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We've come a long way delivering innovative solutions. But our next chapter is still being written.
Our 22,600 engineers, scientists, software developers, technologists, and consultants live to solve problems that matter. We’re proud of the diversity throughout our organization, from our most junior ranks to our board of directors and leadership team.
I’ve always loved working for Booz Allen. There are many opportunities to reinvent yourself or do something different here. I feel like I’ve had multiple careers within the firm, and that’s usually part of my conversation with younger employees, because I’ve always felt like you could find what you’re looking for in this firm.
You don’t need to go elsewhere. I believe this is a truly entrepreneurial type of company.
When I look back on my almost three decades at Booz Allen, I know my mentors played a significant role in my success. These days the tables have turned, and I’m happy to pass along my mentors’ wisdom to junior employees, even adding some of my own advice for good measure.
Don Padgett is a leader in the firm’s defense business, with a focus on the Department of Defense (DoD), Office of the Secretary of Defense Personnel and Readiness, the Joint Staff, and other DoD agencies. With more than 27 years of experience providing management and technology services to the public sector, he helps clients achieve organizational and mission success through strategic use of business process and technology.
His expertise includes:
Don joined our firm in 1989 as a research analyst. He is a recognized leader in the areas of mission analysis, IT, process improvement, and change management. Don has worked with numerous civilian agencies, state governments, and all military services. He has provided IT program management, application development, knowledge management, and strategic planning consulting services across functional disciplines, including logistics, plans, acquisition, budgeting, and technology.
Prior to joining the firm, he worked as an application developer for a government organization and as an analyst for a consulting firm.
Don holds a B.B.A. in management information systems from James Madison University and an M.S. in information systems from George Mason University. He is a certified project management professional and holds a certification from Georgetown University in change management.
What do you see Booz Allen doing and accomplishing 25 years from now? I certainly see the direction we’re going in on the technical side as a large-scale system implementer/integrator. I think we’ll continue our positioning as a firm with the best cyber capabilities and talent in the industry. We’ll still maintain a significant management consulting business, which has always been the bread and butter of this business going back 100-plus years. We’ll continue to apply our services around the really high-impact type of activities that are traditionally done behind the scenes.
How do you prepare your clients for the future? You develop the relationships. You understand their mission and what their desires are for their organizations. We consult. When you’re on a client site and you’re working closely with clients, you get a unique perspective.
How do you motivate your team? I try to give them exciting work, showing them progression paths, moving people through the system, rewarding successes.
What advice would you give a young professional just starting out at Booz Allen? Be patient. Become an expert at something. It usually takes 2 to 5 years to really master something. Focus, find your niche, find out what you like, and then become an expert. You can grow from that.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? I was always a sports junkie, so I thought I’d be a star athlete. It quickly became clear that that wasn’t in the cards.
What was your first job? I worked for McDonald’s. We were a bunch of high school folks, and I developed a new circle of friends. It was an extremely difficult and exhausting job. It was not an easy job then, and I’m sure it’s not an easy job today.
What do you like to do in your spare time? I try to run as much as I can. Lately I’ve gotten into fantasy baseball, so I like to look at stats and build my teams. I read when I can, and get out and play golf. I try to stay as active as I can.
Do you have a favorite getaway spot? I go to the Outer Banks. I have a little beach box down in Kitty Hawk.
What is your strongest character trait? I’m a loyal person. It’s something I try to instill in folks. I’m extremely loyal to the firm, the people I work with, and my bosses.