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Throughout my career at Booz Allen, I have supported several critical missions within the DoD and Intelligence Communities. I am passionate about supporting new strategic missions and embrace the uniqueness of each effort.
When our clients experience our staff engaging in these important missions with a sense of energy and purpose, they’re ecstatic. When they see our passion, I often hear our clients say “This is such a breath of fresh air!”
As a leader in Booz Allen’s security efforts, Robert Furtado is responsible for the firm’s Army intelligence business as well as its engineering and technology support for the Defense Intelligence Agency. He also provides leadership for other federal agencies that develop and deploy mission support systems, and helps guide the firm’s intelligence community IT enterprise strategy.
Robert has supported several clients across the security community and Department of Defense (DoD). The services he has provided range from enterprise architecture to the development and delivery of systems for a diverse range of functions including biometrics, data integration, digital production, and command and control.
He has managed the firm’s work providing:
Prior to joining Booz Allen in 1987, Robert worked as a systems programmer at the National Security Agency, where he led the development of a number of mission-critical applications.
He holds a B.S. in mathematics and an M.S. in computer science from the University of Lowell.
Why do you have the career you have? My career has evolved throught my many roles within the firm. Prior to Booz Allen, I provided systems development supporting DoD efforts worldwide. When I accepted the job at Booz Allen, my first assignment was to provide documentation. I was a little concerned that after flying around the world for my previous employer, it would not be quite as exciting. However, I came on board and I have never looked back. My career quickly excelled starting with providing Assembly programming support which then evolved to team leadership which then expanded to leadership of a development project. Each opportunity led to higher levels of learning, engaging and professional development in addition to accepting increased levels of responsibility. Leadership of all our IT work for one agency soon became IT leadership for two. The excitement of fulfilling each new role with excellence, handing it off to other people, and then beginning new assignments for another part of the firm has been thrilling. It was like having a small business and selling it off, all with the backing of Booz Allen. This has really fostered my entrepreneurialism.
What are a couple of highlights of your career? I am truly at my highest point right now! Roughly five years ago, we designed and began building our IT strategy for our market space. When the opportunity occurred to bid on a strategic contract against other major companies, we took on that challenge. Despite feelings that we had no chance winning this effort, we did. Then we won another contract, and in a span of 12 months, this new work amounted to nearly $1.2 billion in revenue and a staff increase of 100 people in a single month. When you see your team succeed and the strategy you designed come to fruition, it’s hard to top that. Nevertheless, another highlight of my career was positioning and succeeding in promoting a colleague to vice president last year.
What’s your advice for managing and motivating your people? Leaders should demonstrate empathy for others. I truly care about what is happening with my people on a personal and professional level. Professional success comes from the support of the people around you. Team success is all about the people and sometimes you have to find compromise. My advice is to stay off your high horse, listen to your team from their vantage point and the answer is found in the middle.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? As a lifelong fan of Bobby Orr, I wanted to be a hockey player. When I first moved to the area, I played hockey on a league in Baltimore and continued to play for years. I picked up the skates again a few years ago for a Booz Allen league but unfortunately some injuries have now sidelined me.
What’s your strongest character trait? I would say my strongest character trait is my sense of loyalty. Coming from a large, close-knit family, I learned that having the support of others is invaluable for success in life. I have a strong allegiance to those I work with as well as to my friends and family and I feel the quality of being loyal to those around me has helped me in all of my accomplishments.
What’s something not many people know about you? I have a bachelor's in mathematics and a master's in computer science but the little-known fact is I have a passion for the arts. I have always loved and appreciated art and going to Italy in college was a highlight of my younger days. In my spare time I enjoy touring art museums, attending operas and seeing musical theatre productions particularly in New York City.