February/March 2008

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Diversity In Action


The DIA’s HM-1 division wants IT pros with experience

Diverse computer and system network engineers, system admins and info assurance pros are needed, as well as IEs, EEs and CEs, says a manager

Finding “human targets in a human terrain” is a major focus of the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Human Intelligence (HUMINT) program. Soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines around the globe need access to vital information from the people who “know where the bad guys are,” says program manager William Martinez.

But HUMINT capabilities were lagging behind more technological solutions such as satellites. In response, the Defense HUMINT Management Office (DHMO) was created to better manage and refine the agency’s HUMINT capabilities. DHMO looks at policies, training and equipment necessary to do the job of defending America’s shores.

Martinez is program manager for technology innovation for DHMO’s Technology Tradecraft Division (HM-1). The division “provides our intelligence professionals with the best IT capabilities out there,” he explains. To help him, he’s looking for professionals with a basic understanding of IT components at the infrastructure level. Enterprise infrastructure knowledge is the key requirement.

“What we do is very diverse,” he says. “We store and disseminate intelligence and intelligence products to our consumers,” who vary from troops on the front lines to policymakers in Washington, DC, the FBI and other law-enforcement agencies.

Martinez looks for experienced job candidates, but they don’t necessarily have to come from the defense field. More important are the skill sets the candidate brings to the job.

“The most important skill is being a good listener across the board,” says Martinez. “Be willing to understand and put yourself in someone else’s shoes, to see things from the point of view of the user and business partner.”

HM-1 looks for people with degrees or backgrounds in computer engineering, as well as system network engineers, system admins and info assurance pros. “How to secure information is a hot topic,” Martinez notes.

HM-1 hires a combination of new grads and experienced pros including retired military and private sector experts. “We have a balanced workforce here, and the mix provides a fresh perspective,” Martinez says.

He adds that it helps new-grad hires to have some real-world experience. “We want people who made an extra effort in summer jobs and internships and bring a foundation of practice, not just theory.”

He also looks for engineers, especially industrial, civil and electrical, for DIA’s project management work. “We need people who understand electrical and architectural infrastructure.” A security clearance is necessary for this sensitive government work, and applicants must be U.S. citizens.

DIA is involved in a number of efforts to create a diverse workforce. Its equal opportunity office and human capital office are making their partnership stronger, targeting areas for better diversity initiatives, Martinez says.

Over the past year DIA has actively recruited through groups like NSBE and SHPE. Organization-wide groups like Blacks in Government and the Asian Pacific Emphasis Council are very active within DIA.

Before 9/11, Martinez adds, DIA was focused less on HUMINT and more on broad technological solutions. Now the agency is reaching out to ensure that warfighters have the information they need to do their mission and come home safely.

“Security is all synchronized,” Martinez says. “That challenge is ever-growing.”


Defense Intelligence Agency Logo.

Defense Intelligence Agency

Headquarters: Washington, DC
Employees: 12,000
Business: Advises the secretary of defense and the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on military intelligence matters

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