Taking Public-Private Partnership to the Next Level: Booz Allen Supports Pioneering DoD Talent Exchange Program

Aug 16, 2019 10:00 AM ET

What insights can a government defense engineer and contracts supervisor gain from six months onsite in the private sector? And how can public-sector immersion prepare private-sector professionals for their next leadership role?

During the first half of 2019, two Booz Allen professionals and two federal defense employees found out as part of the Public-Private Talent Exchange, an opportunity for DoD and private-sector participants to expand their understanding of each other’s business operations.

Trading places for stronger partnerships

Booz Allen Lead Associate Brittany Phelan brought her decade of contract development and execution experience—and her questions—to the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR). Associate Jim Richards, a strategy, policy, and resource management analyst for Headquarters, Department of the Army G-3/5/7, assumed a Contract Specialist position with the Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs Office.

Meanwhile, Booz Allen’s Strategic Innovation Group hosted Yau (Susan) Fung, an engineer with the Army’s Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate. Booz Allen’s San Diego office welcomed Supervisory Contract Specialist and Branch Chief Ryan Stacey from the Army Contracting Command in Warren, Michigan. Stacey helped support the firm’s Naval Material Command operations.

“These participants made a big shift in their lives over the past several months, and we thank them for their invaluable contributions,” said Booz Allen Senior Vice President Jennie Brooks. “This talent exchange broadens our understanding of the mission and day-to-day work of our military clients and strengthens our partnership with these important organizations.”

A powerful opportunity for professional development

Aimed at mid-career employees, the Talent Exchange also delivers benefits to individuals—specifically the opportunity to build experience and strengthen leadership skills.

“This incredible opportunity broadened my understanding of our client’s mission and exposed me to government leadership that will be invaluable to my career and future,” said Phelan. “I look forward to taking what I’ve learned during this talent exchange with me upon my return to the BAH Contracts Strategy and Management Team.”

“I’ve enjoyed my assignment with the U.S. Navy, which has enabled me to gain a better understanding of each other’s business operations and challenges in the contracting field while broadening my exposure to another military service outside of the Army market,” said Richards. “This is valuable for my career development as it positions me to more effectively communicate with U.S. government acquisition professionals and better understand decision-making behaviors in the contracting field.”

As the program’s pilot year, 20 organizations participated. In addition to Booz Allen, private-sector participants included Boeing, Deloitte, General Dynamics, GuideHouse, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon. DoD participants included the Army, Navy, Air Force, and DoD Defense Agencies and Field Activities.

“One of the key objectives of this program is to advance each participant’s professional and leadership development, so it’s a win-win for the department and industry,” Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord said in a press release for the launch of the program.

Learn more about the Public-Private Talent Exchange and Booz Allen’s work with military and defense clients.