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What's Happening

A Booz Allen Company Blog

“In all walks of life, our most trusted colleagues and friends have this in common: We can count on them. No matter what the situation or challenge, they will be there for us. Booz Allen Hamilton is trusted in that way. You can count on us.”
- Dr. Ralph W. Shrader
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

 

Welcome to the Booz Allen company blog. Here you will find ongoing updates to news and information intended to help you learn more about Booz Allen’s business and involvement in the community. Blog authors will vary to provide the best input on the subject at hand. If you would like to receive blog post alerts via email or RSS you can register here.

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Giuliana Macaluso
Summer 2015 

As a college student, I craved real-world professional experience. For this reason, I began seeking out summer internship opportunities early in the 2014-2015 academic year, but I wasn’t searching for just anything. I’ve heard countless tales of woe from peers who have spent their summers fetching coffees and organizing file cabinets for their superiors. I wanted something more – something that would allow me to put what I’d already learned in the classroom to use and challenge me to go beyond that which I already knew.

I learned of Booz Allen Hamilton’s summer internship program through a friend, and sent in my resume after doing some personal research of the company. The Booz Allen Recruiting Services Team kept me up-to-date during the entire application process, answering my questions and considering my resume. Within days, the Booz Allen team reached out to me regarding a phone interview, which was promptly scheduled. I knew during my interview that Booz Allen was special. My interviewers were kind and professional, asked meaningful questions, and answered thoughtfully and completely all the questions that I had about the Firm. Soon after, a Booz Allen recruiter reached out to offer me a summer internship, which I gladly accepted. And thus began the greatest learning experience of my life.

As an intern, I became part of a team serving Booz Allen’s Army account. I say “became part of” rather than “participated in” because I was fully integrated into my team. I regularly engaged in meetings and consistently collaborated with my team members. My leaders knew that I was interested in gaining practical experience in technical writing and technical editing, both of which directly correspond to my Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication major. My leadership took this knowledge to heart, and consistently gave me projects that both catered directly to my areas of interest and allowed me to gain knowledge that I simply couldn’t gain in a classroom.

These projects were purposeful, demonstrating my leaders’ interest and trust in me. I was honored to perform technical editing and technical writing for a government proposal and for an internal Booz Allen handbook during the summer. Seeing my potential and working to make my internship a time of growth, my Booz Allen team also allowed me to gain knowledge of design by giving liberty to create the handbook’s cover and internal layout and format. Further, I learned specifics of proposal writing that I would have never learned otherwise. My leadership consistently took my interests into account and challenged me to go beyond what I already knew to grow into a confident, well rounded professional.

I therefore have no doubt that Booz Allen’s success and deserved renown is a direct result of its exceptional leaders. Although I was an intern, my leaders invited and valued my ideas and opinions. I was regarded as an equal and was genuinely treated as an asset with skills to contribute. This sense of importance allowed me a space to be comfortable and, as a result, innovative. Every Booz Allen leader with whom I worked valued each member of their team, and it is this collective attitude of equality and collaboration that sets Booz Allen apart from other workplaces.   

I firmly believe that challenging environments inspire the most growth, and my experience at Booz Allen confirmed this. It’s clear that my leaders and team members at Booz Allen firmly believe in their values, treat people with dignity, and perform exceptionally. It was my honor and pleasure to work within the one of the world’s finest consulting firms this summer, and I hope that I can continue learning and growing at Booz Allen very soon.

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A Directed Energy (DE) weapon is one that engages targets with electromagnetic energy rather than the kinetic energy used in conventional weapons such as projectiles. Last month, Booz Allen Hamilton co- hosted a first–of-its kind DE Summit, bringing together the most comprehensive group of DE stakeholders ever in one place at one time. Leaders from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Joint Staff, Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine Corps joined with members of Congress and the U.S. defense industry to discuss the current DE research and testing, the drivers, and the challenges facing development progress.

Co-hosts Booz Allen Executive Vice President Joe Logue and Dr. Andrew Krepinevich, president of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, led the day’s agenda. All the participants acknowledged that DE technologies are at a tipping point, with Booz Allen Executive Vice President and panel moderator Trey Obering defining that the imperative is no longer, “can we do it?” but “how do make it operationally relevant?” Co-Chair of the Congressional Directed Energy Caucus, Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI-2) noted that DE is “not the easiest thing to explain. It takes some time to wrap your head around the technology, and even longer to work through the doctrines.”

Directed energy weapons include a host of technologies, including high-energy lasers, high-power microwaves, and related radiofrequency technologies. These technologies offer the potential to provide cost-effective precision attack or enhanced point defense, in addition to flexible non-kinetic uses. DE weapons are well-suited to dealing with asymmetric challenges in addition to more complex potential roles in killing ballistic missiles in their boost phase when they are most vulnerable and have few viable countermeasures. Harnessing DE in modern weapons systems has become a reality that promises to change the way we engage our battlespace and protect our borders.

Lt. Gen. William H. Etter, Commander 1st Air Force, and Commander, Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command emphasized the need to field DE weapons that have the capability to “dial-up or dial-down” their lethality to meet various challenges. "We in the DoD are concerned about collateral damage anywhere in the world, especially here in the Homeland," he said.

The Honorable Frank Kendall, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics warned that without appropriate investments in potential leap-ahead technologies such as DE the DoD would be at risk of falling behind its competitors. There’s a need to push ideas from the demonstration phase into the field more rapidly and to lower operational costs. Senior military and civilian leaders representing the Air Force and Navy, the two service branches taking the lead in development of DE capabilities, emphasized the need to work closely with industry to achieve those results. That is what’s needed to convince Congress of the long-term value of DE technology investments in a period of budget constraints.

For nearly two decades, Booz Allen scientists and engineers have been involved in many successful DE projects, from conceptual design phase to technology demonstration. Our staff experts bring to bear real-world insights on defining the practicalities and feasibilities of DE. In addition, Booz Allen’s expertise and experience with the acquisition process, both for traditional and DE systems, has informed a strategy that aims to minimize the disruption accompanying the insertion and integration process. Booz Allen looks at the DE challenges holistically and objectively, addressing the complex interplay of people, process and technology. 

“We have the engineering and consultative skill sets to enable a smooth transition of DE from a disruptive technology to a critical element of the warfighter’s capabilities,” says Joe Shepherd, Booz Allen’s Principal leading the growth of the firm’s DE business. “Hosting this summit enabled critical dialogue among the key stakeholders and highlighted Booz Allen’s leadership and commitment to helping our DoD clients, and our country not only be ready, but be out ahead of our adversaries in technologies that will have the potential to become the new face of warfare and defense.”

To learn more about Booz Allen's work on DE click here

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Our real world experience is feeling more and more like science fiction. We’re having serious conversations about “things” talking to other “things.” We wonder if our refrigerator has effective cyber security. Our car and smart phones argue about the fastest way to drive home. The emerging IoT world is exciting, sometimes foreign and full of opportunity. But it can also feel overwhelming. How do we keep up, much less stay ahead, when connectivity is changing everything? 

Disruptive moments like this often give way to a natural instinct: hunker down and hoard resources. For many businesses, that means building ever higher (fire)walls, building an arsenal for the patent wars and gobbling up scarce technical talent. After all, the thinking goes, you need a cadre of technical experts to compete and win in IoT, and protecting the exciting technologies they develop is an existential need.

But it is increasingly clear this approach is misguided. While you certainly need clever engineers, succeeding in the Internet of Things is less about the things you make than it is how you engage with people: your competitors, government counterparts and customers. How you interact with these groups will determine your ability to succeed as much, if not more, than your technical prowess. 

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In fact, despite the technical complexity of the IoT world, you’ll get ahead by remembering the simple lessons you were taught as a child.

  1. Play nice. You’ll always have competitors that you’ll want to beat in the market, but you can’t treat them like enemies. Connected products, the cornerstone of IoT, are only as good as their ability to “talk” to other products. Yes, that includes your competitors, so work with them to come to industry-wide agreements on standards and policies that will ensure we’re building an increasingly connected society. And let’s get there faster than we did with USB charging.  
  2. Share with others. Your innovation won’t realize its potential in isolation. Google showed the power of opening up, and now Android is the most widely used mobile platform. So find opportunities to share across your industry and with public sector leaders. Get together to identify shared needs, pool resources and develop the next generation of IoT engineers. Engage early and often with governments as partners, not regulators, so that they can invest in the right 
  3. Use your imagination. IoT will not only transform industries, but even more fundamentally, it will change how we live. The potential for improvements to safety, security and everyday life—they’re only limited to our imagination. Technical schema and detailed standards are important, but shouldn’t limit the big dreams that IoT promises. This should be fun: Rediscover your imagination, challenge long-held assumptions, and make cool stuff that improves lives.  

Ultimately the organizations that have the most success in IoT will be the ones who collaborate best.  Everything is changing, but it is still all about making connections.

About the Author

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Denis Cosgrove (@CosgroveDenis) is a leader in Booz Allen Hamilton’s high-tech manufacturing business focusing on connected vehicles. For more insights, view a paper he co-authored on the Connected Car Movement

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By Joachim Roski

Booz Allen has convened an advisory committee of some of the nation’s most prominent experts in delivering high reliability care across the public and private sectors to bring innovative solutions to the Military Health System. The committee aims to improve patient safety, healthcare quality, and access to needed services for service members and their families.

Four experts currently serve on the Advisory Committee. The unique perspectives they bring from their experience in the private sector will help Booz Allen address challenges in moving the Military Health System toward a high reliability organization.

While additional advisors will round out the committee over the next few months, the current advisors are already working directly with Booz Allen staff and military health leaders. To date, they have participated in multiple events and provided valuable insight to Booz Allen staff and its clients.

Looking ahead, the advisors will support Booz Allen in developing innovative solutions to support high reliability care across the Military Health System and beyond.

Advisory Committee Profiles

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Peter Pronovost M.D., Ph.D., FCCM

As one of the world’s leading authorities on patient safety, Dr. Pronovost developed a scientifically proven method for reducing the deadly infections associated with central line catheters. His simple but effective checklist protocol virtually eliminated such infections in intensive care units across the state of Michigan, saving 1,500 lives and $100 million annu­ally. These results have been sustained for more than three years and the checklist is now implemented across the United States and in several other countries. 

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George J. Isham M.D., M.S.

Dr. Isham is responsible for working with HealthPartners’ senior management team on health and quality of care improvement for patients, members, and the community. As a senior fellow, he facilitates progress at the intersection of population health research and public policy.

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Barbara Balik RN, EdD

Ms. Balik works with healthcare leaders to build systems and culture for quality, safety, patient/family experience, and staff-provider engagement. Recent partnerships involved developing skills and systems for patient- and family-centered care and patient partnerships, excellent patient experience (physician communication with patients), reliable transitions in care, and development of effective quality infrastructures for population health. The systems developed assure sustained improvement and innovation.

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Gary R. Yates, MD

A board certified family physician, Dr. Yates is responsible for the clinical effectiveness programs and physician integration efforts for Sentara Healthcare’s 10-hospital system and 432,000-member health plan. In 2004, Dr. Yates’ leadership of patient safety initiatives led to the American Hospital Association awarding Sentara Norfolk General Hospital with its Quest for Quality Prize. The following year, Dr. Yates’ work was again recognized when the National Quality Forum and the Joint Commission awarded the John M. Eisenberg Award for Patient Safety and Quality to Sentara Healthcare. That same year, Dr. Yates was awarded the 2005 Physician Executive Award of Excellence from Modern Physician and the American College of Physician Executives.

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