Meet Dan Carusi

danAs current Vice President & Chief Learning Officer for Deltek, Dan Carusi doesn’t know which he likes more – teaching or learning.  A father of two, Scout leader and coach, Dan is often learning as much from the kids as they are learning from him (or possibly more).  With more than 20 years of experience, Dan is responsible for overseeing Deltek University and the Talent & Learning organization, where he oversees all aspects of talent management, curriculum development, operations & delivery, global employee & customer education and Human Capital consulting – often using what he learns from the kids as tools for teaching, with the end goal of making life-long learners out of everyone.  Teach Dan something at “email”, LinkedIn or @DanielCarusi.

Read Dan’s riffs and rants on FOT here…



1.     The elevator just closed and you’ve got 30 seconds to pitch the random reader on who you are and why they should read your rants.  Go…

Wow, 30 seconds?  It usually takes longer for me to say my name and introduce myself so here we go.  Through the concept of “Insatiable Curiosity” we empower people to take control of their own personal and professional growth and start them on their journey to becoming life-long learners.  Insatiable curiosity challenges the traditional approach and thinking in the Learning & Development space which is the driver behind my writings.

2.     Now for the mundane – break down your location, title, company/firm and what you do for a living…

I’m the Vice President & CLO for Deltek based in Herndon, Virginia.  They refer to me either at the “People” or “Change” guy at Deltek since I head up our efforts for Talent and Change management for both Deltek employees and customers worldwide.

3.     One more question that everyone expects.  What’s the reason you’re in this game?  (Why do you do what you do?)

I’m in the game to change the world of course.  Ok, so maybe not the world but at least the industry. I truly believe a different approach is needed with how we develop people if organizations are going to be successful with executing on their corporate strategies.  How we develop talent and provide meaningful work will determine how well we attract and retain talent.  Also, if we are not learning, we are not living so I’m helping people find the path to becoming a life-long learner.  So go learn something new…

4.     If you’ve ever been to a professional baseball game, you know batters from the home team get their own theme music as they walk from the dugout to the plate.  If we ever have a FOT convention, what theme music will you come out to to pump the crowd up and why?

This is a tough one since I have a couple on the short list.  However, “Superman” by REM should pump up the crowd.  Who knows, perhaps the nickname Superman will stick at some point.

5.     Let’s stick with the baseball theme.  If you’ve ever been to a pro game, you also know that the visitor doesn’t get to pick their own music.  The home team picks that for them, and it’s usually less than stellar as a means of attempting to crush them.  If you could pick theme music for your arch-rival to walk into a conference room to, what would it be and why?

I think I would go with Frank Sinatra “High Hopes”.  This is probably my only opportunity to work Frank Sinatra into one of my answers.  Actually the song was used in the last Rocky movie as his walk up music for his last fight – very cool.

6.     Finish the sentence – “When I’m interviewing, I can tell within one minute that this thing isn’t going to work out because_______…”

The candidate has their car keys in their hand and sunglasses on top of their head.  Yes, this actually happened once and apparently the candidate had another place they would rather have been.  When they said yes to the question “Do you need to be somewhere else?” the interview was over.  I think it lasted no more than three minutes and had to be the shortest interview I ever conducted.

7.     Name the actor/actress that will portray you in the movie about you.  Why the heck is that a fit?

kevin costnerKevin Costner is my pick to portray me in the soon to be released movie about myself.  Why? Definitely a good fit since we share the same love for the game of baseball.  Also, I find a lot of similarity between his character Ray Kinsella (Field of Dreams) and myself.  You know, the guy who ploughed over his corn fields to build a baseball diamond and carries on conversations with dead people.

8.     List three of our favorite books to pander the educated segment of our readership…

  1. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer – A true story on what not to do when you are in the Alaskan Back Country
  2. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien – I know it is a trilogy but come on, how can you not cheer for Frodo?
  3. Switch by Chip & Dan Heath – The one business book that gives great insight into human behavior and driving change in an organization
  4. Bonus – The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks – My 13 year old son made me read it to make sure I’m prepared for the apocalypse.

9.     List three of your favorite movies to connect with the segment of our readership that doesn’t like to read…

  1. Friday nights is movie night for the Carusi family and I have a habit of torturing the kids with motivational and inspirational movies followed by of course what I believe inspirational father speeches – yeah right…  So difficult to limit to three but I’ll do my best.
  2. It’s a Wonderful Life – It’s a holiday tradition for my family to watch George Bailey and Mr. Potter.
  3. Rocky – I grew up outside Philly so kind of a pre-requisite for living there.
  4. Rudy – I’m a sucker for the underdog and seeing people become wildly successful when told they cannot.
  5. Bonus – The Band of Brothers mini-series – My compliments to Easy Company, 506th of the 101st Airborne.

10.  Let’s reach out to what remains of our leadership.  Who’s your favorite Old-School Rapper and why?

Sugar Hill Gang.  I’m really not sure I can explain why and if I did, I believe what’s left of my readership will be no more.  In my defense, you got to love “Apache, Jump On It” from 1981.

10.5 My first car was a <blank> and here’s how it defined who I am….

My first car was a baby blue Ford Pinto with the hatch-back.  I was known in High School as the kid with the blow up car since they were being recalled at the time for the gas tank being too close to the back bumper.  Fortunately I left the state and the car when I entered college.


Read Dan’s riffs and rants on FOT here…

Comments 1

  1. Dan’s rants are “spot on” – what you see is what you get with Dan – which is great for his co-workers and Deltek’s customers. Superman 🙂 hmmm

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