Rising Stars

Kelli Bell

Eight years after coming to work for the federal government as a contractor, Kelli Bell now leads a team of about 10 people who are in charge of conducting risk assessments for the Navy's IT systems. It's a crucial role, but she always remembers that she was once in the same shoes as the people she now oversees.

"In the role that I'm in today, I lead a group of analysts supporting that same function that I started out in in 2006," said Bell, an information assurance validator in the Crane, Ind., division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center.

Meet the rest of the Rising Stars

The Future of Federal IT- FCW (Volume 28 Number 18)

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Part of Bell's job is to advise and train her staff on any new technical guidance that the Navy or Defense Department issues related to the certification and accreditation of IT systems. She said her technical background, which includes a bachelor's degree in finance and business information systems, has grown even sharper with the help of a tech-savvy team and on-the-job training.

"My team definitely challenges me," she said, when asked how she stays current on the latest IT advances. "I have an outstanding team that stays current on the technologies as well. So it's a constant communication in challenging each other in the technology arena."

About the Author

Sean Lyngaas is an FCW staff writer covering defense, cybersecurity and intelligence issues. Prior to joining FCW, he was a reporter and editor at Smart Grid Today, where he covered everything from cyber vulnerabilities in the U.S. electric grid to the national energy policies of Britain and Mexico. His reporting on a range of global issues has appeared in publications such as The Atlantic, The Economist, The Washington Diplomat and The Washington Post.

Lyngaas is an active member of the National Press Club, where he served as chairman of the Young Members Committee. He earned his M.A. in international affairs from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and his B.A. in public policy from Duke University.

Click here for previous articles by Lyngaas, or connect with him on Twitter: @snlyngaas.


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