Rising Star Heather Blackwell

Heather Blackwell Name: Maj. Heather W. Blackwell

Age: 34

Organization: Office of Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.)

Title: Air Force Legislative Fellow

Nominated for: Leading the modernization of the Air Force’s $600 million inventory of theater command and control and air control communications systems. Used a portfolio management approach to successfully make the case for a $30 million budget increase to improve communications in counterinsurgency and humanitarian relief operations.

First IT mentor: I was a brand-new second lieutenant reporting to my first duty location at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. I was lucky enough to share an office with Senior Master Sergeant (ret.) Steve Larson who was a master sergeant at the time. Steve was not only my first information technology mentor but being a brand-new second lieutenant, I learned the fundamentals of being a good Air Force officer. Steve taught me the importance of exploring the technical aspects of our career field while also maintaining focus on the managerial details required for a successful team.

Latest accomplishment: The accomplishment I’m most proud of would be the support we’ve been able to provide to wounded warriors and their families. Military personnel and their families are extremely stressed now due to continued efforts in both Iraq and Afghanistan. While in this job, we’ve been able to make some great strides toward improving quality of health care and quality of life for those service members and their families who have sacrificed so much for our country.

Career highlight: Two highlights: pinning senior airman stripes on an airman in my flight while stationed at Balad Air Base, Iraq, and officiating at the ceremony of my good friend and mentor in honor of his promotion to chief master sergeant.

Favorite bookmark: Early Bird

Dream non-IT-related job: College professor


The annual Rising Star awards are presented by the 1105 Government Information Group, publisher of Federal Computer Week, GCN and Washington Technology,  to public and private sector employees in the federal IT community who have gone above and beyond their job descriptions to make a lasting impact in their organization. See all the 2009 Rising Star award winners.

Featured

  • Contracting
    8 prototypes of the border walls as tweeted by CBP San Diego

    DHS contractors face protests – on the streets

    Tech companies are facing protests internally from workers and externally from activists about doing for government amid controversial policies like "zero tolerance" for illegal immigration.

  • Workforce
    By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268

    At OPM, Weichert pushes direct hire, pay agent changes

    Margaret Weichert, now acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, is clearing agencies to make direct hires in IT, cyber and other tech fields and is changing pay for specialized occupations.

  • Cloud
    Shutterstock ID ID: 222190471 By wk1003mike

    IBM protests JEDI cloud deal

    As the deadline to submit bids on the Pentagon's $10 billion, 10-year warfighter cloud deal draws near, IBM announced a legal protest.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.