Krista Sweet

Session: Engaging With Industry for Optimal Project Results

Abstract: One of the hottest topics in government is PM and vendor/industry engagement. PMs must apply critical thinking skills in identifying and pursuing the best solution when contracting for supplies and services for large projects and often need to understand industry perspectives, incentives, and decision-making processes to ensure a successful outcome. This session will present several models for PM collaboration and communication with industry partners, including innovative market research techniques and the widely-adopted federal trend of reverse industry days.

PMI Talent Triangle: Leadership

Biography: Krista Sweet has served as the Director of Policy at the Homeland Security & Defense Business Council for the past eight years. She is responsible for designing and leading the Council’s advocacy, education, and thought leadership programs on behalf of federal contractors with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Justice, Congressional members and staff, and other stakeholders related to federal procurement policy, innovation, IT enterprise modernization and security, and immigration/border management issues.

Her work has focused on creating unique models of education and engagement between government and industry to improve the way they conduct business together. She has led numerous efforts with DHS and other federal agencies to develop the recent trend in reverse industry days, an executive tour series, industry perspective seminars, mock contract debriefing exercises, mock industry gate review sessions, and other events that improve the communication process and outcomes of federal acquisitions.

Before joining the Council, Sweet spent four years at the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) as the State Program Manager and Liaison to the National Capital Region Urban Area Security Initiative. In this role, she advised the Director of MEMA and the Governor’s Homeland Security Advisor on strategy, policy, program and project management, grant compliance, and investment decisions for more than $500 million in homeland security grant funds provided by DHS to Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Virginia. She led and coordinated the Governor’s Emergency Management Advisory Council and served on a number of regional homeland security working groups, including the planning committee that helped develop the 2011 report, “National Capital Region Key Response Planning Factors for the Aftermath of Nuclear Terrorism.”

From 2005 – 07, Sweet was a staff attorney at the Center for Health and Homeland Security where she advised Maryland state agencies on legal and policy issues involved with preparing for and responding to public health emergencies. In 2006, she served as a legal instructor at a NATO Security Through Science Advanced Study Institute course in Macedonia on “Strengthening Public Health Preparedness for Chemical, Biological, and Radiological Threats.” Prior to getting involved in homeland security, Sweet spent three years in private legal practice at a civil litigation firm in Baltimore.

Sweet received her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her J.D., with a concentration in health law, from the University of Maryland School of Law.  She is married with two children.