2016 Rising Star Awards
Nicole E. Wilson
Contracting Officer's Representative and Management Analyst, Computer Hardware, Enterprise Software and Solutions, Department of the Army
- By Sean D. Carberry
- Nov 11, 2016
In 2009, when Nicole Wilson was a communications student at George Mason University, she found her way into a contractor position at the Army’s Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems. Once there, her supervisor and mentor, Victoria Johnson, nudged her into the (now defunct) Federal Career Intern Program.
Wilson began working on contracts and later moved to the Computer Hardware, Enterprise Software and Solutions (CHESS) program, the Army’s designated source for commercial IT. Her initial focus was hardware, but Johnson encouraged her to move into software contracting.
Now Wilson manages 24 vendor contracts and 10 follow-on acquisitions in a portfolio with a total value of more than $15 billion and a customer base of more than 17,000. And even though she’s a civilian, she can toss around military acronyms like an Army staff sergeant.
Although the Army’s Oracle Enterprise Unlimited License Agreement was awarded before Wilson was the contract manager, she worked tirelessly to become a subject-matter expert on the myriad issues involved in negotiating contracts with one of the largest commercial software vendors.
As a result of her independent research, she recommended and successfully completed a self-audit certification of Oracle licenses — the largest such self-audit in the Defense Department community to date — and recommended signing a maintenance-only agreement instead of pursuing a second, more expensive ULA.
In addition, Wilson was chosen to oversee a multifunctional device contract due to her superior performance on the IT Enterprise Solutions-2 Hardware contract. Her professionalism and mission focus turned a potentially difficult transition into a success story for CHESS and the seven prime contractors.
“I look at Nicki as the next generation the Army will be relying on as a future leader,” said Terry Watson, acting program executive officer for enterprise information systems. “It all starts with a can-do attitude, and she took that to the next level with her desire to learn more.”
Sean Carberry is a former FCW staff writer who focused on defense, cybersecurity and intelligence.