CEO, Science Applications International Corp.
Toni Townes-Whitley was deeply honored to be selected to lead SAIC, particularly at this stage of her career and this critical period for the nation. Like many government and military leaders, she always considered SAIC a national asset; an organization that tackled the most complex and challenging national security issues for over five decades and embedded innovative tech and talent into US mission critical operations.
“I’ve been blessed to work for the last 30 years modernizing regulated industries globally with the most innovative technology on the planet,” she said. “At a time when public and private sector threats and opportunities are converging, technology is evolving exponentially, and citizen demand for an agile, responsive government increases, I find myself back to where I began my career, partnering with the national security and federal civilian agencies, introducing innovation to advance against key national imperatives.”
She trusts this is the opportunity of a lifetime and is fully energized by and committed to her new organization and leadership role in securing the nation.
In October 2023, Townes-Whitley landed at SAIC and began a strategic sprint with her new leadership team ⏤ and they’ve been pounding at their strategy for 14 straight weeks.
“We reaffirmed our purpose, vision, and mission, while introducing new strategic pivots and an expanded enterprise operating model to reignite our growth and market leadership,” she said. “Our four key pivots focus us on differentiating our mission solution portfolio around digital engineering, operational AI, secure multi-cloud, and other areas: increasing rigor in our go-to-market processes, refining and socializing our iconic brand and refreshing the entrepreneurial and enterprise elements of our culture.”
These pivots will focus the SAIC team on growing the business sustainably and profitably. It is Townes-Whitley’s job ⏤ with the leadership team ⏤ to ensure all 24,000 dedicated team members think, operate and celebrate the tenets of this new strategy and SAIC’s unmatchable legacy.
One of her favorite songs from the musical Hamilton is, “The Room Where It Happens.” SAIC is “in the room where it happens” and is a strategic partner to the vital missions of its customers.
“We have the opportunity to engage real-time, which for SAIC means delivering the best technology, the best engineering, and the latest innovations to serve the most complex and consequential missions across our country,” Townes-Whitley said. “I grew up in a military family in which service to others was a way of life and the demonstration of one’s faith and worship.”
Daughter of a 3-star Army general and elementary school principal, Townes-Whitley chose to serve in the U.S. Peace Corps and center her career around the public sector. As a mother and grandmother, she attempts to ingrain these values across her 4-generation family.
“To whom much is given, much is required” is the verse prayed over Townes-Whitley throughout her life.