Donna Seymour: Viewing Each Job as a Learning Opportunity
Computerworld - Donna Seymour, CIO at the U.S. Maritime Administration, has built a successful career in IT in the public sector by embracing each job she has had as a chance to learn and enhance her management skills.
Seymour, 46, began working in the federal government in 1978 as a secretary in the Department of Defense. At the advice of a mentor, she studied to become a computer programmer, and she later became an IT security specialist at the Naval Air Systems Command, or Navair.
The mentor's suggestion turned out to be very good advice. Benefiting from the knowledge and experience of others has helped Seymour in her career ever since. "I've had mentors all the way, even when I was a secretary," she says.
Image Credit: Chris Hartlove
After that, Seymour became a principal in the Program Executive Office for IT at the Department of the Navy, managing an effort to eliminate tens of thousands of redundant business applications across the U.S. Navy. She later was named CIO at the Real Estate Assessment Center at the U.S. Housing and Urban Development department.
About two years ago, Seymour was named CIO of the Washington-based Maritime Administration, which is responsible for overseeing the operations and security of the U.S. maritime transportation system. Among the key IT initiatives she has overseen is the development of a paperless acquisition process -- built on an enterprise content management platform -- that automated much of the multistep bid and proposal process for the administration. By eliminating paper and hundreds of hours of labor, the system has brought huge savings and cut in half the time required for major acquisitions such as ship management services.
Eileen Roberson, associate administrator at the Maritime Administration and Seymour's supervisor, says Seymour is successful in her role largely because of her energy level. "She's probably the most energetic person you'd ever meet," Roberson says.
Seymour's eagerness to gain knowledge is also important. "Especially in the area of information technology, that's key," Roberson says. "You have to be a continuous learner."
Violino is a freelance writer in Massapequa Park, N.Y. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Correction: Due to a reporting error, this article initially contained incorrect information. Earlier in her career, Seymour was a principal in the Program Executive Office for IT at the Department of the Navy, not Navair, and later was named CIO at the Real Estate Assessment Center at the U.S. Housing and Urban Development department. The text has been updated.
Read more about Management in Computerworld's Management Topic Center.
- Study: Total Economic Impact of Google Apps Employees can work faster and IT spending can decrease when companies switch to Google Apps, says a commissioned study by Forrester Consulting. Going...
- Protecting Digitalized Assets in Healthcare Healthcare providers face an urgent, internal battle every day: security and compliance versus productivity and service. For most healthcare organizations, the fight is...
- Is a SaaS Deployment Right for You? Find out the answer and as well as the other deployment options.
- Discover How Mail Express Solves 2 of Your Biggest IT Headaches Email. It can be the source of some of IT's biggest headaches. As it eats up storage and bandwidth, it also opens up...
- Increasing the Value of Your Reports and Dashboards Learn how incorporating other analytical capabilities such as predictive modeling and visualization can increase the value of your reports and dashboards by providing...
- Video surveillance for IT: maximum image quality, minimum bandwidth Join us on Thursday, May 8th at 1 p.m. EST when Willem Ryan, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Avigilon, will discuss how IT... All Management White Papers | Webcasts