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I’m Speaking: Doreen Harwood, President of the Fort Meade Alliance
Episode 826th October 2021 • Outspoken with Shana Cosgrove • Shana Cosgrove
00:00:00 01:05:51

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Intelligence, NSA, and the Fort Meade Community

In this episode of The Outspoken Podcast, host Shana Cosgrove talks to Doreen Harwood, President of DEHarwod LLC, a small consulting business that provides acquisition support to large and small businesses within the Intelligence Community. The bulk of Doreen’s career was spent as a civilian serving the National Security Agency (NSA), in which she rose to become a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES). In this episode, we talk about the ins and outs of Doreen’s time - her varying positions, what the technology was like, and being a working mom. She also offers great insight on building a high-performance team and earning trust from companies you may have yet to build a relationship with. As President of the Fort Meade Alliance (FMA), Doreen gives insight into how to lead a successful nonprofit that supports its community’s most pressing needs. Finally, we get to hear about Shana and Doreen’s first time meeting, Doreen’s favorite reads, and a surprising fact!


  • “[Life after high school for me] was all about living in the moment… Still very tied to my high school group. And then, at the same time, meeting lots of new people… Kind of the integration of all the new people and all the new happenings... It was all about learning and… just soaking in everything that you could. And I had a really diverse set of friends and I loved every minute of it.” - Doreen Harwood [17:23]
  • “...there are a standard set of reliable processes and procedures that guide everyone through, …there are certain tough decisions that have to be made and they need to be made based upon facts, …but then, on top of it all, it’s the ability of… leaders to communicate and the common trust that they have that make it all work.” - Doreen Harwood [44:02]
  • “...I said ‘I vouch for him’ So basically, “Even though you haven't spent twenty years with him, you’ve spent twenty years with me. Treat him the same. I trust him that way. I would recommend you trust him that way.’ And it actually worked. I don’t know if that works in every instance, but [it did] in this case… Get somebody to vouch for ya’. I know it sounds kind of crazy.”- Doreen Harwood [45:33]



  • [00:04] Intro
  • [01:52] Meet Dorene Harwood
  • [04:50] Growing Up
  • [08:22] After High School and FBI
  • [11:35] Working After High School
  • [14:44] Doreen’s Family
  • [17:13] Marriage
  • [18:42] NSA
  • [21:43] Bachelors and Masters
  • [23:48] Program Management
  • [26:05] Maternity Leave and Moms at NSA
  • [30:12] Getting into Program Management
  • [33:35] Program Management to IT
  • [35:51] Programming Class and Technology Back Then
  • [37:28] Senior Ranks
  • [41:10] Building a High-Performing Team
  • [44:27] Building Trust at NSA
  • [46:51] Doreen and Shana’s First Meeting
  • [52:17] Fort Meade Alliance Board
  • [59:54] Being Your Best Self
  • [01:01:54] Doreen’s Favorite Book
  • [01:04:07] Doreen’s Surprising Fact
  • [01:05:32] Outro





I’d love to hear from you -- your feedback is important to me and I read all of it. If you enjoyed the podcast, I hope you’ll give us 5 stars. I’ll be sure to thank you via email. If not, let me know what you think we should do differently. Don’t forget to hit “subscribe” so you’ll receive notifications about guest interviews and other topics that drop every Tuesday.

Live well, Shana


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