Venezuelan native, dedicated team player, and experienced flamenco dancer: These are just a handful of words to describe Maria Fernanda Gilley, a project manager who supports the Data Analytics Services within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Prior to joining the VA, Maria led the Project Management Office team at the Department of Labor that worked to develop and deploy a cloud-based platform to modernize the U.S. visa application process. The platform provides Labor Department employees with an efficient and reliable tool to manage applications—all while maintaining a user-friendly and consistent experience for applicants. The coolest part? Maria worked 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 opportunity for growth that the firm provides, and I’m inspired by the diversity I see around me every day.
My matrixed team has allowed me to grow professionally and expand my network. The experience I’ve gained from supporting various agencies like the Labor Department, the Commerce Department, and the VA has allowed me to pivot my career.
Through leveraging the firm’s professional development opportunities and partnership with the University of Maryland Global Campus, I was able to attain a master’s degree in cybersecurity technology, which has created opportunities for me to apply my expertise to other markets. Each market, agency, and team I’ve worked with has been composed of people of various backgrounds and life experiences. This diversity allows us to be innovative in our delivery work.
What is your favorite tradition that you attribute to your heritage?
I dance flamenco three times a week. Although it's 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's 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.