Editor’s Note: The winner of the Chief Officer Awards Private Company Chief Growth Officer Award announced June 17 is Mike King of Peraton.
On June 17, WashingtonExec will be virtually celebrating the most impactful and innovative C-suite executives in government and industry. These chief officers work in technology, security, data, operations, finance, business and more, excelling on both sides of the government contracting sector. Our team of judges have chosen the finalists for the inaugural Chief Officer Awards, so before we announce the winners during the event, we wanted to get to know the finalists a bit better. This Q&A series highlights their careers, successes, proud professional moments and notable risks.
Bridget Medeiros is chief growth officer at NCI and a finalist in the Private Company Chief Growth Officer Award category.
What key achievements did you have in 2019?
One of the most significant highlights of 2019 was NCI being awarded one of the largest contracts in our company’s history to help manage the Department of Defense enterprise IT infrastructure. Under this contract, we will be applying our philosophy of Scaling Humans with Artificial Intelligence, or NCI Shai, to better serve our DOD customer and deliver on our people first commitment.
This was a significant achievement for several reasons. Implementing our artificial intelligence strategy has transformed our company, from the people we hire to the capability of dramatically impacting our customers’ missions.
In addition, this contract award was a result of the unwavering dedication of numerous employees across our organization, who came together to develop an incredible proposal that was driven by unparalleled teamwork and innovative spirit and passion — all of which is a testament to our commitment to operationalize AI for our customers, transform our federal workforce and improve mission outcomes.
What was a turning point or inflection point in your career?
My turning point was joining Lockheed Martin in 2000. I had a mentor that changed my career and my outlook on what was possible. She was the definition of a true mentor — she challenged me in private to be better than I was and advocated for me in public. When I stumbled or needed advice, she never hesitated to give her time to ensure I succeeded. I would not be in my current leadership position without her impact and influence on my life.
What are you most proud of having been a part of in your current organization?
Three years ago, our NCI leadership team developed a strategy to transform NCI from primarily staff augmentation to become a company known for delivering innovative solutions for our customers. We have placed a priority on making investments in emerging technologies and processes including AI, agile SAFe, DevSecOps and digital transformation. This includes gathering leaders in commercial AI as exclusive and strategic partners to infuse as well as accelerate new capabilities, innovation and confidence into our advanced offerings.
It gives me great pride to see how far we have come in these last three years — from our AI commercial partnerships, the recent award of our first multiyear AI program and our AI Authority to Operate to recently launching our robust Empower platform. And I am proud to experience the impact of how our strategy has changed the culture and the growth trajectory of our business. It has been one of the hardest, and yet, most rewarding initiatives I have worked on in my entire career.
What are your primary focuses areas going forward, and why are those so important to the future of the nation?
At NCI, we are focused on innovation, and specifically on implementing artificial intelligence in our customer’s mission. We believe that AI — the single most transformative technology of our generation — must be a core strategy in the defense of our nation. AI can play a critical role in advancing the transformation of modernization for our warfighters’ IT systems and operations and will enhance our national security posture around the world.
What’s the biggest professional risk you’ve ever taken?
My biggest professional risk is the role I am in right now. I have had a diverse career, from serving in the military and civil service to supporting large integrators and small business, and each has their distinct advantages. However, NCI is a mid-tier system integrator and developing a strategy to organically grow is very challenging.
It’s been very exciting to implement our AI strategy, but it is also a risky proposition. We do not have the large integrators diverse past performance to rely on nor do we have some of the advantages a small business can compete with. To use an old analogy, we really are changing the tires while driving the car.
Looking back at your career, what are you most proud of?
I am so proud of the teams I have worked with over the years. Throughout my career, I have been honored to work with people who always put teamwork ahead of their own personal goals. It always comes back to the people! I continue to be inspired and amazed by the people I have had the honor to work side-by-side with to achieve goals, that at times seem impossible to achieve!
What’s your best career advice for those who want to follow in your footsteps?
I have two pieces of advice: the first is to learn by doing and be open to all options that provide you with the chance to learn something new. And the second, don’t forget your success will be defined by the people you surround yourself with — people who choose to work with you will do so because of how you treat them.