Chief Officer Awards Finalist Jeff Brody: ‘If Today’s Students Don’t Know About the Amazing Work They Can Pursue at Government Contractors, They May Not Consider Us’

Editor’s note: The winner of the Chief Officer Awards Public Company CHRO Award announced June 17 is Tammy Heller of Perspecta.

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 those in the running a bit better. This Q&A series highlights their careers, successes, proud professional moments and notable risks.

Jeffrey Brody, ManTech

Jeff Brody is chief human resources officer at ManTech International and a finalist in the Public Company CHRO Award category.

What key achievements did you have in 2019? 

ManTech has recently seen its key competition for talent expand from the usual list of government contractors to include a broader range of traditional IT firms. To better compete, ManTech invested in two key educational partnerships last year.

First, in late 2018, ManTech partnered with Purdue University Global to provide its first bachelor of science degree program in cloud computing — this was specifically designed for ManTech employees supporting cloud capabilities in ManTech’s work for Defense Department, intelligence community and federal civilian agencies.

Last year, ManTech’s partnership with Purdue Global expanded significantly — ManTech now offers employees tuition-free certifications and bachelor’s degrees in analytics as well as bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees in information technology, cybersecurity and cloud computing. More than 250 ManTech employees are now active in a program with Purdue University Global programs.

Then, in February 2019, ManTech partnered with Skillsoft, a leading corporate learning provider. ManTech employees now enjoy 24/7 access to more than 30,000 learning assets, including courses, videos, books, audiobooks and certification practice exam. To date, 4,700 unique users have completed over 40,000 Skillsoft courses. And ManTech was recently announced as Skillsoft’s North American Corporate Program of the Year for 2020. 

As a result of these educational programs, ManTech has been recognized with “Learning Elite Gold” status by Chief Learning Officer Magazine for two years in a row. These programs have also paid strong dividends in retention. 

What has made you successful in your current role? 

Having the ability to execute to a well-defined 3-year strategic plan that puts a premium on talent is hugely important as a navigation tool. 

Moreover, ManTech is a company that values innovation, teamwork and collaboration. The ability to work in an environment where ideas can be presented and everything will be considered is important to ensuring that nothing is viewed as impossible or too difficult. When you combine all these elements with a focus on delivering against customer mission, it is an extraordinary team and corporate culture to be a part of. 

What are you most proud of having been a part of in your current organization?

ManTech has been broadly recognized as a top employer — both for military veterans and in the greater D.C. region more generally. ManTech was the first company to win’s top-ranking for employing veterans three years in a row. We’ve also been consistently recognized as a top employer for veterans by Military Times, US Veterans Magazine and Military FriendlyTM.

Last year, ManTech was named to Washingtonian Magazine’s list of “50 Great Places to Work.” Plus, we have put together an HR team that wants and knows how to enable outcomes. These outcomes are directly related to ensuring our employee’s success in supporting the security of our nation as we support customers across the federal government.

What are your primary focuses areas going forward, and why are those so important to the future of the nation?  

Continue to build HR functional excellence that will enable desired outcomes for our employees and customers. This will involve the continued evolution of a company with over 50 years of tradition as a trusted partner. This evolution will involve the continued emergence of ManTech’s strategy supported by industry-leading practices that foster the best place to work. In this regard, industry leading practices have to specifically ensure employees are prepared to support customer missions focused on protecting our national interests and improving citizen services. 

How do you help shape the next-generation of government leaders/industry leaders? 

Last year, I was appointed to chair WashingtonExec’s HR Council, which was both a great honor and responsibility. In that role, I am learning from my peers and helping share knowledge and best practices on how we can inspire the next generation to pursue careers in this industry. Much of that revolves around building education and awareness — if today’s students don’t know about the amazing work they can pursue at government contractors, they may not consider us alongside their more commercial employment prospects. 

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