The National Nuclear Security Administration is celebrating the women who make up the backbone of our Enterprise. These women work across areas like project management, maintenance, disposition, sustainability and more. Their contributions and accomplishments are what make our workforce so incredible, and their backgrounds and expertise ensure that workforce is just as vibrant and important as the missions they support.
Title: Assistant Deputy Administrator
Program/Office: Office of Production Modernization (NA-19)
Years in infrastructure: 20
How did you become interested in infrastructure or what was your career path to this point?
My path started at the US Naval Academy where I majored in mechanical engineering. I began my career serving on ships but eventually transitioned into the Navy’s Civil Engineering Corps where I developed a passion for infrastructure. After nearly ten years on active duty, including a tour supporting the Iraq War, my interest in infrastructure continued as I transitioned to private industry working for an engineering services firm consulting with various federal clients. However, I was drawn back into the federal government eventually because I really missed public service.
Since returning to federal government, I have had so many incredible opportunities to do interesting and important work. Before coming to NNSA, I worked for The White House and supported continuity infrastructure essential for continuity operations of the government. Since being at NNSA, I have held multiple positions leading to my current role as the Assistant Deputy Administrator for the Office of Production Modernization in Defense Programs. I truly love this job and can’t believe how fortunate I am to get to work this incredible group of men and women every single day to support this mission.
Describe a proud moment or accomplishment.
My proudest moment was when President Obama personally presented me with The Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Award for my work supporting continuity operations during my time at The White House.
Why do you like working for NNSA?
I love working for NNSA because I get to come to work every single day supporting the Nation’s national security and doing my part to ensure we continue to have a safe, secure, and reliable nuclear deterrent. Feeling deeply connected to our history that began in the Manhattan Project makes me want to do my best to support this legacy and continue to ensure our Nation sets the example for the rest of the world. Navigating the present-day technical challenges to meet the needs of our critical mission means I am continuously learning and growing too. In addition to the importance of our mission, I love working for NNSA because we have the greatest people- brilliant minds from feds and contractors to our M&O partners. It is humbling and exciting to come to work every day and get to be a part of this enterprise.
Three key pieces of advice I would pass on to young people would be:
- Acknowledge that there is not a single path to success. Take opportunities when they present themselves, including risks and challenges because they will help you grow individually and in your career. This is especially true for women. Don’t underestimate your value and skills!
- Find good mentors and be a good mentor to others. Keep your network strong and always offer a helping hand.
- Representation matters! The more inclusive we are, the stronger we are - when everyone is able to contribute to the mission in a space that embraces diversity we attract and retain the best people with the best ideas.
*This is part of an ongoing series for Women’s History Month to recognize women in infrastructure at NNSA*