Booz Allen Hamilton Senior Vice President Cedric Sims is a senior leader of the company’s Justice, Homeland Security and Transportation business and a Pinnacle Awards finalist in the National Security/DHS Industry Executive of the Year category. Here, he shares recent career achievements, a turning point in his career, proud industry moments, how to shape the next generation of government and consulting leaders and more.
What are some of your most recent achievements?
Prior to my tenure with Booz Allen, I was asked to stand up the Office of Program and Accountability and Risk Management at the Department of Homeland Security. Being able to help a still maturing department understand their requirements and a complex mission set was a great achievement in my career.
Now, being on the industry side, it has been an honor to be able to consult the DHS and contribute to a recent chief procurement officers roundtable that framed some of the agency’s first “reverse industry” days. Here, representatives from industry come in and present to DHS acquisition officials on how they are approaching jobs.
It’s really fulfilling to be able to work with DHS in many different capacities as they embark on these new and innovative opportunities to meet their mission.
What has made you successful in your current role?
Hands down, no question about it, it’s the culture of collaboration within Booz Allen. Because our clients benefit from a mix of services that can’t be delivered in a vertical, Booz Allen is a very broad organization with a diverse set of talents and capabilities and a culture that fosters and demands collaboration. I couldn’t be in a better organization for success and growth.
What was a turning point in your career?
Going from Secret Service to DHS headquarters. Although it was heart-wrenching to leave the Secret Service, it was a calling, and it felt like the right thing to do. And it gave me the opportunity to gain a broader perspective across departments, which I’m now able to bring to the industry side.
What are you most proud of in your work with Booz Allen?
I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to have early exposure to some of Booz Allen’s diversity and inclusion programs and engage with young professionals who are trying to plot their careers forward and contribute their insights. For example, Booz Allen invests heavily in STEM. Through working with the firm to introduce students to robotics, I’ve been able to take two things I love and do them in unison.
How will we shape the next generation of government and consulting leaders?
We need to help the next generation connect the desire to excel as an expert in an area such as cyber, data science, digital transformation with the broader purpose of why.
Looking back at your career, what are you most proud of?
I’ve had a number of people ask me to serve as a mentor, and every time I get an opportunity to observe their careers and learn from them, it’s a real pleasure. Seeing others progress and succeed is my greatest accomplishment.
What’s your best advice for aspiring leaders?
Be authentic, be respectful of every person at every level of the organization, and be accessible.