Anna Turner

As a small child I remember hearing the thunder of rocket engines occurring frequently. Whether playing outside with neighborhood friends or in my house, the testing of rocket engines caused the ground to rumble and the windows to rattle. It was the 80’s, the shuttle program was in full force, and so I guess I knew of NASA from a very early age.

My father went to work for NASA when I was in elementary school, but I didn’t have a real understanding of what he did. One day when I was 12 years old I went to work with him, sat in his office watching him work for what seemed like hours upon hours, and thought I would never want an office job. Little did I know that after high school, college and working other places for 10 years, I would go to work for NASA in the same field as my Dad, Procurement, and really enjoy the work!

I earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Mississippi State University. After college I sold insurance (which I did not care for), worked retail (fun but not challenging), and then I was selected as an intern at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In the first year as a Contract Specialist, four major hurricanes struck the state of Florida. My office helped in the response after each storm by buying ice, water, blue tarps, and temporary housing. The blue tarps were used by the victims of the storms to secure their belongings. I remember calling every business that might have some of these necessary supplies and eventually we bought just about every blue tarp in the United States. That was a very busy time and I liked the challenge of the work because the work I did each day helped others and gave me a sense of fulfillment.

After Hurricane Katrina devastated the Mississippi and Louisiana gulf coasts, I volunteered for an assignment in New Orleans. The work in New Orleans was more challenging than anything I had done before. It drove me to work harder and learn areas of the contracting field for which I had not yet worked. After hiring companies to build flood walls and levees for about three years, it was time for a new challenge.

During my time working for the U.S. Amy Corps of Engineers in Jacksonville, FL, and then in New Orleans, LA, I took classes at night and finally earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of New Orleans. It took about 5 years because I started and stopped, changed schools (and therefore lost credits), but the knowledge gained in the graduate classes has helped me tremendously in my work at NASA. While my job title is “Lead Contract Specialist,” it really means make good business decisions for NASA every day; decisions that serve customers well.

The people on my team and I are responsible for 4.5 billion dollars of enterprise IT services contracts. These services impact every NASA employee every day. IT requirements across the Agency are constantly changing, so I stay busy responding to those changes.

I love my career at NASA. There is a sense of family among coworkers, not just at the NASA Shared Services Center, but also with those with whom I have become well acquainted at other NASA Centers. People genuinely care about one another and the mission of NASA. Employees want one another to be successful and help one another achieve goals. I have now worked for NASA four years and am grateful for the career opportunities NASA has given me.

photo of Anna Turner

Biography

Anna Turner is the Lead Contract Specialist for the NASA Shared Services Center located at Stennis Space Center. In this role, she is responsible for helping NASA accomplish its mission by administering the Agency’s Information Technology Infrastructure Integration Program (I3P) contracts. The portfolio of contracts has a value of $4.5 billion. Anna and her team interact with members of the OCIO and Center CIO offices regularly to ensure that the needs of the Agency are fully met. In August 2014, Anna was honored by receiving the Exceptional Achievement Medal for extraordinary commitment, determination, and leadership managing the Agency’s multi-billion dollar portfolio of I3P service contracts. Previously, Anna worked at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in New Orleans, LA, and Jacksonville, FL, as a contract specialist. Anna holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Mississippi State University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of New Orleans.