Blog and News

Bixaler Spotlight: Shawn Martell

March 26, 2024

An Interview with Director of Learning and Organization Development, Shawn Martell

Behind Bixal’s mission to partner with government agencies and help drive global social good are the people who make it possible—our Bixalers. Day in and day out, our teammates work cross-collaboratively to ensure we meet client expectations and create real change that results in a lasting positive impact.

At the forefront of this universal goal is Shawn Martell, our dedicated director of learning and organization development at Bixal. With a wealth of experience spanning federal agencies, state and local governments, nonprofits, and educational institutions, Shawn brings a comprehensive approach to his work.

Recently, Shawn took the time to share insights into his professional journey, the incredible projects he has been a part of, and the reasons behind his passion for Bixal.

Shawn, could you share your professional background and how that’s helped with your role at Bixal today?

Throughout my career, I have been dedicated to helping individuals, teams, and organizations maximize their impact and realize their missions through a holistic approach that encompasses not just the necessary knowledge and skills, but also the supporting structures, strategies, and processes essential for success. My experience spans various sectors, providing me with a broad perspective and the ability to design and implement ecosystems that promote success and drive real change.

At Bixal, I help leading federal agencies develop powerful, data-driven solutions that address immediate learning needs and build a sustainable framework for ongoing development and transformation. By focusing on organizational effectiveness and learning and development, I strive to create environments that foster innovation, continuous improvement, and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). This work enhances the capabilities of individuals and teams and contributes significantly to the missions of the organizations we serve.

What do you find most fulfilling about your work at Bixal?

Bixal's commitment to positively impact people through human-centered and digital solutions that drive equity and social good resonated with my professional ethos and desire to create meaningful change. Bixal’s culture of kindness, humility, and collaboration, combined with a focus on delivering better services and experiences to the American public and communities worldwide, aligned perfectly with my values and professional goals.

I’ve had the privilege of leading and contributing to projects that directly support our clients by addressing their complex challenges and facilitating significant organizational change. For example, in one initiative I played a critical role in transforming a federal organization’s approach to supporting and advancing their data science capabilities. By prioritizing an in-depth understanding of the various needs and challenges of employees, we were able to shift the original ask from a traditional, single-use training plan to envisioning a responsive, modern learning ecosystem. This hub is tailored to foster career growth and designed to evolve with changing needs, significantly enhancing the support available to a large community of over 30,000 professionals.

Another key project I worked on involved partnering with a government agency to stand up a comprehensive community engagement vehicle, not as a one-off event but as a continuous function. To date, this initiative has equipped thousands of federal employees with critical knowledge in pressing topics like customer experience, acquisitions, accessibility, and strategic foresight, substantially contributing to the improvement of service delivery across more than 200 federal agencies.

Are there any memorable moments that stick out from your tenure?

One of the most impactful moments of my work at Bixal was leading the comprehensive innovation bootcamp for a large federal law enforcement agency. Grounded in human-centered design, Agile, and change management principles, this initiative culminated in the successful development of four innovative change initiatives. The project showed the power of collaborative innovation and significantly contributed to advancing the agency's mission and enhancing its operational effectiveness.

When you’re not at work, where can we find you, and what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Outside of work, I love spending time in nature and engaging in activities that promote well-being and balance. Whether it’s hiking in local parks, gardening, exercising, chatting with friends, or simply enjoying quiet moments of reflection, I find these activities rejuvenating and essential for maintaining balance. I am also passionate about community service and often volunteer for initiatives that aim to improve education and access to resources for underserved populations.

About Shawn

Shawn Martell holds certifications in 360 assessments (Center for Creative Leadership), mindfulness-based stress reduction (UMass Memorial Health), coaching (Association for Talent Development), community planning (Pennsylvania Municipal Planning Education Institute), and young adult education (Pennsylvania Department of Education). As a leader at Bixal, his passion for education and relentless drive to advance organizational development are both inspiring and admirable. We are incredibly grateful to have someone like Shawn as an integral part of our Bixal team, embodying our shared mission to make a positive impact on the world.