At Amentum, we celebrate our people, our cultures, and we recognize the value of diversity and inclusion. In August, we’ll focus on our Next Gen Employee Resource Network while shining a light on one employee at a time. The NextGen ERN is a network where young professionals, and those young at heart, can come together to deepen Amentum’s culture of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Developing a sense of community, cultivating professional and personal growth opportunities, and fostering an environment of generational knowledge sharing. Today’s Q&A is with Samira Traore, GMS / USAID HASC (Humanitarian Assistance Support Contract).
How did you come to join Amentum?
I joined the USAID BHA (Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance) HASC contract in 2020, after having served in the Peace Corps in Mozambique. I was looking for opportunities that would combine my public health and development interests, and working on this contract has been a great way to further explore that.
What are your professional aspirations?
My professional aspiration is to maintain a focus on meaningful, people- and community-oriented work at the core of everything I do. No matter where life takes me, I know that if I keep that at the forefront, I will stay true to myself and my vision.
Describe the work you do and how you think it makes a positive impact.
I support the USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance’s Supply Chain Management Division by ensuring that humanitarian assistance commodities arrive in the right quantities to the right beneficiaries in the right places and at the right time. Our work makes a positive impact by helping people experiencing humanitarian emergencies gain access to the resources they and their communities need.
What are some of your accomplishments and/or what has been your proudest career moment?
My proudest career moment was in April 2023, when I hosted a workshop in Italy with the World Food Program (WFP) alongside two other BHA colleagues. We spent a week designing a traceability project that would modernize our supply chain and streamline BHA/WFP’s efforts to improve food safety and quality while increasing visibility across the supply chain. It was a great opportunity to meet WFP colleagues who I had worked closely with for several years, and it was very rewarding to be in a room full of others from across the humanitarian sector who all came together behind the conference’s shared purpose.
What do you enjoy about working for Amentum?
I enjoy getting to meet others on the Amentum contract who share a similar interest for humanitarian assistance and having the opportunity to learn from them and their respective experiences.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about supporting and strengthening global communities, especially through a public health lens.
What’s the best your career advice you have received?
The best career advice I’ve received is to approach every challenge or obstacle with a “why not you?” mindset. You may not always feel like the best person for the job, but why couldn’t the best person for the job be you?
What does safety mean to you or do you have a favorite safety tip?
My favorite safety tip is to always download an offline copy of a Google Map prior to traveling abroad!
What’s the best invention in the world and why?
I am constantly fascinated by things humans aren’t naturally able to do (think flying or breathing underwater), but with technology we have made available for ourselves. Even though we ourselves can’t fly, we’ve managed to figure out ways to fly across the world in metal tubes. We can’t breathe underwater, but snorkels and scuba tanks make that possible. We couldn’t survive in space on our own, so we created spaceships. It’s hard for me to narrow down one specific invention as the best, but I would certainly say this is my favorite category!
Why is it important that we spotlight our unmatched NextGen Talent?
It can be intimidating to join such a large organization, especially as a younger professional who may not be coming with a lot of experience in this sector. It is important to spotlight NextGen talent because seeing other younger professionals who can not only enjoy working within but also succeed at similar career paths can be encouraging. I think this is a really great way to motivate the next generation of humanitarian leaders!