Thursday, March 14, 2013

Second Applicant Incredible: Laurel Hummel, Vet and Geographer

Here are my very rough notes, no time to clean them up a bit before the next candidate.  But I can't image them finding a better qualified person for this job.  Familiarity with Alaska, GIS, and on and on.

Warning:  Very rough notes:

12:30  - Laurel HummelHummel

Torgerson: All board members present.  Another Executive Director applicant. 
Hi, thanks for joining us today, taking time, how do we address you.  Dr. ? 
Hummel:  Gloria [Laurel] is just fine.
Torgerson:  First want to clarify terms of the job.  State position, but once maps approved by court, the board will dissovle and everything go away.  We expect to be done about Feb. or March 2014, lots of ifs, could go on more.  Have election plan in place for 1014 elections and filing deadline is June 1.  We want complete and approved plan at least 30 days prior to election itself.  Then job would consist of closing down the office, archiving records.  Might be a year and two months.  Whatever.  Not a full time position
Hummel:  I recognize the irony  the better you do your job the sooner you’re out of the job.
Torgerson: ------ some folks thought it was a full time position.  Just want to make it clear.  Broadcasting and people listening on line don’t have info.
Walk us through your managerial
Hummel:  30 years of mgt and leadership experience.  Retired last summer from career in US army.  20 years intelligence office.  Tenure track position in geography.  Switched tracks became educator and leader in education.  Wide variety of leadership AND staff positions.  Stints in operations, intelligence and security.  Here in Alaska. Company command positions manged ??? people through two levels of command.  13 occupations.  I’m a geographer, human geographer.  One who understands culture and people’s connection to place.  My doctoral study focused on alaska.  How did US military figure into alaska particularly in Cold War era, particularly politically.  How did Alaska of today affected by US military.  When I became a doctoral candidate and completed work at University of Colorado in Boulder.  We moved back to Alaska and looked at the 400+ installation and categorized them.  Complicated relationship the military had with Alaska Native population.  Looked at the environmental spoiling the military was responsible for and the medical experiements and how that colored the relationship, territorial guard and National Guard.  I wouldn’t call myself an Alaskan scholar, but a small piece of Alaska I studied with vigor.  Geography community and opened people’s eyes of complexity.
Also worked in advisory capacity.  Done a lot of staff work - hr, intelligence, - giving advice and opinion with discretion when asked for.  Being in intelligence requires some deft movement becuase always trying to predict the future in chaotic circumstances.
Internal consultatn to translate geographic knowledge in ??  Consultant to LA Times? 
Secretary of Defense.  A lot of high stress situations - Iraq, Afghanistan.  doesn’t faze me.  I believe this positions requires some leadership, but more supervisory, putting a great staff together.  Come to appreciate, if choice of 100% mission, but late or 90% on time. . .  Oral communication.  Legislative advocacy at national level.  Board member of Geographers group 10,000 members, on specific projects involved with legislative advocacy.  Haiti earthquake information center???  Project to bring mroe regions of the world into the geographic community.  Persuasive written communicator, know that’s important to this job, to take complex things and write them persuasively  I brought two books I co-edited.  Markers mark a couple of items I wrote at beginning - intro and prologue.  Tried to take something complex to make it not only understandable, but also interesting.  If I failed, don’t hire me, if I succeeded, please consider me.
Good at inspiring staff. Hire for energy, intelligence, and can train for skill. 
I believe in treating teams very well.  Both people working for me and others.
A lot of coalition building in my career.  Difficult in some environments.  Everyone has a different version of the truth.  From that person’s perspective, that is the truth.  But there all these facets of the truth.
Also believe that I have emotional intelligence - understanding what other people value, how they look at the world, and what they’re thinking, even if they aren’t really saying what they are thinking.  Example of coalition building - in Afghanistand I was in charge of all the programs bringing the first women into ????  Extremely difficult. 95% involved didn’t believe it should happen.  But it did.  I was able to cajole people with this is what is in it for you.  Or this is the big picture.
Discreiton and judgment.  Classified environments.  What you can share and not share.  In this position.  Category - what you have to share, should share, can’t.  things that have to be shared with the public and that’s how it should be.
Come from climate that values ethics.  I hold the highest ethical standards.
I see a big difference - where there’s an enemy.  Here I see no enemies.  Press and people are not enemies.  Educational background not just in geography, but also systmes engineering.  You mentioned shutting things down at the end.  ED really needs to be assessing what needs to be  .. . . happens every ten years.  a shame if we reinvent the wheel every ten years. 
Masters Degree in Strategic Leadership - all about astutely lead and manage public organization.  Feel very qualified for the position.  Exciting.  Natural position for a geographer.  I understand the better you do the job, the sooner you’re out of work.
Torgerson:  Thanks for your service.  An incredible resume in keeping us safe.
Hummel:  That was my honor. 
Torgerson:  Need to call back to LIO there’s a terrible echo.  Stand by. 
We’re back.  Can you tell us your experience with Alaska geographer and Alaska Natives.
Hummel:  Got to travel a lot around state and meet with Alaska Native leaders and Anchorage community and people interested in military history.  Don’t know if this is a quiz and want me to tell you what I know or whether I do have knowledge.
Torgerson: Member Greene will ask more questions.  You’ve answered a lot, go to the next one.  Knowledge of state’s travel policy, open meetings act, and administrative procedures act.
Hummel:  I know what I’ve seen on-line, I’ve read them, pretty clear cut.  We have counsel to bounce question on so we are operating properly.  Never worked in the environment of these specific rules.
Torgerson:  And we have a lot of help.
Next question on your staff work you’ve already answered well.
Next deals with numbers, excel spreadsheets, mapping.
Hummel:  Taught quantitative reserarch methods.  Now stats well.  Qualitative research research as well.  I’ve taken GIS courses, but haven’t taught them.  Have used them in work ARC and other…  At one time with ??? And Geo Express.  Worked on prject we did laser imaging detection and ranging.  Radar with ???   Familiar with GIS software which compresses  . . . Not sure what Alaska uses and I’d have to get refamiliar.  Would take me a bit to get back.
Torgerson:  Our plan is our new director would hire a GIS person to be part of the staff and we have one we’ve used in the past at the D of Labor and he will be available too.  One part time when actually drawing and one on staff.
Hummel:  These skills are very perishable.  Either someone currently working with this or just out of school.
Torgerson:  You sound like you have good skills here. 
Hummel:  Do you use ARC products.
Torgerson:  Yes, exactly.
Website design?
Hummel:  To be honest in DoD by the time we were invested in web technology I was at a rank where others took care of it.  Ancillary teaching products  - power point , spread sheets - I’m a whiz.  But websites?  Not so much.
Torgerson:  One mroe:  Any constraints on when you might start?  Just an idea.
Hummel:  I have a commitment to Lower 48 ???? aside from that.
I have to check the dates ???
Torgerson:  Close to four weeks from now? 
Hummel:  I understand you’re on a tight time line.
Holm:  Thank you for your sevice.  You were an officer?  I’m curious what a human geographer is compared to a demographer.
Hummel:  Thanks for the question.  Population geographer is one type.  Medical, ???,
Demographer studies hatching, matching, and dispatching - birth rates, mortality, death rates.  Population geographer studies all that in the context of a specifc place.  For example.  I worked in Africa, trying to use the fertility rates.  How many children per women, does that have impact on civil wars, acssesiblity of water, availability of land, and whether that predicts stability, falling apart and making war.   Demographer cares about the stats, Population geographer takes the numbers further to see how the numbers affect a place and how secure and stable theya re, their economy.  That’s one type fo human geographer.
Holm:  My question from your understanding of what we do, how does that impact what you want.  You mentioned not reinveting the whell.  What do you expect to accomplish in the job.
Hummel:  The mission of the board is to draw the fairest, legal and defensible maps of the state.  Part of that has to do with socio-economic integration - how people make their living and all these are factors that go into where these boundaries should move. 
If you apply one factor, maybe you violate another.  Determine the best fit.  Not all the categories the same importance.  I know some questions about federal or state mandates.  Have to weight this.  ????  …. population, geography, social, economic weigh all that data to come up with the best fit boundary line. 
Greene:  Thank you for joining us.  Very interesting.  I notice relationships with Alaska during Cold War, 2001 AFN, this tells me you’ve gone out to Rural Alaska, can you elaborate which regions.
Hummel:  Barrow, Nome, Shemiya, Bethel, SE, Hoonah, Sitka,
Greene:  Did you meet with local leadership in those communites.
Hummel:  I was there with back pack, camera, note taking.  I had to ask permission, I was on private property.  Place like Anderson near Clear Air base.  [missed a bunch here]  person who wanted to focus on Native ways of knowing and I picked up on that idea because it is a wondeful one.  I did a project on how the curriculum in public schools could be done better.  If you could use the concept of the fishwheel - you could teach math and art and reading and  . . = keeps kids interested.  Learning community, you learn synergistically.  Very gratified that a lot of people thought it was good idea.  Wasn’t rocket science but it was well received.
Torgerson:  Interesting
PeggyAnn McConnochie:  You already answered my question about mapping software.  I’m a software junkie.  You have no problem going back and becoming good at ARC again.
Hummel:  I’d go back and get the cobwebs off. 
Torgerson:  Other questions?  Do you have any questions for us.
Hummel:  I had a few but they’ve been answered.  I want to thank you for your service because you are volunteers in service to the public.
Torgerson:  I will call when the board makes a decision.  Probably do that subject ot reference checks.  Thanks for coming in.
Stand at ease until 1:20.  We’ll continue right on through.

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