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On site, working side by side with clients—that’s where I prefer to be. I learned early on at Booz Allen how important it is to connect with your clients and see their challenges firsthand.
My first assignment? Helping build database systems for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other clients as part of the Superfund program to manage the nation’s hazardous waste inventory.
Now I’m an executive vice president leading the Finance, Energy, and Economic Development (FED) business.
Executive Vice President Judi Dotson leads the firm’s Joint Combatant Command business. Her clients include the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), Chief Information Officer (CIO), Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), the Combatant Commands, and more. Judi’s team is positioned in close proximity to clients around the world with the largest hubs in Washington Metro Area, Hawaii, Florida, and Germany. She develops market strategies, leads business and contract capture activities, and oversees delivery. Judi is also responsible for recruiting, developing, and delivering talented teams that consistently exceed customer expectations.
Judi brings more than 28 years of experience in consulting services. She leads diverse teams with deep mission understanding and functional expertise, including: cybersecurity; engineering & science; analytics; digital services, including system modernization, cloud capabilities, and mobility; and strategy & organizational development and workforce management. Over her career, Judi has worked across both Civilian and Defense clients – with her teams delivering critical programs for a wide variety of clients including Treasury, IRS, DOE, EPA, Army, Air Force, Navy, DAU, DOL, USDA, Commerce, and PBGC.
Judi has held several internal leadership roles at Booz Allen including serving as a member of the firm's Booz Allen Excellence Awards Committee, Partnership for Public Service Executive Committee, Facilities Governance Board, and Women's Golf Network Sponsor.
Judi has served on the board of directors for the public sector division of TechAmerica (formerly Information Technology Association of America) and is a member of the board of directors for the Nature Generation, a not-for-profit that inspires and empowers youth to make a difference through innovative environmental stewardship programs in literature, science, and the arts.
Profile updated April 2017
What has been the common thread as you moved from the EPA to FED and other clients you’re helping now? In my journey at Booz Allen, I stayed with the EPA and other environmental clients for a good 15 years. Then I moved to working in the defense business, then in military health, and now in FED. While systems development is my background, along the way I listened and developed deep client relationships and an understanding of how to operate a business. That combination has been the common thread throughout my career.
What excites you about the work that you do? Every day I have the opportunity to help our clients and the people on our team to be successful—to be positioned for their own success as well as the firm’s success. To me, that’s pretty exciting.
Why are you passionate about the work Booz Allen does that you’re involved with? FED serves a broad set of clients with diverse missions. But the work that we do in each case is key to our clients’ missions and their successes. It could be for the IRS, where we help manage the tax season or discourage or catch fraud, or for the Department of Labor where we make sure citizens understand their benefits. That’s exciting to me.
What are the three most pressing needs that you see with FED for the commercial/civil sector? These clients are largely regulators that develop, monitor, and enforce progress against policy and compliance. Their demands are around data—the collection, management, and protection of that overall data. It’s also analytics. Once you’ve got the data, what does it tell you? Finally, clients need to figure out their overall strategic direction so they’re ready for the next thing.
What are the biggest untapped opportunities that you see for them? The integration of information across agencies could provide a whole new perspective and a new set of information that we could be using to operate. However, the way the government is structured—the way the laws are set up, the way the agencies are organized, the missions that they each have—doesn’t really drive that to happen.
You’ve always gotten out there and been with your clients. What kind of a difference does that make? It makes all the difference. I didn’t realize it at the time, but getting sent straight to the client site for my first 6 years at Booz Allen was the best thing that could have happened to me. I saw what clients had to deal with, I learned their mission, I understood the pace at which they needed to move and the kinds of services they needed. The relationships you develop when you’re onsite are very different than when you’re just visiting from time to time.
What are your three tips for managing and motivating people? Clearly define the role. Make sure that role has some stretch opportunities. And give your people the autonomy to execute but stay close enough so you can guide them along the way as they’re learning.
What mentorship advice would you give someone who took on a new leadership role? Listen carefully to the people around you. Accept help from those people. And when it’s time to decide, make the decision.
What were you like in high school? Social.
What advice would you give yourself as a young professional if you could go back in time? Enjoy the journey.
What is an obsolete item that you can’t get rid of? A business card holder.
What is your strongest character trait? I’m kind. I like people. That’s why I’m kind. I genuinely like people.
What about your life has most surprised you? It keeps getting better. Really, I am blessed and I have a great life.