One of the Lab’s many military veterans is Ann Stroud who works in the Office of the Chief Financial Officer in Emeryville handling science and engineering procurement contracts. She garnered her wealth of contract information during her time in the United States Army where she also earned a master’s degree in material acquisitions. She also was able to turn her joint appointment at the Naval War College into a second master’s degree, this one in policy and strategy.
Elements: You started your Army career in field artillery, not a common area for most women in the military. What drew you to field command?
Ann Stroud: I enjoyed going on maneuvers and I enjoyed the leadership opportunity that made it possible to make an impact on the lives of young soldiers. My unit was known for taking rehab transfers, or those who weren’t doing well in their current unit. I focused on communications to get them to open up so we could help them adjust to their Army life.
Elements: You mentioned communications as a skill you honed in the military. What other skills did you develop during your 21 years of service?
Ann: I learned life skills, such as discipline and time management and how to work as a team to reach a common goal. I use that skill often in procurement. I work with our researchers on all phases of an acquisition: scope of work, proposal, negotiations, cost analysis, and contract management. This speeds up the process since I can guide the researchers through what can be a complex process. Our common goal is to protect the Lab’s interest.
Elements: You grew up in St. Louis but you spent your teen years in the Bay Area. How does it feel to be back?
Ann: It is wonderful to be back in the Bay Area. I came to the Lab last July and since one of my daughters is attending UC Berkeley I get to see her fairly often. I’ve worked in private industry handling contracts since I left the Army, but there wasn’t the same enjoyment I get at the Lab where I can see how my work in contracts makes it possible for researchers to do great scientific work.