FedScoop’s Top Women in Tech 2017: Amy Northcutt

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Amy Northcutt, CIO, NSF

As chief information officer for the National Science Foundation, Amy Northcutt is responsible for overseeing the delivery and utilization of technology at the agency.

Can you talk about the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career? How did you conquer that challenge?

I would say that a consistent challenge that I have faced that I don’t think is particular to me, it’s more a challenge that leaders face throughout their careers, is the question of change management. When is change needed, how should change be implemented, how do you engage as a collaborative leader with your organization trying to identify when change is needed, and to determine a path forward for managing the change.

What would you say to young women who are thinking about a career in technology or related fields, or just starting out in their careers? What’s the best advice you could offer for success?

First of all: Affirm any woman who is interested in pursuing a career in any of the STEM fields, and certainly technology. It’s an area that has so much potential for meaningful contributions, and engagement. And I guess what I would advise to women in particular is to be aware of all of the non-traditional roles now that technology is in so many parts of our lives. … I think technology historically has been understood in a very narrow way. And what we’re seeing now that technology becomes integrated into every part of our lives, is that one’s work can intersect with, and be integrally related with technology, without being a technician. So I always encourage women and young persons to consider the full suite of opportunity that work related to technology, and born of technology, presents.

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FedScoop’s Top Women in Tech 2017