AFERM Newsletter, Issue 40, March 2022

This 40th issue of the quarterly AFERM Newsletter includes thought leadership articles from enterprise risk management (ERM) practitioners with Amazon Web Services, Accenture Federal Services, and Verea Group.

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President’s Corner

Daniella DatskovskaUpdates on AFERM’s Initiatives

By Daniella Datskovska, AFERM President

Hello AFERM members, sponsors, and all who are reading this because you are interested in ERM/AFERM and support our mission. I hope that this issue finds you and yours well and safe. When I wrote my last message to you in December, I contemplated the events of the past year and said that “we must approach our new decade with hope, a sense of adventure, and renewed flexibility. We know that things will not be ‘the same’ again.”

Experiencing the turmoil of the last two months—the war in Ukraine, heightened nuclear threat, worldwide food and energy shortages, exasperated supply chain disruptions— things indeed are not the same and never will be. I think, given that our professional experience trained us to think daily of risks and their subsequent opportunities, we are in a unique position to address these ongoing and ever-compounding threats with vigor and resilience. This can be done by thinking, planning, and acting to preserve or increase the long-term value of the organizations we serve.

Despite the gloominess of world events, spring is here. With it, we have revival, hope, and plans for a better tomorrow. Bearing this in mind, we are excited to begin planning and preparing for the AFERM marquee event – our annual Summit. After two years of virtual meetings and conferences, we are thrilled to announce our 2022 Summit: Navigating the Unknowns that Matter, will be held at the Ronald Reagan Building, October 26 and 27, 2022.

We encourage you to dust off your dress shoes and join us in-person for this two-day conference, where we will hear from a multitude of government and industry speakers and enjoy the comradery we have so deeply missed over the past couple years. That being said, we recognize and appreciate everyone’s personal preferences as we navigate the return to in-person events and are thus excited to offer a hybrid attendance option for those who still wish to participate virtually. Please be on the lookout for early bird registration announcements. Additionally, there is still time to volunteer on a committee to help shape the Summit’s plenary and breakout sessions, as well as aid with marketing and logistics.

Our Programs Committee kicked off the year strongly. Hopefully, you had an opportunity to attend the webinars where we discussed ERM Areas of Practice Guidance and can apply the guidance in your work. We plan to offer more events leading up to the Summit, so please keep an eye on our announcements. There are some exciting topics and speakers that are being lined up for these events as we speak. The topics aligned well with the strategic areas of focus that many of you are working on with your organization, including environmental, social, and governance (ESG)/managing climate-related risks, transforming customer experiences and a number of others.

As you might recall, one of my priorities for this year—in addition to AFERM offering you enriched, relevant content—is to refresh and increase the AFERM volunteer community. I am really grateful and happy to report that, since the start of our volunteer recruiting campaign, we had nine more new volunteers join us! This is quite unprecedented in such a short time period. Thank you to each of you who joined us recently and, of course, to all our veteran volunteers. AFERM could not be what it is without these dedicated people.

Whether it is talent retention and succession planning; ESG matters; climate change; transforming customer experience; lingering global pandemic concerns; uncertain economic and market conditions; supply chain disruptions; rapidly changing digital technologies; and innovations with cloud computing, cyber, artificial intelligence/machine learning—whatever your organization’s critical risks and opportunities might be, we are here to share, learn together, and exchange practical approaches and original ideas.

AFERM members, its Board, and sponsors represent many, if not most, of the federal agencies (and adjacent industries). I hope you get involved with AFERM, ask questions, and let us be your partner in our common purpose of enriching the ERM profession and managing risks and opportunities.

Thank you for the honor of serving as President of this one-of-a-kind association.

All the best,

Daniella Datskovska, AFERM President, may be contacted at