Teresa Carlson – D.C.'s Top 50 Women in Tech 2015

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Teresa Carlson

Vice President of Worldwide Public Sector
Amazon Web Services

If you’re looking to put a face on the aggressive adoption of cloud in the public sector, Teresa Carlson would be a perfect fit.

She has been at the forefront of cloud’s growth in the federal space, managing the deployment of Amazon’s suite of services everywhere from NASA to the Defense Department to the CIA. Carlson said Amazon is helping the government adopt new technology – and change its culture.

“We are really providing transformative and innovative approaches to the way technology is actually being delivered to the federal government,” Carlson said. “We’re really getting them to think differently about the way they’re delivering IT. It’s now this super innovative, agile approach to how they can do things with true innovation possibilities.”

Any job that you are going to be taking in the future is going to have some coding and development aspects.

Carlson said those possibilities should be enough to draw more women into STEM careers, where she feels the opportunities to work on fascinating projects are growing by the day.

“Any job that you are going to be taking in the future is going to have some coding and development aspects,” she said. “There are so many amazing projects you work on at very high levels. The field is wide open for opportunities, and I think it offers a flexibility of where women can work, how they can work and what they can do.”

Even with all the projects Amazon Web Services’ cloud allows the government to complete, Carlson does admit there are still skeptics. Yet, she is often reminded of a quote from Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos: “What we need to do is always lean into the future; when the world changes around you and when it changes against you – what used to be a tail wind is now a head wind – you have to lean into that and figure out what to do because complaining isn't a strategy.”

– 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.