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Anne Altman — D.C.'s Top 50 Women in Tech 2015

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Anne Altman

General Manager of U.S. Federal and Government Industries
IBM

IBM hopes that Watson, its cognitive computing system, could soon help 9.8 million service members and their families receive health care. Anne Altman wants to work toward making that a reality.

Altman said IBM's partnership with Epic Systems is one of company's top federal focuses as it aims to be the electronic health record provider in the Defense Department's Healthcare Management Systems Modernization program. However, Altman said she is also focused on helping the government find its footing when it comes to big data, cloud computing and engagement.

“It's the new natural resource," Altman said when talking about data. “The federal government has some of the greatest volume and most potentially valuable data in the world, as well as the scientific and computational talent to exploit it. What are the ways to unlock the value of big data as a competitive advantage?"

I think the public and private sectors need to encourage more Americans across the board to enter STEM fields, but especially women.

One of the ways IBM is helping the government find that value is by getting young people interested in technology. IBM has been encouraging high schools in New York as well as universities like Columbia, Fordham and Yale to change their curriculums to make students more qualified for highly skilled STEM jobs.

“I think the public and private sectors need to encourage more Americans across the board to enter STEM fields, but especially women," Altman said. “The more people understand that this is where jobs are going, the more they will want to pursue these fields."

Altman has spent time talking to kids, hoping that if they do pursue a career in STEM, it's because they find a cause that drives them to make it their life's work – the same way Altman approaches her job every day.

“I feel so fortunate that I get to focus on serving my country by partnering with our federal clients in the incredible work they do to benefit all of us – it's a real privilege," she says. “If I can look at the work we're doing and know that we've made some kind of difference, that is what I strive for all the time, that is the ultimate accomplishment."

– Greg Otto

Read the full story about this year's selection of D.C.'s Top 50 Women in Technology, and view the full list here.