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News | April 5, 2023

My DCMA: Anita Brown, management analyst

By Matthew Montgomery DCMA Public Affairs

My DCMA, Local National edition, showcases Defense Contract Management Agency International’s experienced and diverse workforce and highlights what being a part of the global defense team means to them.

Being a LN with the agency often involves maintaining a special tie to the country one is operating in, providing insight and access to strategic community partnerships. LNs provide a vital link for contracting services around the globe, continuity during frequent team member transitions and a cultural link to Allies and partners.

“I take great pride knowing that as a Canadian I can help foster the relationship between the United States and Canada,” said Anita Brown, Technical Operations Group management analyst.  “It is a unique and special relationship built on trust. Knowing that our host nation partners, contractors and manufacturers play such a critical role in the support to America’s warfighters is incredibly rewarding.”

Brown started with the agency 20 years ago, and in addition to her current management analyst role, she has served in numerous other strategic roles throughout her career to include executive assistant to the director, human resource specialist for U.S. and LN staff, and a facilities manager.

“Each position has afforded me the opportunity to learn different facets of our mission and the role the Canadian Industrial Base plays in support to the American warfighter,” said Brown. “The wealth of information I have gathered throughout my time with DCMA has been fascinating, and it is humbling to know that I am part of a bigger picture.”

In her various capacities, Brown has coordinated change of command ceremonies, morale events for the office staff and attended Fourth of July celebrations at the U.S. ambassador’s residence. She’s also toured manufacturing facilities and witnessed firsthand the work being done on the F-18 and C-130 aircraft.

“One of the most thrilling moments during my time with the agency was having the opportunity to meet three different U.S. presidents — Presidents Bush, Obama and Biden — as well as former Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice,” said Brown.

U.S. government employees serve oversees on three- to five-year rotations, which means LNs working in those offices experience a high rate of turnover among leadership and team members. Brown said this dynamic creates both opportunities and challenges for the LN staff.

“It is not only difficult to say goodbye to colleagues we have formed close bonds with, we must also continually acclimatize ourselves to different personalities and work environments with the arrival of new employees,” said Brown. “Further, due to the uniqueness of the host nation environment, it takes time for newcomers to fully comprehend the dynamics of their position and lives in Canada. Employee transitions to Canada can be exciting and overwhelming initially, but quickly develop into a rewarding opportunity.

“I have made such long lasting friendships throughout the years and remain in contact with former DCMA Americas employees to this day,” she continued. “I am a firm believer in teamwork, professionalism and building strong connections with my colleagues and that is what makes my time with DCMA so enjoyable.”

In addition to the high turnover, LN’s experience working for the U.S. government differs slightly from their counterparts. Time and attendance for LNs is maintained manually through a database and recorded into a leave summary spreadsheet that is submitted to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, known as DFAS, for disbursement of pay.

Other nuances include Canadian LN salaries based on pay rates in approved agreements between the Treasury Board of Canada and the corresponding unions, and in lieu of a pension, the U.S. government contributes to an LN’s Registered Retirement Savings Program annually. DFAS works in conjunction with the Canada Revenue Agency to produce T4s, a W2 equivalent, and RRSP contributions.

Brown said these unique circumstances sometimes discourage citizens from applying, or staying with the agency longer.

“When I first joined DCMA, I intended to stay a maximum of five years. However, here we are today, 20 years later, and I plan on concluding my career with DCMA,” said Brown, who appreciates DCMA’s strong stance on a work/life balance. “Simply knowing that the work I perform on a daily basis is meaningful and contributes to supporting the warfighter gives me a great sense of pride. I am surrounded by a team of professionals who continually provide me with knowledge and opportunities to grow in my position. After two decades, I am still learning new things.”

When asked about hobbies and to provide a good “Canadian ending” to her story, Brown replied, “I am an avid sports fan and love attending live games. Hockey is my sport of choice — being a Canadian and all, eh — and I was a ‘hockey mom’ for over 10 years.”

Look for more stories about DCMA’s LNs in the coming months.