The New IC: Empowering Women and Engaging Men

The New IC: Empowering Women and Engaging Men

What a Week!

Thank you to all the public and private sector leaders who shared their expertise and experiences during our week-long New IC virtual symposium. And kudos to our 700+ attendees who tuned in - a powerful indicator of the importance of the topic and desire to be part of the solution. As our speakers shared, diversity…of ethnicities, genders, abilities, ages, perspectives…is our nation’s competitive advantage.  And the more we learn from each other, share best practices and leverage this strength…the better our mission outcomes will be.

Session Five: Fireside Chat with Sisters - Juliane Gallina and Kris Lovejoy - RECAP

To close the final day of The New IC: Empowering Women and Engaging Men Symposium, INSA President Suzanne Wilson Heckenberg moderated a Q&A with two inspiring sisters, Juliane Gallina and Kris Lovejoy. To start out, both talked about their accidental beginning to their successful careers in male-dominated fields. In growing up with strong female role models in their family, Juliane and Kris quickly learned how to be resilient, honorable, and to lead with commitment and intention.

While they each shared their experiences with unconscious biases throughout their careers, both Kris and Juliane are optimistic that the demographics in these fields are changing for the better. There are, however, still some challenges to overcome, such as the significant rate of mid-career drop-off for women, especially those with children. To help counter this drop-off rate, Kris points out that “we have to be careful about signals we are giving people and make sure they do not feel like they have to choose” between their careers and their families. Finally, Juliane and Kris emphasized the effect an individual’s upbringing and home of origin has on their behaviors and biases. With an increase in sensitivity and empathy, there is an understanding that will be able to be reached among diverse populations.

Watch the Fireside Chat with Juliane Gallina and Kris Lovejoy Session Recording!

GDIT believes that innovation is fueled by diverse people, experiences and perspectives. Learn how GDIT and our partners drive innovation at the annual Women + Technology Conference, Oct. 26. Follow @GDIT for updates and registration details, coming soon.

Scenes from the July 15 Networking Reception at Grand Cru in Arlington.  
Special thanks Guidehouse, our New IC networking reception sponsor. View all pics.  

Guidehouse Commitment to DEI

Day Four: LTG Mary O'Brien, USAF, Keynote and Q&A with The Hon. Sue Gordon  - RECAP

In her opening remarks, LTG Mary O’Brien, USAF, noted the value of critical thinking skills in reducing barriers for women and the importance of testing assumptions to interrupt biases. O'Brien pointed out when an organization does not create an environment for women to succeed, then the failure is far too often attributed to the woman, as opposed to the organization.  She advises companies to "stop trying to fix women and start fixing your policies and practices." 

LTG O’Brien shared several HBR articles that have informed her thinking:

  • Harvard Business Review – May/June 2018 issue – “What most people get wrong about men and women”
    •  Thriving in the workforce is connected to access to information networks, not being punished disproportionally for mistakes, and receiving timely and constructive feedback.  Men and women have similar inclinations, attitudes, and skills. What does differ is the way they are treated on the job.
  • Harvard Business Review – Nov/Dec 2019 issues – “How the Best Bosses interrupt Bias on their Teams”
    • Hiring, leaders should insist on a diverse pool, precommit to objective criteria, limit referral hiring, and structure interviews around skills-based questions. O'Brien shared that you can find a free toolkit on 
  • Harvard Business Review - February 2021 - “Male Allyship is About Paying Attention
    • Provides recommendations for men who may struggle to see the gender discrimination and harassment that women face day-to-day. 

The Q&A between LTG O’Brien and former PDDNI Sue Gordon addressed how important it is to be your authentic self, in order to bring your greatest strengths to the team and best contribute to the mission.  Said Gordon, "You have to deliver as a leader. How you deliver is changing by the day. And I think that is one of the really great aspects of diversity and increasingly diverse leadership teams. We are figuring out that excellence doesn't have one look."

As for the influx of women in leadership roles within the intelligence and national security communities, LTG O’Brien shared her excitement about an increasing number of junior and mid-career women that now have exceptional female role models to look up too, and can now think, “this could be me.”

LTG O’Brien also discussed the Air Force’s Women’s Initiative Team, whose efforts include developing female specialized healthcare policies, standardizing infertility policies, removing pregnancy discrimination policies, and expanding childcare programs to include a stipend for at-home care.

Session Sponsor

Media Coverage:

Mentoring the Next Generation in National Security ClearanceJobs

The Intelligence and National Security Alliance kept the conversation going in their The New IC: Empowering Women & Engaging Men program today with a panel moderated by our very own ClearanceJobs Director of Content and PR, Lindy Kyzer. Mentoring is a critical component to ensuring that the right talent continues to play a role in national security.

Sometimes it’s about getting your start in national security. Everyone has a different story, and it’s important to enable the next generation of female leaders. While some women enter the world of national security through military service, like Col. Carolyn Washington (Ret.) co-chair of Defense and Intelligence Working Groups, WCAPS; others like Cadie Naquin, co-founder and chief strategy Officer of The Command Purpose Foundation, said that although her interest in national security was somewhat by accident, she did have a perspective shift in college that was a game changer for her.

Read More!

  • Lauren Bean Buitta, Founder and CEO, Girl Security
  • Cadie Naquin, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, The Command Purpose Foundation
  • Lindsay Rodman, Executive Director, The Leadership Council for Women in National Security
  • Col. Carolyn Washington, USA (Ret.) Co-Chair of Defense and Intelligence Working Group, WCAPS
  • Lindy Kyzer, Director of Content and PR, (moderator)

Session Sponsor:

Day Three: Empowering the Next Generation of Female Leaders - RECAP

On Wednesday’s program of the New IC: Empowering Women and Engaging Men, INSA gathered a handful of talented women all leading organizations whose missions are to empower the next generation female leaders in intelligence and national security. Panelists discussed the roles of their various organizations, the value of diversity in mentorship, and shared advice on how both mentors and mentees can and should seek out these relationships.

Lindsay Rodman of the The Leadership Council for Women in National Security discussed the value of the long-term mentorship model and noted how effective mentors should provide mentees with the “inside scoop” and sponsorship throughout their careers. Panelists noted the importance of building natural relationships with coworkers to the extent that they trust you and trust your work. Lauren Bean Buitta drove this point home in emphasizing how relationship-based models to drive diversity, equity and inclusion really do work, and highlighted how the Girl Security mentorship program has allowed mentors and mentees to learn equally from one another. Carolyn Washington of Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security discussed the importance of having people to turn to when the time comes to have difficult conversations, and emphasized the value of peer mentoring. Cadie Naquin of Amazing Women of the IC and the Command Purpose Foundation pointed to the idea of self-mentorship, noting how no mentor can tell you what you care most about. She explained how mentorship is invaluable to helping us identify paths, goals and interests, but that purpose will ultimately come from within. Panelists also discussed attributes mentors should seek out in selecting mentees, noting one’s energy, purpose and self-motivation to take advice and then go out and put in the work in order to achieve their goals.

Watch the Recording!

Get to Know #YourIC

Learn about the dedicated, mission driven professionals that make up the U.S. national security and intelligence community, and the array of career opportunities available across the public, private and academic sectors.

Ingrid Peterson

Director, National Security Segment,
Read Ingrid's Story!

Melissa Sutherland
Senior Vice President,
Booz Allen Hamilton
Read Melissa's Story!

Esri's Commitment to DEI

Thoughts from Booz Allen Hamilton!

At Booz Allen, we infuse diversity, equity, and inclusion at the heart of our culture. We empower people—our colleagues, clients, and community—to change the world through collaboration, doing right, harnessing the power of diversity, embracing the mission at-hand and exploring what’s next.

Media Coverage:

Top Defense Contractors and Agencies Share DEI Successes ClearanceJobs

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released its annual report on diversity within the Intelligence Community last week. In the past year the number of minorities saw just a slight (half percent) increase while the number of women represented remained the same. Like companies across the country, demand is high for success in diversity, equity, and inclusion. But while great strides have been made, leaders emphasize there is more that needs to be done.

This week the Intelligence and National Security Alliance is helping to drive the DEI conversation forward with its program The New IC: Empowering Women and Engaging men. Across a week of conversations with industry and agency IC leaders, INSA is highlighting current efforts to attract and engage a diverse workforce and what steps can continue to be taken to move the needle of inclusion and accessibility to opportunity for the best talent.

Read More!

  • Liz Brooks, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, NSA
  • Bridget Chatman, Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Corporate Social Responsibility, SAIC
  • Meghan Flannery Hayes, Department Head for Complex Systems Monitoring at Penn State's Applied Research Laboratory
  • Scott Nycum, Senior Director, Inclusion, Diversity, and Giving, GDIT
  • Vietta Williams, Director, Human Development Directorate, NGA
  • Chris Armstrong, Co-Owner, Veritas Culture; Former Culture Executive at DIA and NGA (moderator)

Session Sponsor:


Day Two: Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion in the IC - RECAP

INSA’s virtual symposium continued on Tuesday with A Discussion on Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion in the IC. This conversation opened with the panelist’s thoughts on how to bring a sense of belonging to underrepresented groups of individuals. Bridget Chatman pointed out that “belonging is in parallel to inclusion” as it ensures that employees fit and have a role in their organization in their everyday experiences. In considering how leaders can create and enable an authentic environment for their workforce, Liz Brooks described the many programs needed at the variety of tiers in an organization that can ensure that employees at all levels have the proper resources available to them. As many of the panelists pointed out, employee resource groups have been crucial over the past year to facilitate the necessary communication between groups of people and allow for leadership to better understand the needs of their workforce. By preparing employees with proper language and resources, organizations can avoid groupthink and draw out critical questions that lead to accountability. Resilience goes hand in hand with diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and accessibility. People want meaningful, purposeful work. Coming out of remote work, companies and managers are going to have to continue to meet the needs of their employees in order to maintain their workforce. The panelists also discussed a number of examples of the ways in which having a diverse workforce allows for better performance within an organization. Success happens when a variety of diverse voices are working together on a project. Having accessible and available leaders will help employees to increase their confidence and allow their voices to be heard.

Watch the Recording!

Get to Know #YourIC

Learn about the dedicated, mission driven professionals that make up the U.S. national security and intelligence community, and the array of career opportunities available across the public, private and academic sectors.

Dedra Bonner
Program Manager,
Northrop Grumman Mission Systems
Read Dedra's Story!

Patty Mims
Director, Global National Government,
Read Patty's Story!

Thoughts from ManTech!

At ManTech, we know that our success fundamentally relies upon inclusion and diversity to drive our core values and differentiate our business solutions. Each of our more than 9,400 employees brings distinct backgrounds and unique skill sets to the team, that set us apart.

  • Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, Founder, The Leadership Council for Women in National Security; First Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, U.S. Department of State
  • Hon. Ellen McCarthy, Former Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research; First female president of INSA
  • Jenifer Smith, PhD, First female PhD hired by FBI
  • Tracy Walder, Former CIA Officer & FBI Special Agent, Author, The Unexpected Spy; First female CIA operative to move from CIA to FBI
  • Matice Wright-Springer, Senior Vice President, Booz Allen Hamilton, Global Defense Group, Aerospace; First African-American Female Naval Flight Officer
  • Tish Long, INSA/INSF Chairman; First female director of a major intelligence agency (Moderator)

Session Sponsor:

Day One: Female Trailblazers in the IC and National Security Community - RECAP

INSA kicked off this year’s edition of The New IC: Empowering Women and Engaging Men program with a strong panel of female trailblazers in intelligence and national security. Panelists shared their personal experiences overcoming barriers as women in the field, while addressing the gender gap in the IC and emphasizing the power of both male and female mentors in advancing the careers and professional development of women. Panelists shared words of advice to young women entering a male dominated profession, to include remaining courageous and confident and in knowing one’s value and the positive and unique things one brings to the table. Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley discussed the role men can play as allies to women in intelligence and national security. She emphasized the importance of amplifying female voices, recognizing their male privilege, and making a conscious effort to seek out talented women. She also noted the value of men as supporters and sponsors of women, and how this will boost the confidence of young women in the field and help enable them to reach their goals. Panelists also discussed the importance of understanding the system which you are trying to change, remaining vigilant and attentive to diversity, equity and inclusion daily, and the value of investing in both one’s tradecraft and in developing ones’ network. Tracy Walder expressed concerns that women are still largely underestimated in the field, and her desire to see this change. Ellen McCarthy emphasized that this change must start with strong leadership, and an understanding that there is a role to play for every leader at every level within an organization.

Get to Know #YourIC

Learn about the dedicated, mission driven professionals that make up the U.S. national security and intelligence community, and the array of career opportunities available across the public, private and academic sectors.

Supervisory Analyst, Investigative Research Lead,
Exiger Federal Solutions
Read Jennavie's Story!

Kathleen Pumphrey
Program Director of National Intelligence,
Read Kathleen's Story!

SAIC's Commitment to DEI

Monday, July 12 | 2:00-3:00pm ET

Female Trailblazers in Intelligence & National Security 

Tuesday, July 13 | 2:00-3:00pm ET

A Discussion on Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion in the IC 

Wednesday, July 14 | 2:00-3:00pm ET

Empowering the Next Generation of Female Leaders

Thursday, July 15 | 2:00-3:00pm ET

Keynote with LTG Mary O'Brien, USAF

Thursday, July 15 | 5:00-6:30pm ET

Networking Reception

Following LTG O'Brien's keynote, join us in-person at the Grand Cru Wine Bar (4301 Wilson Blvd #100, Arlington, VA 22203) for a networking reception. Build new relationships or reconnect with colleagues you have not seen in a while! Rain or shine! Weather permitting, the reception will be held outside. In the case of inclement weather, the reception will be moved indoors.

Program Details

This is a virtual event. Every session, besides the networking reception, will be held online. Dates & Times 
  • Monday, July 12 | 2:00 - 3:00 pm ET
  • Tuesday, July 13 | 2:00 - 3:00 pm ET
  • Wednesday, July 14 | 2:00 - 3:00 pm ET
  • Thursday, July 15 | 2:00 - 3:00 pm ET + In-Person Networking Reception from 5:00 - 6:30 pm ET
  • Friday, July 16 | 2:00 - 3:00 pm ET
Media Policy This event is open to the press. Contact [email protected] for more information.

This event could not be possible without the help of our supporting partners: 



Thank you to our sponsors!

Sponsorship Opportunities

To learn about available sponsorship opportunities, contact Jeff Lavine at [email protected]

Peggy O'Connor

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