A photo of Heather Lee Anne Owens, with multiple pins for different causes on her jacket.
Heather Lee Anne Owens

In honor of Women’s Equality Day, we are kicking off a new series highlighting the strong women across NNSA, who support our national security mission and work to make our organization a better place for all.


Heather Lee Anne Owens serves as the Program Development & Integration Officer in the Office of Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (NA-11). As a member of Defense Programs committed to the culture, community, and diversity of the workforce, Heather has also taken on responsibility for the Culture, Collaboration, Continuity and Performance Measurement across all of NA-11. She represents Defense Programs at the NNSA Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Working Group and serves a Working Group 1 Lead and Lead on DEIA Engagements for DP. Currently, Heather is expanding her knowledge of NNSA through a detail outside of Defense Programs to the Office of Emergency Management supporting the Chief of Staff.


How did you become interested in this field? How did you end up on this career path?

My background is in governance, with degrees in communications and human resource development. I recently completed my MBA with a focus on Project Management, which led me to leave the private sector and come into government service.  I am both passionate and skilled at organizational and project management.

What is one of your favorite things about working at NNSA?

For me, the best things about working at NNSA are the people and opportunities. Neither of these come without challenges, but they are my favorite things.  More specifically, there are women doing great things in NNSA and DP, who have a willingness to mentor and guide others to success. I appreciate the many opportunities for learning, training and development.  Needless to say, I am particularly proud of Defense Programs and the great work being done and the contributions being made by women at every level of the organization.

What are the characteristics of the best teams that you have been on?

I value leadership – not just having a leader, but the team itself leading in efforts, change and example. I work best with teams that prioritize transparency; are mission driven with a focused vision; and are inclusive to diverse people, thoughts, and methods.

What advice would you give someone who wants to do what you do for NNSA, especially young women?

I encourage young women to take every opportunity to learn and develop their skills and knowledge to not only be a good employee, but to be an asset and a critical piece to any organization’s success.  Be flexible and adaptable, and be sure to show up in every space as their authentic self.  I implore them to take the risk of being a change agent, with information, emotional intelligence, and their full voice. 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I have been on a journey known as “Heathering” for some time now, and that includes the pursuit and maintenance of my best and healthiest self, mind, body, and soul: reading, traveling, and being an influential and whole woman.  It’s no secret that I am most happy to be a mom to my two wonderful boys that keep me going.  I enjoy working with our family business and spending time with my family in general. I am also creating online, working to launch a blog and a Q&A video series. My passion for equity and inclusion in all spaces allows me to advocate for both in every area of my life. I’m now developing a podcast that allows for this to flourish.