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I love working with others. That’s where I find my energy and insight; I’m passionate about the team I work with and the clients we support.
That attitude has served me well, in a career of nearly 30 years supporting the Intelligence Community in the government and private sector.
I love the opportunity to work with and lead a team of folks that is so impressive, capable, and dedicated. And I have a great respect for what our clients do to support our national security, and to keep us safe and free.
Patricia Hanback, a senior leader for our work in the security sector, provides mission operations and analytics support to clients such as the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Central Intelligence Agency.
Patricia and her team focus on assignments in the following areas:
Pat has extensive experience working with both the executive and legislative branches of the Federal Government. She has led large-scale capability transformations and management initiatives within the CIA and the National Reconnaissance Office, and driven oversight initiatives for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Her expertise in operations support, resource management, policy, strategic planning and oversight, and in the intelligence community overall, is broadly recognized.
Prior to joining the firm in January, 2006, Pat worked in the Federal Government for more than 20 years as a senior IC leader, and as a senior staff member for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. There she supported the committee’s oversight and legislative efforts to strengthen and improve our national security capabilities.
Pat has a B.S. in accounting from Carson Newman College and an M.B.A. from Marymount University.
What is it about working with the Intelligence Community that is so intriguing to you? Part of it is that a lot of the mission is done necessarily under the radar. A lot of it must be—and should always be—done clandestinely. That fascinates me. It’s very difficult; it’s very challenging. When I see what these folks are doing for our country and the importance of their mission—they’re not just doing it to try to grow or build or develop. It’s for our national security, and they’re doing it basically in the shadows. I am so respectful of that.
What are your tips for managing and motivating your people? First is communicate, communicate some more, and then communicate again. I’m a big believer in lots of constant channels of communication—group and individual.
What advice would you give yourself as a young professional? Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone.
What are the most pressing needs in your industry today? The biggest one by far is massive data. Clients in the industry can’t manage it; they can’t really use it. They are awash in data, and it’s just growing exponentially. Second is technology, offensive and defensive: how to defend against new technologies and how to use those technologies offensively. In both cases, we have great capacity to help our clients.
How do you help them with that? Part of it is through providing technical solutions for better information exploitation and management. Booz Allen has tremendous capabilities there. Gap analysis is another way.Through our knowledge of our clients, their opportunities, and their challenges, we can provide critical solutions. We need to stay closely engaged with our clients, and understand their needs so we can translate those problems and gaps that they have into solutions.
What is the best business advice you’ve gotten in your career? It’s simple but very true: You don’t always have to work harder to have impact. Work smarter, not harder.
How are you working to build the next generation of national security specialists? Talent identification at all levels. Identifying that talent and then nurturing it through mentoring, assignments, recognition, and advancement—and that’s inside and sometimes outside the firm. It’s keeping a keen eye open for talent and then working hard to bring that talent along.
What mentorship advice would you give to someone who took on a new leadership role? Have unflinching courage. Every time I’ve made a mistake in a leadership role, it’s been because I didn’t pay attention to what I knew. Have the courage to disagree. Listen a lot, but have the faith and conviction of what you want to do in the organization to step out boldly.
What’s an obsolete item you can’t get rid of? I like handwritten notes. I like to write them, I like to receive them, and I love nice paper. I love the personal nature of a handwritten note.
What’s something not many people know about you? They might hear my accent, but what they don’t know is that I am a descendent of the McCoys of the feuding Hatfields and McCoys.
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