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Meet the Assessment Services Department

Emily Cross


Emily has worked with IPMA-HR on a consulting basis since 2005. Emily developed IPMA-HR’s Public Safety Assessment Center System (PSACS). Emily has over 30 years of experience in the testing field with an emphasis in the area of management assessment and training for public safety. Emily has successfully developed and administered numerous management assessment centers and other tests for local and federal agencies ranging in size from 35 to several thousand sworn/uniformed positions and has never had a test legally challenged. Emily has developed a wide range of selection products, including multiple choice exams, structured interviews, simulation tests and video based tests. Emily has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Miami, a Master of Science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and has completed doctoral courses at the George Washington University. Emily has been an invited speaker at a number of national conferences and several universities, and provides technical advice to government organizations throughout the country.

Bruce Davey

Bruce has worked with IPMA-HR on a consulting basis since 1990. Bruce has developed and validated more than a dozen tests for IPMA-HR and serves as a technical advisor to this organization. He has a Master’s Degree in Psychology and more than 30 years of experience in the testing field. He is a past president of the International Personnel Assessment Council (IPAC), and he has won several national awards for his contributions to the personnel assessment field. He is a frequent speaker and workshop presenter at national conferences, and he has been an expert witness in more than 15 court cases involving testing issues. None of his tests has ever been the subject of an adverse court decision.

John Haas

John has worked with IPMA-HR on a consulting basis since 2007. John provides IPMA-HR customers with consulting services to assist them in understanding IPMA-HR’s Public Safety Assessment Center System (PSACS). John provides assistance with candidate and assessor training, running the assessment center, scoring, and candidate and management feedback. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology and a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice. He has more than 30 years of progressively responsible law enforcement experiences in an urban police department, attaining the rank of Deputy Chief of Police. He has 20 years of experience conducting public safety management assessment centers for local, state, and federal agencies.

Sima Hassassian

As the Chief Operating Officer of IPMA-HR, Sima is a communication link between the Executive Director and staff. She is responsible for the operational, fiscal, personnel, and facility-related matters. Sima has a proven management track record, and over 20 years of experience. Sima came to IPMA-HR in 1994 as a publication assistant, in her new role now, she is responsible for hiring professional and technical staff, implementing budget reductions, business plan, and managing accounts receivable and payroll. With knowledge of accounting systems, Sima uses her experience in resource allocation, fund management, and accounting to provide reports on finances and information that are guides to the organization’s success. Sima ensures the value and competency of the Association’s exams including the delivery of services and products.

Sima’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from George Mason University as well as a minor in Political Science. In addition to her professional activities, Sima enjoys travelling, working on new culinary techniques, watching movies, and spending quality time with family and friends.

Julia Hind-Smith

After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UC Santa Cruz, Julia continued her education at San Francisco State University and completed their Master’s program with honors in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. Julia is currently most interested in studying and applying data analytics to human resource functions, as well as developing effective tools and methods for selection and promotional purposes. Her role as HR Associate, Research and Development at IPMA-HR includes studying the tasks and KSAOs that define high job performance in order to develop assessments that best evaluate an applicant’s likelihood to succeed in a given position.

Jacob Jackovich


Jacob has worked with IPMA-HR since 2007. He is part of our customer service team and is in charge of the Customized Test Service.

Toni Kovalski

Toni worked for IPMA-HR from 1991 to 1997 and has worked with IPMA-HR on a consulting basis since 1998. Toni has developed several entry-level and promotional exams for IPMA-HR. She has authored publications for IPMA-HR including the Oral Interview Handbook, and she is responsible for reviewing all publications produced by IPMA-HR staff before their release. She also serves as an adviser to IPMA-HR, assisting with customer questions and technical guidance. Toni earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Science in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

Bob Sewell

Bob Sewell has been IPMA-HR’s Mailroom Manager since April 2007. Prior to joining IPMA-HR, he has been an electronics technician and supervisor in the US Air Force, a residential real estate appraiser, and a house painter, among other occupations. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Bob lived in England, Germany, Japan, and half a dozen U.S. states before moving to Springfield, VA in 1997.

At IPMA-HR Bob is primarily responsible for the shipment of assessment and membership materials to the association’s thousands of members and customers, and for the maintenance of IPMA-HR’s large inventory of public-safety tests.

Robert Svihla

Robert graduated from George Mason University in 2001 with a B.A. in English and Film & Media Studies. Almost immediately, he discovered a passion for international travel, backpacking for long stretches of time through Europe and Southeast Asia, before finally settling into his current position at IPMA-HR in March 2005. In his time here, his duties as the primary point of contact for sales and customer services calls have grown to include numerous marketing tasks and finding ways to use technology to serve our customers better.

In his spare time, Robert enjoys building computers, reading detective novels and trying to predict who will win at the Academy Awards.