Venezuelan native, dedicated team player, and experienced flamenco dancer. These are just a handful of words to describe Maria Fernanda Gilley, who supports the Office of Foreign Labor Certifications (OFLC) within the Department of Labor (DOL).
At the OFLC, Maria leads the Project Management Office team that's working to help develop and deploy a new, cloud-based platform to modernize the U.S. visa application process. The new platform will provide DOL employees with an efficient and reliable tool to manage applications—all while creating a user-friendly and consistent experience for applicants. The coolest part? Maria works on the same visa process her parents used to come to the U.S. from Venezuela back in 2001.
How does Booz Allen empower you and your career?
I'm empowered by the diversity I see around me every day at the firm. I have had the opportunity to serve as the social and cultural lead for our Latin American community here at the firm for 3 years, planning networking and professional development events. Events are not just for members—they are open to all employees, which reflects the welcoming and passionate nature of the Latin community.
I also feel empowered by the work I get to do on a daily basis. The system we're working to improve will allow people who are applying for a U.S. visa and their employer or lawyer to go in, review, and make sure everything looks OK before it's processed. It is incredibly rewarding to help people secure the jobs they want for a better life—just like my parents were able to do.
What is your favorite tradition that you attribute to your heritage?
I dance flamenco three times a week. Although it is not specifically Venezuelan, there is a big Spanish influence in Venezuela. It allows me to express myself, show my passion, and face my fears. It is a big part of my life and reminds me of dancing as a kid in Venezuela.
Finish this sentence: I'm changing the world by…
Empowering myself and those around me.