Susie Adams – D.C.'s Top 50 Women in Tech 2015

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Susie Adams

Chief Technology Officer
Microsoft Federal

Susie Adams' entrance into public service came naturally. Growing up in the D.C. area, she graduated from George Mason University, landing a job building systems for the Defense Department.

Now, Adams is helping the public sector not only improve its use of cloud computing and mobility platforms, but also increase the speed that it drives change.

“No longer can we have a four-year IT project beginning to end. The time frame has changed, we need to be much more agile," she said.

There is always this feeling that IT is this man's world, and I tell girls it's not.

Adams sees one of the things driving that agility is the ability for not only the IT worker, but also the citizen, to use government products at any time from any device.

“The edge has moved," she said. “The ability to quickly provide meaningful information to citizens in a bi-directional fashion, as well as giving your workers the ability to work from anywhere, is really driving change."

That natural inclination to drive change extends beyond the office, Adams said. She also helps high school students, especially girls, realize the possibilities of a career in science and technology.

“There is always this feeling that IT is this man's world, and I tell girls it's not," Adams said. “I was brought up believing that you can do anything you want to do, and it has absolutely nothing to do [with] if you are a man or a woman. Yes, there are challenges that you run into, but my mantra is to never give up and believe that you can be somebody."

Adams then says if young women can conquer those challenges, they are probably as much a natural fit as Adams found herself to be at a young age.

“If you love puzzles and you love to solve problems and you're OK with changing at a very quick pace, then IT is the right place for you," Adams said.

– 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.