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Carey Smith is a Wash100 Award Winner in 2024

Carey Smith: Parsons CEO Wins 6th Wash100 Award in 2024

Carey Smith is the Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer at Parsons Corporation. She oversees the company’s strategic direction, growth, and business operations focused on technological innovation. Ms. Carey leads approximately 16,000 employees based in 29 countries. 

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In 2024, Carey Smith was honored with her sixth Wash100 Award from Executive Mosaic. Get to know more about her accomplishments here. 


Who is Carey Smith?


Carey Smith is a dynamic leader in the defense, aerospace, and critical infrastructure sectors. She currently leads as the Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Parsons Corporation, a role she has held since April 2021.


Her journey with Parsons began in 2016 as the President of its federal business. She quickly made her mark by spearheading the acquisition of four new business units: Polaris Alpha®, OGSystems®, QRC® Technologies, and Braxton Science and Technology Group. This eventually landed her the role of COO.


Under her supervision, Parsons transitioned from being privately held to publicly traded in 2019. This intensified the company’s focus on laser systems and cyber capabilities.


Before joining Parsons, Carey Smith held leadership roles in the defense and aerospace industry. She served as the President of the Defense and Space business unit at Honeywell, where she significantly grew the firm’s business with a diverse customer base. Her tenure at Lockheed Martin also saw her in key leadership roles as the VP  of various business units.


Smith’s educational background includes a Master of Science (M.S.) in Electrical Engineering from Syracuse University and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Electrical Engineering from Ohio Northern University.


Read more: Reigning with Accolades: 5 Women Executives to Follow in 2023


Carey Smith is a Wash100 Award Winner in 2024


Carey Smith’s 2024 Wash100 Award underscores her exceptional role as a catalyst for Parsons’ substantial growth and diversification. 


Smith’s way of ensuring the seamless integration of her acquisitions into Parsons’ culture and strategic roadmap is a sophisticated maneuver that many leaders struggle to execute effectively. Focusing on integration is more than adding numbers or services—it’s about enhancing value, innovation, and cohesive company culture to ensure long-term success.


Her leadership spotlighted Parsons, as seen in its significant financial growth and increased market share. The  25% revenue increase in a single year, totaling $1.4 billion, is no small feat, proving the effectiveness of her strategies and her team’s operational excellence.


Moreover, the increase in contract awards during her tenure shows Parsons’ competitive edge and readiness to meet the changing demands of its clients in a highly competitive sector. This success is due to Smith’s visionary leadership and ability to anticipate and act on global trends.


Read more: Post Award Best Practices: Ensuring Contract Execution Is Smooth and Compliant 


Key Initiatives of Carey Smith at Parsons


Here are some of Carey Smith’s key initiatives contributing to Parsons’ growth.


Financial performance


Under Smith’s leadership, Parsons marked a record-breaking total revenue, organic revenue growth, adjusted EBITDA, and operating cash flow. Moreover, Parsons’ stock experienced significant appreciation, with a 35.6% increase in 2023 and an 86.4% rise since early 2022.


Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategy


Carey Smith has committed to strengthening Parsons’ ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) strategy and ensuring it aligns seamlessly with overall business practices. 


This dedication surpassed the company’s emissions reduction goal of 20% between 2019 and 2025. By December 2022, Parsons had already achieved a remarkable 25% reduction in emissions, showcasing the company’s efforts in reducing its carbon footprint.


Parsons has also been recognized for its ethical business practices. It published a comprehensive climate risk and opportunity assessment, which adheres to the guidelines set forth by the Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).


Diversity, equity, and inclusion


Parsons believes in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The company has DEI ambassadors and a DEI Council that promotes these values and recruits from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). 


The company also has training sessions to keep its employees up to date with the latest technology and business trends. Carey Smith says it’s important to keep learning and adapting because it helps them stand out in a fast-growing company.

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