News | Lt. Col. Sean Fazande Tapped for METRANS Student Chief of Staff

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by Dan Lamere, USC, Master of Urban Planning 2021

With 24 years of military experience, Sean Fazande is no stranger to leading teams to accomplish objectives. When he expressed interest in joining the METRANS student team in the fall of 2020, he transitioned easily into the role of Student Chief of Staff where he helps manage METRANS student workers, projects, and initiatives. He brings decades of leadership to this role and serves as a valuable leader and mentor.

“Lt. Col. Fazande’s depth of experience and his exceptional organizational and management skills made him an obvious fit for the Chief of Staff role,” shared METRANS Associate Director Dr. Victoria Deguzman who leads METRANS Education and Professional Development activities. “His dedication to the Center, to the student team, and to each student member is apparent in everything he does, and he has quickly become a respected mentor and a guiding force for the student team,” she added.

Growing up just outside of New Orleans in Destrehan, Louisiana, Fazande enlisted in the Navy at age 18 and has served in the military ever since. In the Navy, his experience centered around aviation maintenance, more specifically with aircraft carriers. He earned his bachelor’s degree in 2006 and transitioned to the Air Force as an officer where he led command and control operations as Air Battle Manager. Recently, Fazande was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, a position he is honored to fill.

Fazande currently resides in Panama City, Florida, where he serves as an active-duty U.S. Air Force Officer. He holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Northwood University, an M.A. in Public Administration from American Military University, and an M.S. in Joint Warfare and Leadership from Air Command and Staff College.

In addition to his duties with the Air Force, Fazande is a doctoral student, pursuing a doctor of education degree in Organizational Change and Leadership at the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education. This program is focused on leadership, problem-solving, and reflection to prepare students to drive systemic change in their organizations. It allows students to continue to maintain their professional careers, working full-time while building skills and recognition that will distinguish them as leaders in their respective fields. Fazande shared that he has already applied theories and principles that he learned in the program to his roles with both the Air Force and with METRANS. While he is still refining his dissertation topic, he is focusing his studies on meta-leadership and leading beyond implied authority.

Throughout his career, Fazande has been recognized with dozens of military medals, awards, and ribbons which he earned while balancing familial obligations. Reflecting on his past achievements, he said, “I am proud to have served this country for 24 years and raised three wonderful children. All the awards and accolades don’t hold a candle to being able to balance a career and a family in a successful manner. Of course, I don’t do this in a vacuum and am thankful for having so many supportive and loving people in my life.” During his career, Fazande has been stationed primarily in the Southeast U.S. and in Oklahoma City and has traveled the world through seven deployments. “The cultural exposure and integration with outstanding allies have shown me what our impact on the world has been,” he reflected.

The METRANS team is grateful for Fazande’s experience and leadership and is confident they are in good hands as they continue to improve and grow their student team operations under his advice, management, and support. When asked about his goals for the new year, he stated, “As a leader of the student work force, I hope to provide guidance and vision for where METRANS wants to go as an organization and help student workers realize their potential.”



About the Author:

Dan Lamere is a second-year Master of Urban Planning student at the USC Price School of Public Policy. He works as a staff writer and project coordinator for the METRANS student team.