Latest News, Local News, International News, US Politics, Economy

The Biden Administration Spends More Than $25,000 on Media Training and Executive Mentoring for the Head of the CDC

According to internal CDC expense authorization filings obtained by West Wing Playbook, the Biden administration spent $25,750 and authorised an additional $30,500 for ROCHELLE WALENSKY, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to receive media training and executive coaching. The filings were obtained by West Wing Playbook.

According to the filings, Walensky hired MANDY GRUNWALD, a veteran Democratic political consultant, to provide him with media training beginning in October 2021. The training consisted of virtual sessions and cost approximately $500 per hour.

The CDC has paid Grunwald’s company a total of $16,000, and they have the authorization to spend an additional $14,000.

Walensky has also been working with a coach consistently to strengthen her managerial abilities.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will pay $9,750 to Wellesley Partners, which is situated in Boston, beginning in March 2021, and they have the authority to pay an additional $16,500. These sessions are also charged at a rate of $500 per hour.

The Government Employees Training Act (GETA), which provides agencies with freedom on paying for employee training, authorises the expenditures.

The CDC’s filing requirements for spending permission include a requirement that a “training aim” be indicated.

In addition, in the section for training objectives, Grunwald’s company wrote that it will “help [Walensky’s] staff in drafting clear language to explain CDC’s public health guidelines and educate Dr Walensky to effectively deal with television interviews and other public communications.”

Grunwald did not react to an email seeking comment, and neither Grunwald nor Wellesley Partners responded to a phone or an email requesting comment.

However, JASON McDONALD, a spokesperson for Walensky, informed us that “CDC directors have long received media coaching to ensure that they are effectively and clearly communicating to public health partners and the American people” (factors that are essential to the responses to disease outbreaks).

In addition to this, McDonald mentioned that “the selection of an executive coach is a personal matter, and the best coaches are those with whom the principal can create rapport and confidence.” In addition, he mentioned that Walensky chose the coach that “worked best for her.”

Even though the federal government already has coaching programmes in place for the executive branch, Grunwald and Sullivan’s company was hired despite this fact.

According to the Chief Human Capital Officers Council, which helps coordinate the programmes, “services may be shared across agencies at no cost” in the federal government’s existing coaching programmes for the executive branch.

The conservative group Americans for Public Trust submitted a Freedom of Information Act request, and as a result, they were able to obtain the documents regarding the CDC’s expenses.

They then shared these documents with West Wing Playbook. According to CAITLIN SUTHERLAND, the executive director of the organisation, “Dr Walensky’s whole term has been hampered by poor communication, contradicting guidance, and a forced makeover of her agency.” This was said by CAITLIN.

And now we find out that taxpayers will have to pay tens of thousands of dollars to keep her afloat by paying for trainers and advisors.

The expense reports provide a glimpse into the work that is being done behind the scenes at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to enhance the messaging surrounding the Covid procedures and the management of the expansive organisation.


The government has been criticised on multiple occasions for issuing guidance that is unclear or ambiguous about masking procedures, isolation protocols, and the deployment of booster doses.

Walensky, who came from academia and had little experience in the federal government, has a tendency to lapse into “academic speak” when trying to explain the nuances of the agency’s decision-making to the public, rather than sticking to simple and straightforward talking points.

This has occasionally frustrated other senior officials. Walensky came from academia and had little experience in the federal government.

MAX STIER, the chief executive officer of the Partnership for Public Service, which offers executive coaching to several federal organisations such as the CDC, stated that Walensky ought to be commended, rather than condemned, for engaging the services of a coach.

“There can’t be very many professions that are more complicated than running the CDC right now,” he said, adding that because of this, she should take advantage of any assistance she can obtain.

“She deserves praise for recognising that that is, in fact, something that has to be prioritised. When leaders are so focused on getting things done, they sometimes lose sight of the fact that investing in learning how to do things effectively pays in return.

Jeff Pon, who served as the head of the Office of Personnel Management during the Trump administration and who wrote a statement advocating the use of executive coaches, concurred that Walensky should be commended for engaging the services of an executive coach.

“To most lay people, five hundred bucks an hour looks costly,” he added, “but the coaches I know that coach CEOs cost much more.”

Read more:-

However, he stated that he believed it would have been better to employ the coaches that were provided by the federal government. “The official solution that I can give you is that you should always use the resources provided by the federal government first.”

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.