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Kathleen Quinn

Defense Threat Reduction Agency

2024 fellow

Kathleen Quinn has dedicated her career to supporting the nation’s defense against biological threats. Her current position is as Portfolio Team Lead for diagnostics supporting the Joint Science and Technology Office at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and the Chemical and Biological Defense Program.

During Ms. Quinn’s tenure at the DTRA, she worked to provide new capabilities to ensure our warfighters are as prepared as possible against a nebulous threat. She is committed to driving innovation and leveraging cutting edge technology to protect our nation.

As a White House Leadership Development Program (WHLDP) Fellow, Ms. Quinn will serve at the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) within the Executive Office of the President (EOP) where she will work on initiatives to bring innovation acquisition techniques to the entire workforce. Her desire is to find solutions within the federal government that influence the lives of civil servants and all U.S. citizens by tackling the most challenging problems they face. While there she also hopes to learn various leadership methods that are implemented across various government structures.

As a leader, Ms. Quinn is actively involved in the day-to-day process, ready to lend a helping hand whenever needed. By promoting a sense of belonging and respect, she believes amazing results can be accomplished. Ms. Quinn also believes in the philosophy of “People first, mission always.” As a leader, her approach revolves around respect, compassion, and empathy for those around her while focusing on how to best complete the mission.

She cultivates an approach that encourages growth and experimentation and instead of implementing a learning style of “trial by fire,” she prefers “trial by fireworks.” This approach empowers her team to try new things outside their comfort zones while knowing there is a safety net behind them with a metaphorical fire extinguisher, if needed.

With the WHLDP fellowship as an extension of Ms. Quinn’s leadership foundation, she plans to make even greater impacts. She hopes to best support and inspire her team and find ways to accomplish the mission effectively and efficiently.

Ms. Quinn has a Bachelor of Science in Integrated Science and Technology from James Madison University and a Master of Science in Biodefense from George Mason University. Ms. Quinn has also completed the Executive Potential Program (EPP) from the Graduate School USA. Ms. Quinn has received a Joint Meritorious Unit Award, a Research and Development Special Unit Award as well as Civilian of the Quarter while in service at DTRA.

When not at work, Ms. Quinn enjoys restaurants, and family activities with her husband and kids. A particular favorite activity of hers is playing games. She usually has a few quarters handy to play a friendly game of pinball, or two.

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