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Getting to know Deputy PEO Chérie Smith
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The Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI) announced Chérie Smith as its acting Deputy Program Executive Officer in March 2015. Now no longer “acting,” Smith holds a key leadership position in an office with more than 1,200 military personnel, government-civilian and service-support contractors who execute the multi-billion-dollar simulation and training program, as well as manage the Foreign Military Sales program.
Her 15 months of experience at PEO STRI will greatly benefit the new PEO, Brigadier General William E. Cole, who will be replacing the retiring Major General Jon Maddux this month.
Smith began her career as an enlisted soldier in the Army. She served more than six years on active duty, developing medical scientific software applications at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Health Care Systems Support Activity, Fort Sam, Houston. She has amassed more than 30 years of government experience in all levels of information technology management and development, serving in the following assignments: technical project manager for ASIMS, PEO STAMIS senior liaison officer to the Pentagon, acquisition oversight manager for GCSS-Army, Distance Learning program, Biometrics, and the MACOM and Installation Support Module program.
Immediately prior to joining PEO STRI, Smith was assistant deputy for Acquisition & Systems Management, overseeing and implementing acquisition policy for aviation, intelligence/electronic warfare, focused logistics, simulation and training, and special operations force acquisition programs. Her counsel helped shape the Army’s materiel-capability portfolios and ensure discipline throughout the acquisition process.
Smith also served as acting deputy program executive officer soldier, where she advised the PEO on the entire acquisition lifecycle, with special emphasis on the business management and acquisition aspects. She conducted and oversaw performance assessments and root cause analyses on Acquisition Weapon Systems and other large acquisition programs, and she led implementation of Affordability Initiatives for Acquisition programs for the Army.
From Aug. 2009 to Aug. 2010, Smith served as the director of Forward Operations-Kuwait and successfully coordinated the fielding of more than 200 critical programs to theater. She oversaw assessment of the fielding of rolling stock programs that were coming from Iraq to be refurbished and redeployed to Afghanistan. This included critical soldier-protection vehicles, such as the Up-Armored High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles.
Smith established the General Fund Enterprise Business System (GFEBS), bringing the program from initial concept phase to system development and demonstration phase. She opened the office and remained program manager from May 2003 to June 2008. While under her management (May 2003 – June 2008), GFEBS received the Computerworld Laureate Award (2007) and the Army Acquisition Team Excellence Award (2007-2008). GFEBS will be one of the world’s largest enterprise financial systems with about 79,000 end users at more than 200 Army sites around the world.
Smith was in the U.S. Army Reserves (1977-1979) and served on active duty (1979-1985).
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in business from National-Louis University and graduated the Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania with a Master’s Degree in strategic studies. She graduated from the Defense Acquisition University’s Advanced Program Management Course and National Defense University’s Information Resource Management College for Advanced Management.
As a member of the original Army Acquisition Corps, Smith is Level III certified in both communications-computer systems and program management.
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