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Dawne Hickton, Jacobs EVP & President of Critical Mission Solutions, Named to 2022 Wash100 for Driving Cybersecurity and Space Services Growth Strategy

Dawne Hickton, an executive vice president at Jacobs and president of the company’s critical mission solutions group, has been named a 2022 Wash100 Award recipient. She has been selected three consecutive times to Executive Mosaic’s annual list of the most significant contributors to government contracting industry activity.

Executive Mosaic CEO Jim Garrettson noted Hickton’s induction into the Wash100 last year as a recognition of her leadership in the technology-driven integrated engineering, cybersecurity and digital transformation areas. Cast a vote for her as one of your favorite GovCon sector leaders on Wash100.com.

Jacobs announced early in March 2022 that Hickton will transition out of Jacobs and she will be succeeded by Steve Arnette, a 25-year company veteran who is currently serving as senior vice president of advanced engineering, research and operations, in a move that takes effect April 1.

“I am confident in the succession we put in place, and know that under Steve Arnette’s leadership, CMS will continue delivering world class solutions and new levels of growth and opportunity for the company, our people and our shareholders,” said the three-time Wash100 awardee.

Jacobs Chair and CEO Steve Demetriou has credited Hickton with leading the development of a new business portfolio, integration of four acquisitions and formation of a cyber and intelligence unit during her tenure at the Dallas-headquartered professional services contractor.

In an August 2021 interview with ExecutiveBiz, Hickton said the company works closely with the defense and intelligence communities to address agencies’ threat intelligence requirements as more sophisticated attacks on critical infrastructure prompted the federal government to increase emphasis on cybersecurity.

“Cyberattacks have been in the headlines recently with SolarWinds and the Colonial Pipeline. We can assist our customers with a brute force attack, someone doing trial and error to try to unlock accounts, phishing, either traditional phishing and spearing attacks, or malware. We are working aggressively to not only prevent those attacks but also to help find the bad guys,” she told ExecutiveBiz.

As part of that effort focus, Jacobs partnered with McLean, Virginia-based network security company IronNet to develop an end-to-end cybersecurity platform designed to help public and private sector organizations uncover difficult-to-detect cyber threats.

In November, Jacobs acquired data analytics software vendor BlackLynx to complement its cyber and intelligence business, which Caesar Nieves oversees as senior vice president.

Nieves told ExecutiveBiz the acquisition was part of Jacobs’ strategy to position itself to become a solution and software-enabled services provider in the coming years.

“In addition to supporting our government services work, we also see opportunities to leverage BlackLynx’s technologies and software-enabled services across critical infrastructure, including water/wastewater management, advanced facilities, and smart cities. This also allows us to expand into those environments with new threat intelligence capabilities,” he said.

NASA named Jacobs the Large Business Prime Contractor of the Year for the Kennedy Space Center, where the company helps the agency manage systems and facilities that support rocket and spacecraft launch operations.

“Jacobs’ relationship with NASA goes back 60-plus years, and we truly value our longstanding collaboration to help to solve the most complex and hazardous challenges of space exploration,” Hickton said in August.

The company was awarded a position on a $300 million indefinite-quantity/indefinite-delivery contract in September for architectural and engineering services to the space agency’s facilities within the southeastern U.S. In the same month, Jacobs announced it won seven awards on the General Services Administration’s  ASTRO contract vehicle covering manned and unmanned platforms and support services to the Department of Defense.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency chose the company to help migrate NGA’s on-premise data center architecture into a cloud-based hybrid platform under a seven-year, $302 million contract announced in September.

Jacobs said revenue for the fourth quarter of its 2021 fiscal year grew 1.9 percent to $3.6 billion from the prior year period and full-year sales were 3.9 percent higher than fiscal 2020 figures.

As of October 2021, total backlog in the critical mission solutions business under Hickton’s leadership sat at $10.6 billion, reflecting a 7 percent increase on a pro forma basis that the company attributed to strategic new wins in the cyber and intelligence and nuclear and remediation areas.

Executive Mosaic congratulates Dawne Hickton and the rest of the Jacobs organization on their 2022 Wash100 Award.

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