Diedra Hollins, Idaho National Laboratory’s deputy chief information officer, was honored on Feb. 18 at the 2022 Black Engineer of the Year STEM conference as a Modern-Day Technology Leader.
“Hollins’ numerous achievements in technology stood out among the group,” said Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) Chairman Tyrone Taborn.
“When Diedra joined INL in March 2019, she quickly adapted to learn the organization and make connections,” said INL Chief Information Officer Bob Hillier. “Diedra values her co-workers and gets to know them on a personal level. She has a quick eye for recognizing talent and she celebrates it. It is easy to follow a leader like Diedra because of her passion. When she believes in something, she puts her whole heart into it and leads by example.”
Hollins has over 20 years of experience in technical leadership. She has led information technology (IT) initiatives in multiple federal agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Labor, Transportation Security Administration and the General Services Administration. At INL, Hollins started the Information Management Inclusion and Diversity Champions group, ensuring the practice of hiring diverse talent and implementing training to ensure staff understand diverse inclusion.
“She is also leading our team and implementing a green initiative policy to help INL reduce waste and its carbon footprint,” Hillier said. “Diedra is a champion for the women in our organization and created the IM Women in Technology group to celebrate and provide resources for women in technology. Everything she does for our organization has positive ripple effects that have ensured a successful team who work together toward a common goal.”
Hollins’ professional background includes expertise in IT budgeting, project management, IT infrastructure innovation, smart cities, smart building technology, transportation technologies, cybersecurity and IT disaster recovery. Her experience extends into enterprise architecture planning, quality assurance and digital transformation of legacy programs and applications.
Hollins earned a master’s degree in information and telecommunications systems management from Capitol College and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from North Carolina Central University. While serving as an adjunct faculty member for the University of Maryland University College, she lectured on information systems management and taught ethics in IT. Hollins is also a graduate of the Battelle Memorial Institute IT Leadership Academy and is a member of the Battelle Lab Operations Leadership Academy.
“Diedra stands out among all candidates because she is someone who we can all look up to and aspire to be more like. She inspired our community to come together when the nation was falling apart, took on the mantle of leadership in a male-dominated technology organization, and brought a refreshing new perspective on how to be more inclusive and diverse,” Hillier said.
Every year since 1987, the BEYA conference has recognized exceptional leaders whose actions have energized corporations and communities to create connections between minority students, educators and professionals in scientific fields. Last year, Zach Tudor, who leads INL’s National and Homeland Security research programs, received the Career Achievement in Government Award at BEYA.
About the Conference
For more than 35 years, the BEYA Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Conference has been a leading event for professional development, networking and providing a resource for minorities to feel empowered. The event’s goal is to create connections between students, educators and STEM professionals while facilitating partnerships with individuals and their local STEM resources. For more information about the 2022 BEYA STEM Conference, visit https://intouch.ccgmag.com/mpage/beya-home