Nexight Group
Q&A with New Program Manager Karsten Daponte
Nexight GroupAugust 26, 2020

Nexight Group is happy to welcome Karsten Daponte to the team as a new Program Manager. Karsten has an MIPP in International Relations (with a Strategic Studies concentration) from Johns Hopkins University (SAIS), and a BS in Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy. Karsten’s professional interests are in the areas of strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, technology, and data analytics. We sat down with Karsten to ask him a few questions about himself, his views, and his new role at Nexight.

Q: Tell us a little about yourself.

A: I have spent most of the past 10-15 years working in roles related to strategic planning for Federal agencies. I love working with teams to synthesize strategy, technology and innovation, policy, governance, and stakeholder engagement. With my underpinning in the engineering discipline, and experience addressing the common challenges of implementing strategy, I thrive on clearing the obstacles that organizations must overcome to spend their time, energy, and resources where it can be most impactful. Public service has always been important to me, and I have gotten great fulfillment through prior roles serving in the U.S. Navy, working as a civil servant, and supporting the government from the outside. I have valued every professional opportunity to work on compelling and complex issues facing our Federal government and private industry.

I’m a native of Bethesda, MD, where I now reside with my wife and three children. My passions include the environment, building a sustainable future, soccer, and music.

Q: Why did you decide to join Nexight Group?

A: Nexight helps organizations navigate the intersection between strategic planning, technology, public policy, and data analysis. As I learned more about the company’s purpose, reputation, people, and culture, I was compelled to join the team. I felt that working with this group of smart and dedicated professionals would offer me a special opportunity to do meaningful work, make a difference, continue learning, and have fun doing it!

Q: Why did you pursue a career in professional consulting?

A: I have a mindset which most consultants probably share: We get genuine satisfaction from helping individuals, teams, and organizations tackle really difficult problems. The opportunity to work on a variety of programs across the public and private sector is also very attractive. An engineer at heart, my curiosity about how things work drives me to continually learn and grow. As a strategist and planner, I enjoy looking beyond the horizon, highlighting issues that busy leaders can potentially get distracted from.

Q: What are you most looking forward to about your new role at Nexight?

A: I am most looking forward to collaborating with, and learning from, my colleagues to help our clients deal with the landscape of challenges that we are entrusted to solve.

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