Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment
U.S. Department of Defense (DOD)
Stacy Cummings, Acting DOD Undersecretary for Acquisition and Sustainment, Wins 2021 Wash100 Award for Advancing Acquisition, Digital Modernization
Executive Mosaic is honored to announce that Stacy Cummings, acting undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment at the Department of Defense (DOD), has been awarded a 2021 Wash100 Award for driving modernization across acquisition, as well as implementing digital transformation initiatives to support the federal sector and its industry counterparts.
“Stacy Cummings has built a solid DOD background with various positions of oversight on the key issues of the sector such as healthcare, transportation and joint acquisition,” said Jim Garrettson, CEO of Executive Mosaic and founder of the Wash100 Award. “She has also built a strong reputation for her innovative data driven approach that will bring significant experience to her new role as the acting Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment.”
This marks Cummings first Wash100 Award. Cummings became the acting undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment in Jan. 2021 and will hold the position until President Joe Biden appoints a Senate-confirmed official to the position.
Before her current position with the DOD, Cummings was the department’s acting deputy assistant secretary for acquisition, where she advised on the acquisition system and advanced innovative, data-driven approaches across the acquisition enterprise. She is also a career member of the Senior Executive Service.
While she served as principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for acquisition, Cummings stated that the DOD will have a greater focus on DevOps and Agile software development. Cummings added that the software “path” in DOD’s adaptive acquisition framework will enable DevOps “software factories” to emerge that can follow rapid development processes and agile timelines.
Over the summer, Cummings led the Joint Acquisition Task Force, which was the DOD’s interagency point of contact for dealing with COVID-19 procurement issues. Since her appointment, Cummings has continued to spearhead modernization initiatives for acquisition processes and technology services.
In Feb. 2021, Cummings discussed support for the COVID-19 response, during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the DoD’s support for the pandemic response. Although DoD cannot mandate service members to receive the vaccine because it is being made available on an emergency use authorization, the department has implemented social distancing, mask wearing and telework on an unprecedented scale, as well as testing and contact tracing.
Cummings noted that the department has assisted the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with transportation to get needles and syringes into the U.S. to support the delivery of vaccines. She projected that the U.S. will increase production domestically in the future.
“We have an opportunity to leverage both the authorities of the Defense Production Act and the authorities of the Economy Act to invest in syringes and needles. We have actually invested in some innovative technology for vaccine delivery to increase the domestic production here in the United States so that those capabilities can be made here,” Cummings said.
“We are on the road to seeking solutions to that problem, we have made some investments to date. And I think that there are more investments to be made in the future,” she added. In addition to leveraging the Economy Act and the DPA, Cummings said the department has also found the CARES Act useful in Title 3 funding.
The DOD has also played a vital role in supporting agencies in acquiring and delivering medical resources, including personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as establishing and strengthening the domestic medical industrial base, Cummings stated.
Cummings told the Senate Armed Services Committee that DoD would need additional resources to adequately utilize Section 3610, which allows federal agencies to use their funds to reimburse contractors for paid leave made to employees who are unable to access the worksites and unable to telework during the pandemic.
So far DoD has reimbursed about $50 million to 84 companies under Section 3610, Cummings stated. “While the Department may be able to use other appropriated funds to reimburse contractors, the cost for 3610 is beyond the Department’s resourced ability to do so without jeopardizing modernization or readiness,” Cummings wrote.
In addition, Cummings suggested during her testimony that greater funding flexibilities, as well as appropriations, would support buying emergency products and services during a national crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Executive Mosaic congratulates Cummings and the Department of Defense on her first Wash100 Award. Her advancements to federal acquisition processes, as well as response to the COVID-19 effort, have cemented her position in the federal government, and will continue to influence the marketplace throughout the year.
This year represents the eighth annual Wash100 award selection. The Wash100 is the premier group of private and public sector leaders selected by Executive Mosaic’s organizational and editorial leadership as the most influential leaders in the GovCon sector.
These leaders demonstrate skills in leadership, innovation, reliability, achievement, and vision. Visitors to wash100.com can sign in and vote for the executives they believe will have the greatest impact on government contracting in the coming year.
The media team at Executive Mosaic writes individualized articles for each recipient of the Wash100 award, providing a write up on the executive centered around their career history and highlights.