Top 25 Cyber Execs to Watch in 2020

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Paul Decker, Parsons Corp.

Paul Decker, Executive Vice President, Parsons Corp.

Paul Decker joined Parsons Corp. in 2018, bringing 20 years of professional experience with more than half concentrated in cyberspace operations. He’s a skilled cyber operations strategist focused on innovative leadership, vision and sound financial drivers.

In 2019, Decker helped Parsons reach a number of milestones. The company’s  cyber organization portfolio grew significantly because of performance on existing contracts, while also winning new work across the Defense Department and the intelligence community.

In total, the team received more than $1 billion worth of awards in 2019, primarily in the intelligence community. Organizationally, Parsons has steadily focused on establishing a culture of ingenuity, rapid prototyping and mission advancement, which is evident in increased engagement and collaboration both inside and outside the office.

“Our team hosts regular technical exchanges and cyber ‘capture the flags,’ for example, which started in Maryland and are now spreading across the country,” Decker said.

Parsons also won the company’s largest-ever cyber contract — a $590 million effort supporting combatant commands around the world. In addition, the company completed the acquisition and integration of QRC Technologies into its Cyber and Intelligence market.

“They’ve brought some serious innovation and agility into the organization, which will only help the company continue being successful as we focus more on product development and integrated cyberspace capabilities,” Decker said.

For Decker, Parsons represents the revolution of cyber operations and actionable intelligence across the entirety of multidomain operations.

“Truly from sea to space,” he said. “Whether we’re supporting our men and women in the shadows, empowering the operator at the edge or protecting the world’s critical infrastructure and national weapon systems, our rapid, open, interoperable and scalable suite of capabilities further the warfighter’s mission.”

But the real secret, Decker said, is Parsons’ amazing people.

They range from technology experts and early-career software and hardware engineers who are problem-solving enthusiasts, to military veterans with mission-focused perspectives who share real-world experiences and case studies to help their teams deliver solutions to customers.

Parsons also relies on strategic initiatives and emerging technologies to advance its customers’ missions. It has developed capabilities that prioritize edge-to-cloud processing, enrichment and data flow. Its edge sensors are optimized to enrich raw network data and pass back only the metadata necessary for analytics in processing systems.

“This can enable systems to become applicable to handling all types of cyberspace operations data,” Decker said.

Parsons is also focused on speed.

“We are large enough to compete, win and prime major efforts, yet agile enough to execute on work quickly and as promised,” he added.

In the cyber world, Parsons intentionally has a developer-in-the-loop approach so there’s a direct line for customers to partner with their counterparts at Parsons, co-develop the necessary solution and get it into the hands of the operator within hours or days.

Why Watch:

In 2020, Decker is focused on delivering.

“We are hyperfocused on successfully performing on our existing contracts and delivering rapid, interoperable and scalable cyber solutions and products,” he said. “Delivery also includes delivering for our people. Making sure that we are continuing to enhance their personal and professional growth and make them as successful as possible.”

The company is launching several initiatives — including technical and management career tracking — to ensure its employees have the skills and strategic mindset required for long-term success.

“The legacy mindset of employees staying in one place forever because that is what their parents did is far from today’s reality,” Decker said. “As an organization, we must continue evolving and transforming to build a collaborative environment that is focused on the employee experience. We must make employees want to stay, and Parsons is committed to doing that.”

Parsons is also significantly increasing its footprint in the space market, by leveraging its cybersecurity expertise and engineering capabilities to ensure resiliency across platforms and critical assets.

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  1. Yvette Kelley on

    She is amazing! And such a great role model for women! Thank you for capturing her talents so well!!!

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