Swarnali Haldar, CIO, NARA
Swarnali Haldar’s biggest focus at the National Archives and Records Administration is leading programs and projects that support the preservation of digitized and naturally digital records and information for the federal government. Most recently, she led the process to contract and award for an enterprisewide cloud solution. “We collaborated across the agency to generate requirements for an agencywide cloud contract for Infrastructure-as- a-Service and Platform-as- a-Service contracts,” she said. “Since the award, we have started to partner with our business stakeholders and have successfully migrated previously stove-piped and on-premises systems to be monitored and managed through our enterprisewide contract.”
Can you talk about the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career? How did you conquer that challenge?
I would say that my biggest challenge in my career would be the pace at which the government makes decisions and achieves progress. I am very much a results-driven person, so if I know and understand what steps I and my team need to take to accomplish the end result, I like to see that happen. However, for those of us that are aware of some of the bureaucracy in the government, we know that progress doesn’t always happen in a timely fashion in the government. One has to form many relationships to ensure all progress happens as needed. I pride myself in having stakeholder relationships that are key in making me and my team successful. I have found that building those relationships is key in achieving results for me as a leader.
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?
My best advice to the younger generation of women would be to be confident in their knowledge and what they bring to the table, don’t let others in the room intimidate them. Pick relevant moments to be heard, don’t work too hard to prove themselves, their knowledge and passion will show through.
What/who inspired you to get into your field of work?
Results motivate me. I’ve always been interested in math and logic driven processes, so naturally, I loved taking computer science courses, especially in software development.
I served as an intern with the government while I was a college student and was offered a full-time position as a software developer with that same government agency where I served for my internships and that was the inception of my federal career.