SAIC’s Fairfax County HQ location ideal for advancing tech and innovation

Founded more than 50 years ago in San Diego, California, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) moved to Fairfax County in 2009 “to be closer to our customers and take advantage of Fairfax County’s business-friendly practices,” said Sanjay Sardar, senior vice president, Digital Innovation at SAIC, in an exclusive interview with the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.

With its purpose to “advance the power of technology and innovation to serve and protect our world,” Reston-headquartered SAIC employs more than 26,000 people, including 6,000 in Northern Virginia. A Fortune 500 company, SAIC has $7.4 billion in annual revenue.

“We are known for three things at SAIC — extraordinarily smart and passionate people, a commitment to government missions and bold thinking that delivers innovation in advanced technology,” Sardar said.

Sardar’s team is responsible for supporting the enterprise financial goals by delivering innovative solutions to all SAIC customers in the domains of Platforms and Cloud, Application Modernization, Cyber Security and Enterprise IT.

During his career, Sardar has spent more than 25 years working and consulting in the public sector and private industry. He joined SAIC in 2015 as vice president for advanced analytics and simulation. Prior to joining SAIC, Sardar was the chief information officer for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Previous to that, he was a senior manager at General Dynamics Information Technology. Sardar has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Virginia and an MBA from George Washington University.

As a technology integrator, SAIC’s robust portfolio of offerings across the defense, space, civilian and intelligence markets include secure high-end solutions in engineering, IT modernization and mission solutions.

SAIC’s key customers are in the federal and state and local markets, including civilian agencies such as Health and Human Services and Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, and the National Intelligence and the Space communities.

SAIC’s three Innovation Factories focus on Digital Innovation, Engineering Innovation and Artificial Intelligence. These Innovation Factories enable federal government departments and agencies to deliver secure cloud, enterprise IT, engineering and other technical solutions at a pace similar to start-ups.

“These three Factories are purpose-built to bring innovative solutions to accelerate our government customers’ mission outcomes,” Sardar said.

“The Digital Innovation Factory focuses on the domains of cloud and platforms, application modernization, cybersecurity and enterprise IT. The Engineering Innovation Factory delivers solutions that enable requirements gathering to manufacturing and deployment,” Sardar explained. “Whereas the Artificial Intelligence Factory really looks at tackling and analyzing data, using AI and Machine learning, to bring answers to our nation’s most complex problems.”

And Fairfax County is a great place for SAIC’s Innovation Factories, Sardar emphasized.

“One of the key tenants of our Innovation Factories is to leverage collaborative solutions technology from our technology partners to our government customers. Technology partners like Amazon, Microsoft, Oracle, Google all have a presence within Fairfax County,” Sardar said. “These partners, as well as many others, help SAIC bring unique solutions to market.”

A critical component to drive innovation research and development is access to talent. In terms of talent, Sardar emphasized that Fairfax County and the region is ideal.

“Fairfax County is a great location for SAIC because it provides us with access to the critical things that we need for our business, including access to talent with the amazing number of schools in Virginia, such as George Mason, William and Mary, University of Virginia and Virginia Tech,” Sardar said.

And yes, SAIC is hiring.

SAIC is always looking to hire critical talent from engineers, IT professionals and data scientists to business experts and finance experts, he said.

Positions are open at locations across Northern Virginia. Pathways to employment range from internships and early career programs to opportunities for mid- and senior career professionals. Fifty-four percent of SAIC’s employees have a security clearance.

At SAIC one in four employees is a military veteran or military spouse. SAIC’s veteran career programs provide smooth transitions into civilian cyber careers for veterans our philanthropic activities provide critical support for wounded warriors and their families. Consistently cited as a top employer for veterans, SAIC is rated no. 5 on Forbes 2021 Best Employers for Veterans and no. 1 on DiversityInc 2022 Top Companies for Veterans.

“In Fairfax County, we have a large number of former federal and former military employees who also understand our government’s mission and are critical to what we do,” Sardar stated. “SAIC is one of the largest employers of veterans in the country. They really add to the diversity of thought that we value.”

As an Equal Opportunity Employer, SAIC fosters a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion, which is core to its values and important to attract and retain exceptional talent, according to Sardar. Among the many kudos that the company has received is placing for the seventh year on Forbes’ 2022 list of America’s Best Employers for Diversity.

“We are committed to diversifying our workforce, and Fairfax County provides a great place to do that,” according to Sardar. “Virginia’s commitment to providing a talented and diverse workforce makes it possible for SAIC employees to thrive.”

“That’s why we call Fairfax County home,” Sardar added.