As leaders, how do you reach out and connect with the right people to expand your professional network? A strong leader has a network with individuals from outside their technical skills or expertise. Once you have built your core network, the next step is to expand to individuals outside, such as finance, acquisition, human resources, and operations. Breaking into other silos can create a competitive advantage to move up.
You can expect to come away with tips for:
- strategies to expand your network;
- working with individuals from other functions and perspectives; and
- creating opportunities that not only expand your network, but expand your thinking.
Moderator: Ravoyne “Ray” Payton, USDA
Ms. Payton is Associate Chief Information Officer (ACIO) for the Information Resource Management Center (IRMC). As the IRMC ACIO, she is responsible for Capital Planning and IT Governance, Enterprise Architecture, e-Government, Information Management, IT Policy/IT Strategic Planning and Section 508 Compliance.
Prior to this Ms. Payton served as the ACIO for Policy, e-Government and Fair Information Practices (PE&F), the Deputy ACIO PE&F, the acting USDA Department Freedom of Information Officer, and the USDA Chief Privacy Officer.
Prior to joining USDA, Ms. Payton worked at the United States Small Business Administration (SBA), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), General Services Administration (GSA), and the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA).
Ms. Payton is a graduate of George Mason University and Troy State University. She holds a Bachelor’s in Government and Political Science and a Master’s in Public Administration with an emphasis in IT.
Panelist #1: Karen Matragrano, DOI
Karen Matragrano began her federal career at DOI in 2005 with the Interior Business Center (IBC) working as a management and program analyst for the Appraisal Services Directorate. Ms. Matragrano worked in numerous organizations in the IBC on process improvement and budget and administrative management before taking on the role of project manager for the Customer Support Center (CSC) as a project manager in 2009.
As CSC project manager, Ms. Matragrano worked to consolidate 24 helpdesks, leading change in business practices and philosophy to match the pace of the quickly changing IT world.
Ms. Matragrano was named Service Delivery Director in 2016, leading the largest division within the OCIO. In this role, she led a team who are dedicated to implementing and managing modern and secure IT solutions to meet the needs of our customers. She values customer feedback and continually looks for ways to improve IT service experience. In January 2020, she accepted the role as Deputy CIO for the Enterprise Services Division, performing similar duties as her previous role.
Ms. Matragrano received her B.A. in International Relations from American University in Washington, DC and her MBA from the University of Maryland.
Panelist #2: Wanda Jones-Heath, DoD
Ms. Wanda Jones-Heath is the Chief Information Security Officer for the Office of the Deputy CIO, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force. She leads a Directorate composed of military, civilian, and contractor personnel responsible for developing Air Force Cybersecurity strategy and policy for over 5,000 Air Force Information Technology systems. She also manages the Air Force’s transition to the Risk Management Framework and provides oversight for the freedom of information act and privacy act laws. Ms. Jones-Heath manages oversight for the protect portfolio, including operating system lifecycle management and capabilities for the Comply to Connect program. She delivers cryptographic modernization across the Air Force with implementing the enterprise-wide cross domain solution and cryptographic information technology standards. Ms. Jones-Heath graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1990 with a degree in Computer Science. She began her Civil Service career as a Palace Acquire Intern as an Information Systems Specialist in various functional areas. She moved to Headquarters Air Combat Command, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, in 1993. There she held positions responsible for policy and guidance for security and network systems. Prior to arriving at the Headquarters Air Force staff, Ms. Jones-Heath was the Program Manager, Defense Information Systems Agency. Ms. Jones-Heath led the effort to establish a DoD Mobile capability to include infrastructure. Her joint experience includes working in various positions at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
Panelist #3: Nancy Kreidler, DoD
Ms. Nancy Kreidler was selected for the Senior Executive Service and assumed her duties as the Director of Cybersecurity and Information Assurance at the Headquarters, Department of the U.S. Army, CIO/G-6 in March 2019.
As the Cybersecurity and Information Assurance Director, Ms. Kreidler serves as the principal advisor to the CIO/G-6 and other Senior Army Leaders on the integration of all aspects of information technology (IT) and cybersecurity strategy within CIO/G-6. She is responsible for assisting in the development of strategy, policy, and guidance for the Army’s ongoing cybersecurity and information assurance efforts.
In her previous assignment, Ms. Kreidler served as the CIO to the Army Program Executive Office, Command, Control, Communications – Tactical (PEO C3T). In this position, she was responsible for critical IT capabilities and cybersecurity for a portfolio of $2.4B across 24 key acquisition programs representing 100+ tactical and enterprise systems and networks. Ms. Kreidler directed a comprehensive integrated approach to the implementation of hardware, software, cybersecurity, and related policies and processes across the PEO C3T portfolio.
Prior to that assignment, Ms. Kreidler served as the Cybersecurity and Information Assurance Program Manager for the PEO C3T. Ms. Kreidler has supported the Army for more than 34 years and is recognized as a subject matter expert in the cybersecurity and risk management domains throughout the Army. Before becoming an Army Civilian, she spent 12 years as a Department of Defense contractor in software development with an emphasis in interface design and usability.
Ms. Kreidler holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a Master of Science in Software Engineering from Monmouth University, Long Branch, New Jersey. She is an Army Acquisition Corps member with a Level III certification in systems planning, research, development and engineering and holds a GIAC Security Leadership Certification (GSLC).
She has an Executive Certificate in Leadership Coaching from Georgetown University and is a Certified Gallup Strengthsfinder coach. Her awards include the Department of the Army Team C4ISR Leadership Award and the Army Signal Corps Regimental Association’s Bronze Order of Mercury.
The Women in Federal IT and Cyber series of virtual engagements is hosted by the Chief Information Officer Council (CIOC) and Digital.gov.
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