- Margaret Daum, Partner, Squire Patton Boggs; former Staff Director, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee
- Ray Shepherd, Vice President for Government Relations, World Wide Technology; former Staff Director and Chief Counsel, Senate HSGAC Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations
- Justin Rood, Congressional Oversight Initiative Director, POGO
About the Congressional Training Program
There is no cost for participating in the seminars. They are for legislative branch staff only, are off the record, and refreshments are provided. Seminars will generally be held on the last Friday of the month in the Capitol Visitor Center or alternating each month between rooms in the Senate and House office buildings.
True to POGO's non-partisan mission, the training seminars always have both a Republican and Democratic presenter, and may also include presenters from the GAO, CRS, Inspectors General, media, and NGOs. Seminar topics have ranged from "How to Prepare for an Oversight Hearing" to "Making the Most of Your Resources Part 1: GAO" to "Advanced Seminar: Oversight of the Financial Sector."
Congressional oversight is a bipartisan responsibility and effort. Therefore, the Honorary Co-Hosts are Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and the Senate. This Congress's Honorary Co-Hosts are Senator Charles Grassley and Representative Jackie Speier. POGO launched its Congressional Training Program (then called the Congressional Oversight Training Series) nearly a decade ago to provide Congressional staffers, at no cost, with exercises, case reviews, and lessons from some of the most accomplished current and former Congressional oversight experts and practitioners from both parties.
More than 2,000 staffers—both novice and seasoned, from Democratic and Republican offices, and from personal and committee offices—have attended these seminars. Below are just a few of the myriad compliments the program has received in the staffers' seminar evaluations.
"Excellent discussion and great guest speakers. Very knowledgeable with good handouts."
"I like the fact that this is a series—that you continually remind staff of the need to do oversight. As opposed to one seminar at the beginning of the session which we promptly forget about in the rush of everything else we've got to do."
"Real life situations and tips very helpful to new investigator."
"Each session gives new ideas as to how oversight can be done—based on the firsthand experiences relayed by the panelist. It helps answer the question: 'Where do we start?'"