July 8, 2020

The Path Forward: Strategic Preparedness

As critics cite the failings in the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic, public health officials and government leaders are looking at where the national supply chain failed and what can be done today to better prepare for the crises of tomorrow. Siemens USA president and CEO Barbara Humpton joined Washington Post Live on Wednesday, July 8 at 12:00 p.m. ET to share her thoughts with Washington Post senior writer Frances Stead Sellers about how to modernize the defense industrial base to ensure that the national emergency response is versatile and nimble enough to meet the unexpected crises of the future.
Siemens USA president and CEO Barbara Humpton said one way the United States can prepare for future crises is by creating a ‘library of digital files’ that can serve as blueprints for production. ‘Given that we can’t predict what’s coming, we couldn’t possibly have physical articles to handle any inevitability...With digital files...we could then activate manufacturing capability across the U.S., increasing the speed to need for regional supply chains in regions all across the country.’
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When asked where the United States should be enhancing the organic industrial base, the US Army’s 23 manufacturing sites across the country, Siemens USA president and CEO Barbara Humpton said we should look at things that haven’t been under the scope of the military like medical device production or pharmaceutical production. “We can design it now…So that when we have actually identified a successful vaccine, we’d be able to turn on whichever of those designs is appropriate.”
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Siemens USA president and CEO Barbara Humpton said the federal government should use this moment to study all the risks the country could possible face to help increase readiness for the future. “This is a moment when the government can begin to take stock of the breadth of risks we’re facing...I think the last three months have shown us it’s time to consider other threats to our national security as well.’
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Siemens USA president and CEO Barbara Humpton says video gaming skills could be essential for future engineers who help create strategic digital twin reserves for the U.S. “I’m thinking that where we’re headed is an environment where it’s going to take the core skills of, in essence, video gaming to be able to interface with these incredibly capable engineering tools and then enable us to create digital twins, lay out production lines, and really be able to virtually recreate both the product, its production and its performance in the real world before we ever have to bend metal or inject plastic.”
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Barbara Humpton
President and CEO, Siemens USA
Barbara Humpton is President and CEO of Siemens USA, where she guides the company’s strategy and engagement in serving the company’s largest market in the world, with more than 50,000 employees and over $23 billion in revenues and $5 billion in annual exports. Most recently, Humpton served as president and CEO of Siemens Government Technologies, Inc. (SGT), a leading integrator of Siemens’ products and services for federal government agencies and departments. In this role, Humpton also served as an officer/director member of the board of directors of SGT. Prior to joining Siemens in 2011, Humpton served as a vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton where she was responsible for program performance and new business development for technology consulting in the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security. Earlier, Humpton was a vice president at Lockheed Martin Corporation with responsibility for Biometrics Programs, Border and Transportation Security and Critical Infrastructure Protection, including such critical programs as the FBI’s Next Generation Identification and the TSA’s Transportation Workers’ Identification Credential. Humpton is a graduate of Wake Forest University with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. Barbara is Chairman of the Siemens Corporation Board, the Siemens Foundation and of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA). She serves on the board of directors of the American Heart Association Greater Washington Region, Triumph Group, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose (CECP), Economic Club of Washington, D.C. and the Seabee Memorial Scholarship Association. She resides in Washington, D.C., with her husband David.
Frances Stead Sellers
The Washington Post
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