Position: President, Crown Consulting Inc., a Washington information technology company focusing on air traffic control and aviation.

Career highlights: President, civil group, Computer Sciences Corp.; vice president, transportation systems, CSC; chief engineer, Seas Goddard Space Flight Center, CSC; engineering department manager, Sperry Corp. (now known as Unisys); and design engineer, Honeywell Corp.

Age: 63

Education: BS, mechanical engineering, Carnegie Institute of Technology; MS, operations research, Polytechnic Institute of New York; and completed course work for a PhD, operations research, Polytechnic Institute of New York.

Personal: Lives in Bethesda with wife, Alice Ruth.

How did you get to where you are?

When I was in high school, Russia launched the Sputnik satellite and I was determined to help the United States build the world's best space program as an engineer. I went to engineering school and later to the Apollo program at Honeywell. At the Smithsonian, I designed one of the computers on display in the Apollo exhibit. I followed my dream. I think I helped the country in some of its most critical missions -- the Apollo mission and the Navy strategic submarine program led by Adm. Hyman Rickover. Professionally, I feel that companies I worked for felt my approach to management has helped them to grow.

The best career advice I ever received was from my father. He said, "Grow and perform every day with an entrepreneurial spirit. And always conduct your relationships with dignity and honor."

I am at heart an engineer who understands customer issues and develops technology solutions to promote their success. My mission at Crown is to use this experience to help [chief executive] Al Khan continue his record of success by expanding his customer base capabilities and skill set across the federal sector. I have a lot of experience in marshalling ideas and technology.

My biggest break was coming to CSC. I started as an engineer in a merit-based culture and because I succeeded in the challenges they gave me, they kept rewarding me with promotions. I was being promoted to higher levels of responsibility

In the last couple of years, some of the challenges I had was helping the IRS modernize and transform itself into a business-like enterprise. For CSC, I was the IRS executive for 18 months and helped develop the business solutions and architecture that are being built today. Currently, I'm working with the FAA and NASA to develop an architecture for the future air traffic management system. What you do is you use your former experience gained in developing successful technical projects and raise that to a level of enterprise programs and then find all the right people to help develop that enormous set of solutions.

I'm motivated as an engineer by really understanding customer problems and offering an array of candidate solutions. I have enormous energy and curiosity about customers, especially these days when federal agencies are being required to turn themselves into business-like enterprises. . . .

-- Judith Mbuya