Leidos IT Careers: Supporting the Department of Justice
These days, not many people stay with one employer for more than four years. Cindy Gurey is an outlier. She has worked for Lockheed Martin, and now Leidos, for more than 25 years. But that's not the only reason she stands out.
“I run toward problems," she says. “I enjoy the challenge of fixing them and improving things for our customers and for us."
Gurey's customer-focused attitude paired with her ability to understand and communicate end users' goals and experiences helped her transition from a hands-on development role to a leadership role in project management. Gurey proved her ability to interface with customers and as she took on increasingly complex challenges, she was given increasingly bigger programs.
Today, Gurey is the Director of Department of Justice IT Programs at Leidos. In July 2020, Gurey's team scored a big win that she considers to be a high point in her career—and for good reason. Under her leadership, Leidos became the first-ever incumbent contractor managing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms' (ATF) Enterprise Standard Architecture (ESA) program to gain a renewal of its contract. After its outstanding team effort on ESA IV, Leidos was awarded the ATF's ESA V contract, an accomplishment that opens the door for future growth opportunities and adding staff members to the team.
The ESA program
The DOJ's ATF launched the ESA program to procure managed shared IT services for itself and for other components of the DOJ. The program enabled multiple DOJ components—such as the Justice Management Division, the U.S. Antitrust Program, and others—to share the capabilities and scale provided by Leidos, as well as the cost.
Leidos serves DOJ components with end user support, software development, communications, service delivery management, technology leadership, operations, and program management. Since Gurey took the reins in 2016, Leidos has continued to see rapid growth within the program.
Soon after Leidos was awarded the ESA V contract, several more DOJ components began using Leidos services. The ESA V program continues to grow, adding more work and more DOJ components. Thanks in part to this growth, team members get exposed to a variety of projects and growth paths that all support the DOJ's law enforcement mission. In addition, there are often opportunities for new people to join this exciting program.
What's it like to work on the ESA V program?
Despite working across multiple locations, ESA V team members stay in constant touch with their colleagues. To help them connect on a more personal level, Gurey schedules regular virtual events. During the holidays, one ESA V team member “dropped in" dressed as Mrs. Claus.
“We work hard but we also like to have fun," Gurey says. "I enjoy making our work environment a good place."
If you're on Gurey's team, you'll never be out of the loop, even if you're one of the team members located overseas. One way ESA V team members stay in the know is by reading (and contributing to) the program's bimonthly newsletter. Gurey not only publishes program- and project-level updates, but also invites team members to contribute articles and other news. Regular features include kudos for employees who received positive customer feedback and personal news like special accomplishments, and wedding and birth announcements.
Career opportunities abound
Perhaps one of the best things about working on the ESA V program is the potential for a wide variety of career opportunities. “A lot of the people I work with have been with the team for many years, so I've seen them grow their careers," says Gurey.
That's facilitated by the fact that ESA V isn't one program limited to one client, but encompasses multiple task orders and several types of projects.
“Large portfolios like this provide a lot of different areas to contribute and paths for growth within the program," Gurey says. She shares a story about one team member who started at Leidos as a manager of IT technicians. After performing strongly for two years, the woman was ready for more responsibility. She went from managing an internal team to engaging externally as a Customer Engagement Manager. She now leads all teams that directly interface with ESA V customers onsite, including teams that provide digital forensics, trial support and desk support.
Her story isn't rare. Another team member worked his way up to Customer Relationship Manager for ATF, the flagship customer for ESA V. He also runs the program management office and is currently preparing to take on a large program, himself.
“There is plenty of opportunity for people who want to prove themselves and take on more," Gurey says. “Our program continues to expand."
ESA V members work on meaningful projects
“All our DOJ customers are out in the field doing important work. And some of them are working toward catching violent criminals," says Gurey, noting that her team constantly considers how to best support DOJ customers in both classified and unclassified environments.
“When you work for ESA V, you're supporting Law Enforcement's ability to get their job done and, therefore, doing good for the public," Gurey says.
And, not a small detail for DOJ employees, the work sometimes includes making it possible for them to be paid in a timely manner. Following the 2019 government shutdown, for example, there was a mad rush to make sure people got paid. ATF workers had to meet aggressive timelines to enter their time and needed all the support they could get.
“Our service desk folks worked tirelessly to make sure that everyone who needed help got it so that federal staff could get paid," Gurey says.
ATF's CIO was so pleased with the Leidos ESA V team's efforts that he personally flew out to the service desk in Jackson, Miss. to thank everyone.
“To make sure that we didn't have all support staff off the floor at once, we had to rotate them in," Gurey explains. “But he was so appreciative that he stayed to meet with three different groups. For such an important and busy person to take a full day to thank our staff was really special and meaningful to all of us."
Many ESA V team members count themselves lucky to do work that makes a real difference. Want to join them? As the Leidos ESA V portfolio grows, so do the number of career opportunities.
If you're interested in working on this project, visit the ESA V Careers webpage to browse open positions and to apply.