Bonita Oliver realized that computers were becoming more of a part of a young girl’s daily life in Macon.
Ever-changing technology and her interest in wanting to know how things worked led her to work at the Stennis Space Center.
Oliver turned that curiosity into a 21-year career at Stennis, the last 12 of which were at the Chief Information Officer’s Office (OCIO).
As Stennis’ Director of Information Security, Oliver helps protect NASA data through its various computer networks. His main task is to oversee cybersecurity and privacy services at Stennis. This includes ensuring that Stennis Network systems comply with federal guidelines.
The Biloxi, Mississippi resident also played a pivotal role with the creation of an agency-wide securities deal that NASA entered into this summer.
Oliver served as Chair for the past two years of the Cybersecurity and Privacy Enterprise Solutions and Services Requirements Development Team (CyPrESS) and Source Evaluation Board (SEB).
The CyPrESS contract, the first enterprise cybersecurity and privacy services contract for NASA’s OCIO, has a total value of $622.5 million, with a potential savings of $46 million. It makes agency-wide cybersecurity and privacy work more efficient, consolidating the center’s and enterprise’s various information technology contracts.
One of the aspects of Oliver’s job at NASA that she says she enjoys is building relationships and working with people from different backgrounds. Oliver became president of SEB at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to virtual meetings.
In this new role and working with others across NASA, Oliver has turned the challenge of not having in-person meetings into an opportunity to learn new skills in building relationships with others to make the work.
“When we first met virtually, I asked each person to say something about themselves that they did outside of work, so we could start making those connections and start being together. comfortable talking,” she said. “It was important. …I wanted them to express whatever was on their mind without fear.
This collaboration within NASA has helped Oliver and the OCIO meet any challenges that may come their way.
“Information technology is constantly changing,” she said. “That means we’re constantly learning.”