News | Nov. 1, 2019

DLA’s first chief data officer named DoD government executive of the year

By Melissa Bohan DLA Public Affairs

After more than 33 years of government service, all with the Defense Logistics Agency, Teresa W. Smith continues to thank her parents, family and mentors for instilling in her the importance of public service, something she believes led to her recognition as the Department of Defense Government Executive of the Year.

“I wouldn’t be here without their support,” Smith said after WashingtonExec’s second annual Pinnacle Awards ceremony Oct. 31.

Smith, the agency’s first chief data officer, was honored among more than 70 nominees in 18 different categories. Smith and Bob Kayl were finalists in the DoD executive category, new in 2019.

“When I was growing up, I wanted to be Nancy Drew,” she said during her acceptance speech, referring to the fictional character in a series of mystery novels. “And in a way, I did become her as I work to solve today’s data challenges.”

The awards program recognizes government and industry senior leaders who foster innovation and seek out cost-saving measures. WashingtonExec is a member organization that provides networking opportunities and produces a daily newsletter for executives in the National Capital Region.

In a recent press release announcing the awards program, the organization said the finalists are the best of the best, forging new paths for federal agencies and clients.

An industry group nominated Smith for building tools and a culture of data literacy that increases efficiency and productivity, and better equips the warfighter.

“I feel fortunate to have such an amazing team around me, including the talented folks I lead, my peers and DLA’s leadership. Each values out-of-the-box thinking, recognizes the importance of robust data analytics for sound decision making, and above all, inspires me to never forget the warfighters we serve,” said Smith.

Smith has been DLA’s CDO and director of Strategic Data Services for DLA Information Operations for nearly three years. She is responsible for DLA’s data and information strategy, governance, control and policy development.

She’s served in a variety of roles while at DLA, the majority of them at DLA Aviation. These include the director of Business Process Management, Sales and Operations Planning manager, Supplier Operations division chief and program manager for the $500 million Aviation Investment Strategy initiative. She deployed to Afghanistan in 2015, where she was the deputy commander of DLA’s contingency support team. She has her Master of Business Administration with specialization in Supply Chain Management, and is Level III Certified in Life Cycle Logistics.