Judy Marcks and Siemens Corp. President and CEO Eric Spiegel in Siemen’s new corporate headquarters. (Jeffrey MacMillan/Capital Business)

A former top Lockheed Martin executive will take the reins of Siemens’s newly created federal business unit on May 16 as part of a push to significantly expand the company’s government presence.

Judy Marks, a 27-year Lockheed employee, is leaving her position as vice president of strategy and business development in the company’s electronic systems unit to lead the Siemens business. She will be tasked with doubling the federal sales, which now represent about 5 to 10 percent of the total sales of Siemens Corp., the U.S. arm of the business.

The company has been actively working to become more visible in the United States, earlier this year relocating its corporate headquarters to an expansive office in Washington.

Eric Spiegel, president and chief executive of Siemens Corp., said the company realized last year it needed to find a person skilled in the federal marketplace to lead its unit.

Though Siemens already has a number of federal contracts — including providing mail sorting technology used by the U.S. Postal Service and maintaining scanners used by the Transportation Security Administration — Spiegel said Siemens needs to better respond to federal customers that want to integrate more than a single product. He expects the new federal business to tap capabilities throughout the company.

Additionally, Spiegel said Siemens has few partnerships with federally focused companies and hopes to establish those.

Marks started her career as a systems engineer with IBM’s Federal Systems business in Owego, N.Y. The unit was eventually purchased by Loral, which was later bought by Lockheed.

In Owego, Marks became president of Lockheed’s Distribution Technologies business, which provides automation systems for postal providers, a job that put Marks in competition with Siemens.

In 2005, Marks moved to the D.C. area to head Lockheed’s Transportation and Security Solutions division and in 2009 took over her most recent role in the electronic systems group.

Though Marks declined to say how large she expects the federal unit to be, she said the group is hiring, particularly account managers and business development staff that understand the government customer.

Spiegel said Marks will be based in the D.C. office for now but the corporate headquarters won’t necessarily be home to the federal group.

Marks expects to spend her first months traveling extensively to meet executives at Siemens’s multiple U.S. offices and getting to know some of the products produced in Germany. At the same time, she said she wants to ensure Siemens bids on near-term opportunities.