Exceptional Leader in Project Management: Candy Chesser

Candace Chesser, a graduate of the M.S. Project Management program, has been promoted to program manager for the Air Combat Electronics Program Office (PMA 209) at the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR). In her new role she will be supporting the program manager in the development, integration, and cradle-to-grave sustainment for common avionics solutions in safety, connectivity, mission computing, and interoperability.

She began her government career in 1981 working for the Naval Electronics Systems Engineering Activity (NESEA). Chesser has demonstrated her skills throughout various leadership positions in the government workforce such as a program analyst role in the Special Communications Requirements Branch of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division and an acquisition manager role supporting the F/A-18 and EA-18 Program Office at the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR).

Chesser was also part of the core team of program office personal in the Navy Unmanned Combat Air System (N-UCAS) and successfully led her team through contract kick-off, Integrated Baseline Review, Critical Design Review and prepared them for their First Flight Readiness Review. In addtion, Chesser accepted a position with the Air Anti-Submarine Warfare, Assault and Special Mission Programs (PEO(A)) to participate in a rotation as an action officer for the deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for Air Programs. Her primary programs were the Presidential Helicopter Replacement Program and the Naval Undergraduate Flight Training Programs, but she also supported several weapons programs, such as Small Diameter Bomb, Tactical Tomahawk and AIM-9X.

Prior to her position as  program manager, she was the principal deputy program manager for the Naval Air Traffic Management Systems Program Office (PMA 213).

Chesser is Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) Level III career field certified in both Program Management and in Business, Cost Estimating and Financial Management. Her outstanding leadership ability earned Chesser the Department of the Navy’s Meritorious Civilian Service Award While assigned to the Naval Air Traffic Management Systems Program Office.

Chesser earned her master’s degree in project management from Florida Tech’s Patuxent site in 2009.

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