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Toni Townes-Whitley

Toni Townes-Whitley: A Story of How a Transformation Leader Won Her First Wash100

Toni Townes-Whitley achieved a significant milestone in her career and for SAIC upon being named one of the 42 first-time Wash100 winners in 2024. This momentous feat reflects her leadership of SAIC’s transformation efforts.


Get to know more about Ms. Toni Townes-Whitley’s journey to winning her first Wash100 award.


An Introduction to Toni Townes-Whitley


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Photo of Toni Townes-Whitley/ X (formerly Twitter)


Toni Townes-Whitley took on the position of Chief Executive Officer at SAIC in October 2023. She oversees the company’s annual revenues of $7.4 billion and manages over 20,000 employees.


Through her leadership, Ms. Townes-Whitley catapulted SAIC to becoming a Fortune 500 company specializing in digital, engineering, and artificial intelligence missions. Her work has been seminal in delivering solutions for customers in the defense, civilian, space, and intelligence sectors.


Ms. Toni Townes-Whitley was elected to SAIC’s Board of Directors the same year she assumed the role of CEO. Her proven track record of propelling robust enterprise financial outcomes and fostering an inclusive culture that anchors on entrepreneurship were catalysts for her election.


Outside of SAIC, Ms. Townes-Whitley serves as an Independent Director/Trustee on five boards: Catalyst, Nasdaq, Partnership for Public Service, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and the Princeton Faith & Work Initiative. She also lectures on entrepreneurism and technology ethics in the public sector at Stanford University and Princeton University.


Toni Townes-Whitley completed her bachelor’s degree in Public Policy and Economics at Princeton University. She also holds an Executive Certification from Wharton Executive Education and a Real Estate Intensive Certificate from New York University.


Toni Townes-Whitley’s Professional Journey


Before joining SAIC, Toni Townes-Whitley held leadership roles at companies specializing in technological solutions for the government.


Most previously, Ms. Townes-Whitley served at Microsoft for nearly eight years. She was initially appointed as the Corporate Vice President of Industry and, subsequently, the President of U.S. Regulated Industries. In these capacities, she spurred the company’s annual revenue of $16 billion.


Prior to Microsoft, Toni Townes-Whitley held presidential and vice-presidential roles at CGI Federal. During her four-year tenure, she managed over 6,000 employees and over $1 billion portfolio. Her work focused on delivering greater value to the government, civilian, and intelligence sectors.


Earlier in her career, Ms. Townes-Whitley held management roles at Unisys Corporation, where she notably achieved 500 percent revenue growth and increased profitability twofold.


About SAIC


SAIC logo over an image of fingers touching and neurons
Logo/ Wikipedia


SAIC, formally known as the Science Applications International Corporation, is a premier technology integrator company that specializes in government services and information technology solutions. Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, SAIC’s primary goal is to harness innovative technologies that protect and serve the world.


SAIC boasts of a robust portfolio comprising capabilities for mission success and critical national demands. The company offers IT, engineering, defense, and civilian services.


Moreover, SAIC’s employees are driven by its mission to gain inspiration from opportunities and unite through purpose to fulfill its responsibilities. Today, SAIC has over 20,000 professionals and yearly revenues worth $7.4 billion.


Related article: GomSpace Satellite Kit En Route to SAIC for Integration by Second Quarter


Toni Townes-Whitley’s Distinguished Industry Contributions


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Photo by Golden Dayz/ Shutterstock


Below are some of Toni Townes-Whitley’s distinguished contributions to SAIC and the government contracting sector.


Reorganization of SAIC


On December 11, 2023, SAIC announced that it aims to reorganize its business in February 2024, with the goal of accelerating sustainable organic growth, realigning its four strategic pivots, and allocating investments to underscore innovation and long-term value creation.


The reorganization involves the addition of five new business groups to replace the old two sectors. These new units are Army, Navy, Civilian, Air Force and Combatant Commands, and Space and Intelligence.


Toni Townes-Whitley highlighted this move could usher in a new age of growth for SAIC. The company realizes the full potential of its differentiators and prioritizes the quality and process of implementing market opportunities. 

“We are confident the company will continue to bring innovative solutions to market, further prioritize growth, and deliver significant long-term value for our shareholders, customers, and employees,” the SAIC CEO said.


SAIC Wins $500 Million NASA Contract


SAIC has been a trusted provider of mission-centered solutions for space-related efforts. On April 2, 2024, SAIC secured another contract with NASA to continue supporting the agency’s space flight programs.


The contract, valued at $494 million, is the third iteration of the Safety and Mission Assurance Engineering Contract, a deal first awarded to SAIC in 2013. Over a potential seven-year span, the company is tasked with providing safety, reliability, assurance, and quality services for NASA programs in deep space, such as the Orion spacecraft and Gateway lunar space station.


Safety and Mission Assurance Engineering Contract III is pivotal for Toni Townes-Whitley’s term as CEO. Reinvigorating SAIC’s win rate on the recompete front is a part of her focus for the company’s investment expansion.


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Join the Potomac Officers Club’s 2025 Space Summit and hear the challenges of the space domain.


Toni Townes-Whitley Makes Her Wash100 Debut


In January 2024, Toni Townes-Whitley made it to the eleventh edition of the elite Wash100 awards. Her inaugural trophy recognizes her organizational transformation and realigning company strategy to attract more growth for SAIC.


On receiving her award, Ms. Townes-Whitley highlighted that her victory was due to her team’s agility and problem-solving capabilities in helping customers and solving the most complex national challenges. 


“SAIC is a national asset, and we will proudly continue to contribute innovative, integrated technology and talent to U.S. mission-critical operations,” Ms. Townes-Whitley added.


Jim Garrettson, CEO of Executive Mosaic (EM), echoed the SAIC CEO’s statement, saying she was an obvious choice for the awards because “[she] has established herself as a strategic, influential, and deeply knowledgeable leader who is well-equipped to take the reins of the enterprise and guide SAIC through its next phase of growth.”


About Wash100


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Photo/ Executive Mosaic


Wash100 was created in 2014 by EM CEO Jim Garrettson. The accolade annually lauds the 100 executives for their significant impact and contributions to government contracting.


For over a decade, Wash100 has recognized executives for their expertise in creating impactful milestones. Executive Mosaic’s criteria for choosing its elite list of 100 winners are executives who best embody the qualities of leadership, innovation, vision, and awareness of GovCon trends and changes.


Cast your votes on the GovCon executives you deem worthy of the Wash100 Popularity Vote! 

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