Blog Post:

Employee Spotlight: Meet Darya Washington

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At Amentum, we celebrate our people, our cultures, and we recognize the value of diversity and inclusion. In March, we’ll focus on Women’s History Month while shining a light on one employee at a time.  Today’s Q&A is with Darya Washington, Finance Manager, Government Finance & Compliance.

How did you come to join Amentum?

I’m a legacy DynCorp International employee.

What is your professional and personal background?

Horned Frog twice over, both BBA and MBA (those who know, know). Mother of twins (dragons would have been easier). Joined DynCorp after graduation in 2006, left for a brief stint at Accenture in 2012, and was drafted back to DI in 2015. So, it looks like my big life events come in twos.

Describe the work you do and how you think it makes a positive impact.

I serve as a liaison between Amentum and Defense Contract Audit Agency, Defense Contract Management Agency, and Inspector General (DCAA/DCMA/IG) for various audits and inquiries, prepare annual Incurred Cost Submissions to get the final indirect rates’ approvals, and review costs to ensure Amentum is compliant with Federal Acquisition Regulations/Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (FAR/DFARS) and contract requirements. Timely and accurate claim submissions and audit support minimize questioned costs and allow for timely contract closeouts (and let’s agree that we all can use closures without financial losses in our lives).

What are some of your accomplishments and/or what has been your proudest career moment?

I experienced a sense of pride when I found myself to be the only woman in a meeting a few years back. As a woman of color and under the age of 40, I felt seen and my work recognized; so, it brings me much joy to see so many accomplished women around me today. Also, there was a time when Evonne Cortez (whose level of awesomeness I inspire to be when I grow up) used some of my thoughts during her panel discussion on Breaking the Bias. I might have cried a little.

What do you enjoy about working for Amentum?

People and challenges that keep work interesting and help me grow both professionally and as a person.

What are you passionate about?

Fostering an environment of inclusivity and healthy boundaries, where individuals not only thrive professionally but find genuine enjoyment and fulfillment in their work as well. Also, my current passions include crocheting dinosaurs. Definitely dinosaurs.

What’s your career advice?

In the order of personal importance:

  • Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and trust them to do their jobs (no one likes a helicopter parent).
  • Say please and thank you, but don’t let others walk all over you.
  • It’s OK to say No (and it’s OK not to be OK sometimes).

What does safety mean to you or do you have a favorite safety tip?

Being aware of the immediate surroundings and anticipating the unexpected. Staying prepared is the foundation to safety.

What’s the best invention in the world and why?

Remote control page turner for eReaders because I can stay snuggled while reading.

Anything else you would like to share from a personal or professional perspective?

Do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. I once researched and drafted a technical opinion on performance of gravity-based fuel flow meters in the Afghanistan climate that was signed off by a technical matter-expert and legal counsel. The effort paid off and resulted in $750k of the questioned cost being settled with the Department of State for $87k.

What’s your favorite book?

I am an avid reader, so choosing a favorite book is impossible. However, The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov was the first book that brought about a paradigm shift in the way I perceive human nature. Ever since then, I gravitate towards fantasy and fiction whenever I seek an escape.

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