ExecutiveBiz had the chance to speak with Stephanie Mango, president of CGI Federal, to talk about upbringing around the federal sector and her career in the sector to date, her transition into as CGI Federal president, her company growth strategy, culture philosophy, predictions for the federal sector moving forward and the importance of transparency.
“One of the foundational components of our culture is transparency. We stress the need for transparent direct communications at all times. I am an extremely transparent leader, and I believe strongly in transparency. This is true throughout CGI, from the CEO, the founder and everyone else.”
You can read the full Executive Spotlight with Stephanie Mango below:
ExecutiveBiz: Can you give us a snapshot of your career to this point through your recent promotion this spring?
“My father was a civil servant, and I grew up in a household very focused on participatory government. I always thought I would end up working for the federal government. When I got out of school, I was hired by American Management Systems (AMS) working as a consultant for the federal government, expecting to eventually become a federal employee.
However, I found I loved working in industry as a consultant; it allowed me to work across numerous agencies and help solve many exciting challenges. In 2004, I came to CGI through its merger with AMS. As a company that encourages career mobility, CGI has allowed me to try out pretty much any role – from back-office to growth strategy to product management to cybersecurity.
I have stayed with the company and had a great career here; I moved into my new role in April of this year.”
ExecutiveBiz: Congrats on your recent promotion. How have you transitioned into your new position as president of CGI’s federal business? What is the most exciting aspect of your new position for you?
“It’s an exciting time right now in this industry, and I’m thrilled to be taking on this role. There’s a lot of movement in government contracting right now because of the new administration. There’s always a shift when a new administration comes in regardless of a political party.
We are also coming out of a once-in-a-lifetime, I hope, global pandemic, during which our environment and expectations have changed, and all of that is leading to this appetite for digital transformation. It’s a fascinating time to be in our business where we can help agencies on this journey.
Being a leader during a pandemic is really interesting. We all had to learn how to handle remote work for federal agencies and ourselves. It made me realize just how resilient our teams and systems are, and I have been really impressed with the resilience of the federal government.
They were able to transition to managing a remote workforce very well. Agencies were able to manage security checks, tax refunds, relief money and more while maintaining a robust cyber position.”
ExecutiveBiz: Following major contract wins and key acquisitions of Sunflower Systems and TeraThink, can you discuss CGI’s growth strategy? Does M&A continue to play a part? How would you describe your vision for the company in the role?
“CGI is generally 50 percent organic growth and 50 percent inorganic growth. Our strategy is always to build and buy, and that’s the way we view a healthy business — you need to show that you can grow your work, but you also want to look for capabilities to add through buying.
In April, our U.S. Commercial and State Government Group merged with Sense Corporation. CGI Federal’s merger with TeraThink last year was all done virtually and very successfully. I hope to see more M&A in the future.”
ExecutiveBiz: How would you describe your management style philosophy to drive growth and success with your team? What are the most important enhancements that you value to build CGI Federal’s team and culture?
“We look at culture very simply. You can talk about culture and just put words on a page. However, the behaviors you accept, and the behaviors you don’t, actually represent your authentic culture, not the words written on a page. That’s what our leadership team focuses on a lot.
One of the foundational components of our culture is transparency. We stress the need for transparent direct communications at all times. I am an extremely transparent leader, and I believe strongly in transparency. This is true throughout CGI, from the CEO, the founder and everyone else.
The belief behind our transparency is that if you share with people what’s going on, then everybody can move in the same direction at the same time. If you don’t have constant transparency of strategy and goals, a company just cannot grow effectively. Other values that are key to our culture include empowerment, inclusion, positivity, ethics and measured risk-taking.”
ExecutiveBiz: Given your read of the federal sector and the current administration’s priorities, what are your predictions and priorities in a post-pandemic world and federal landscape?
“If we’ve learned anything over the past year, it’s that we can’t predict anything. I do think the future will be interesting. One of the main things I think we’ll see is how people return to physical work locations.
I’ve asked eight or nine agencies what their plan is for physical work and gotten eight or nine completely different answers, ranging from ‘I don’t think we’re ever coming back to being in the office full time’ to ‘we will be back in the office, all of us, full-time’ and everything in between. I do think there will be a lot of different variabilities.
There’s a lot of swinging of that pendulum back and forth as people try to find the right balance between being in-person and being virtual. We are figuring out how that interplay is going to work.
Most importantly, I expect the agility of the federal government along with its increased appetite for digital transformation and all that entails to continue moving forward.”