les on “Pride in Public Service.”  (Click here for a transcript.)  The Planning Program participants, who were all concerned about sequestration and other budget issues, hung on every word.

When it was over, the organizers presented Bob, Rick and Les with pins that, quite appropriately, included these phrases: Growing Leaders, Serving with Integrity, and Planning Solutions.

The Planning Associates Program is an advanced training opportunity in water resources planning targeted to journeyman-level professionals in the field of water resources, which is generally at the GS-11 and GS-12 level of Federal service. The program consists of approximately 20 weeks of rigorous training scheduled in 1–3 week blocks.

The goals of the program as stated by the Corps are to broaden planners’ competencies in solving complex water resources problems and challenges, and to strengthen their leadership talents. The program is rich in team building, leadership training, experiential training in the Corps’ civil works business programs, and networking opportunities with leaders from the public and private sectors.

Maj. Gen. (Ret) Don Riley, Senior Vice President

General Riley formerly served as Deputy Commanding General and Deputy Chief of Engineers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers


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