Spotlighting women business leaders in Fairfax County and NOVA

During Women’s History Month, the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) is proud to spotlight female business leaders in Fairfax County and in Northern Virginia. Women have long played a significant role in Fairfax County’s economy and business community, and that leadership has a strong impact regionally and statewide. In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that Fairfax County leads Virginia and the Washington, D.C., region in the number of woman-owned employer firms, with more than 5,000 that have more than 53,000 employees and generate $8.8 billion in annual revenues.

“Fairfax County is an outstanding environment that is conducive to women succeeding, whether it is growing a business or a career,” said Karen Smaw, director, diversity business investment and entrepreneurship at the FCEDA. “Fairfax County has a rich history of supporting women leaders and entrepreneurs. There are an abundance of resources available in the county for women seeking to start and grow a business, as well as to establish and build their career. Opportunities abound for continuing education, professional networking, and for expanding a business.”


Nine Northern Virginia woman on statewide “Heavy Hitters” business list 

Nine female corporate leaders from Northern Virginia made Virginia Business magazine’s recent Heavy hitters: the 2021 list of business leaders shaping Virginia. This year’s list includes “entrants reflecting the importance of diverse leadership, as well as the continuing and growing significance of Northern Virginia’s government contracting community to the commonwealth’s overall economic health,” according to Virginia Business.

Four women that the magazine recognized are at the helm of global government contracting companies based in Fairfax County: GDIT, SAIC, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman. The accolades in Fairfax County also span the leadership in major companies in the information technology, accounting and banking industries.

Eight of the women on the Heavy Hitters list are leaders at Fairfax County area-based companies, and three are CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.

  • Teresa Carlson, vice president, worldwide sector and industries, Amazon Web Services (Herndon). As the founder of AWS’s public sector business, Carlson helped establish the company’s global cloud platform. With about 25,000 employees, AWS had $46 billion in revenue in 2020.
  • Amy Gilliland, president, General Dynamics Information Technology (Falls Church area). Gilliland leads an organization of nearly 30,000 employees, including 8,250 in Virginia, that delivers critical mission capabilities for the civilian government, defense and intelligence communities.
  • Nazzic S. Keene, CEO, Science Applications International Corp. (Reston). Keene leads SAIC, a Fortune 500  contractor with 2020 revenues of about $7.1 billion and 25,500 employees worldwide.
  • Terri McClements, senior partner and partner candidate development leader, COVID-19 executive project management officer, PricewaterhouseCoopers (Tysons). McClements leads the Big Four accounting firm’s mid-Atlantic practice, which encompasses more than 4,000 employees.
  • Mary McDuffie, president and CEO, Navy Federal Credit Union (Vienna). McDuffie leads the world’s largest credit union, with more than 9 million members, $135.7 billion in assets, 22,100 employees and 344 branches.
  • Phebe Novakovic, chairman and CEO, General Dynamics (Falls Church area). Novakovic leads the Fortune 500 aerospace and defense company, a behemoth with more than 100,000 employees and annual revenues nearing $38 billion.
  • Tamika L. Tremaglio, greater Washington managing principal, Deloitte (Tysons). Since 2017, Tremaglio has managed 12,000 employees in the greater Washington area for Deloitte, a Big Four accounting firm.
  • Kathy Warden, chairman, CEO and president, Northrop Grumman (Falls Church area). Warden joined Northrop Grumman in 2008; she has served as CEO and president since January 2019. This Fortune 500 company has about 97,000 employees with more than 550 facilities in all 50 U.S. states and in more than 25 countries.

Elsewhere in Northern Virginia, Virginia Business recognized:

  • Ardine Williams, vice president of HQ2 workforce development, Amazon (Arlington). Williams leads Amazon’s workforce development for its $2.5 billion HQ2 East Coast headquarters in Arlington, where it’s committed to hiring at least 25,000 workers by 2030.

Click here to read more about the Virginia Business 2021 “Heavy Hitters” roster.

March 11, 2021