DISA streamlines acquisition process to deliver technology to the field

Thursday - 10/31/2013, 11:37am EDT

Agency of the Month - Oct. 31, 2013

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The Defense Information Systems Agency is working to streamline and consolidate the way it buys and implements goods and services for rapid delivery to the war fighter while working within current acquisition rules.

On this week's Agency of the Month, Dr. Jennifer Carter, the component acquisition executive at DISA, tells Federal News Radio's Lauren Larson why planning ahead is better than using an ad-hoc approach for improving its capability delivery timeline.

GUEST BIOGRAPHY:

Courtesy of DISA

Dr. Jennifer Carter has the responsibility of acquisition oversight for all DISA products, services, and programs. She is the agency's acquisition review authority and is responsible for fostering an acquisition culture consistent with Department of Defense acquisition policy. Additionally, she manages the agency's acquisition workforce, and is responsible for the professionalization and career development of that workforce.

Dr. Carter began her career in federal service as an electronics engineer developing systems for the Navy. Her engineering and project management responsibilities included the research, design and development of sensors, test equipment, ASW combat systems, communication systems, signal processing, and autonomous underwater vehicle controls. Additional contributions included providing technical and programmatic leadership for development of the MK30 Mod 2 ASW Training Target and the SSN/UAV interoperability demonstration. As the project manager, she led the successful development and demonstration of the first system to provide flight and payload control of a Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) from a submarine. In parallel with core assignments, Dr. Carter was also principle investigator leading a team of experts in research activities in areas of fault tolerance, UAVs, and precision targeting.

Dr. Carter also served as a program area manager for the Office of Naval Intelligence delivering advanced intelligence collection systems and effectively managing the transition and modernization of a multi-disciplinary, international program of high congressional interest.

After more than 15 years in Navy program management and engineering, Dr. Carter entered the Senior Executive Service in 2001 as Chief of Signals Intelligence Systems Engineering. In this role she worked to optimize SIGINT capabilities through integration, architecture alignment and development of standards. In addition, her responsibilities included institutionalizing effective systems engineering processes and discipline across the worldwide SIGINT network.

Following this assignment, she became the deputy senior acquisition executive for the Intelligence Community and was responsible for improving effectiveness of acquisitions to include community wide policy and processes.

In 2007, Dr. Carter formally joined the staff of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) as the Chief of Integration for Resource Management. Responsibilities included ensuring effective justification of the Intelligence Community budget, performance/budget integration, monitoring the legislative budget process, and preparing the DNI to justify the National Intelligence Program (NIP) budget to the Office of Management and Budget and Congress.

Following this assignment, she was the National Counter-Proliferation Center (NCPC) Deputy Director for Resource Management and Investment responsible for not only managing the Center's budget and business activities, but also providing community leadership for investment of mission resources across the NIP. These responsibilities included human capital initiatives, addressing congressional issues, and representing the mission throughout the DNI's Strategic Enterprise Management process.

Dr. Carter most recently served as the Program Manager for the Navy Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Program, an ACAT I program modernizing business systems and processes for all the Navy acquisition commands and over 66,000 users providing integrated business capabilities for financial, acquisition, workforce and supply chain management. Results included legacy retirement, enhanced auditability, inventory savings, business process efficiencies, improved fleet readiness, resource and asset visibility.

Dr. Carter has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland, a Masters of Science degree in Engineering Management from the Catholic University of America, and a Doctorate of Management from the University of Maryland. Her dissertation focused on evaluating and optimizing government project portfolios. She is a member of the Acquisition Professional Community and is Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) Level III certified in Program Management.