For much of his professional life in the intelligence industry, Frank Strickland, MS Technology Management ’05, has maintained a career cloaked in secrecy and marked by security clearances, guarded buildings, and top-secret documents.
And while Strickland understandably can’t divulge too much about what he does, what he can say is that he wouldn’t be where he is today without a lifetime commitment to furthering his education.
“Continuous learning is in my DNA,” he says.
Strickland is a partner at IBM, leading a practice that provides analytic services and solutions to the intelligence community. It’s a job that puts him in charge of a team of professionals helping to keep the nation safe.
Working out of a secure office in Chantilly, Virginia, Strickland’s team of government contractors works tirelessly with federal national security clients to ensure they have the correct strategic know-how and technical tools to accomplish their clandestine missions.
“Basically, what our analytic services and solutions do is threefold: helping clients create intelligence, manage intelligence, and enable intelligence,” he explains.
And if there is one industry Strickland knows, it’s intelligence.
A native of Lancaster, Kentucky, Strickland enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1980, serving as an intelligence specialist until 1983, when he then transitioned to civilian federal work with the National Reconnaissance Office, an agency tasked with designing and maintaining America’s spy satellites. While in this role, Strickland was also a member of the CIA’s Senior Intelligence Service.
For much of his nearly 20-year federal career, Strickland spearheaded a number of programs focused on developing solutions and methodologies to measure and analyze mission performance for the government. For this, the CIA awarded him its National Medal of Achievement.