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NEWS | Nov. 23, 2020

2020 National Native American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month – NSWC Dahlgren Division Employee Profile: Michael S. Brown

By NSWC Dahlgren Division Corporate Communications

Michael Brown is the Computing Integration and Analysis Branch Head at NSWC Dahlgren Division’s Strategic and Computing System’s Department. He is a member of the Patawomeck Indian Tribe, one of Virginia’s 11 recognized tribes, and he serves as the NSWCDD Native American Indian and Alaska Native (NAIAN) Special Emphasis Program Manager (SEPM).

As branch head, Brown leads multidisciplinary scientists, engineers and technical professionals that provide the development and integration of innovative computing solutions for the fleet.

“It is an honor to support the workforce and the Sailor in developing technological advancements for our combat systems,” said Brown. “There is so much talent here at NSWC Dahlgren Division and I enjoy being involved with the technical work as well as helping to foster growth in employees’ careers. It is rewarding to mentor, counsel and supervise employees as they continue to make technical contributions to the mission at Dahlgren and to meet the needs of the warfighter.”

As the command’s NAIAN SEPM, Brown represents Native American Indians, Alaska Natives and the workforce in general by collaborating with other SEPMs. “It is rewarding to serve the command as a SEPM striving to make a positive impact for our employees,” said Brown. “I want to help champion a healthy work environment such that employees feel free to share challenges and concerns without fear of reprisal. I also feel privileged to represent my Native American heritage and connect with other Native Americans at Dahlgren – something I haven’t been able to do very easily before.”

As a line manager and a SEPM, Brown helps to address and remove barriers the workforce encounters while striving to foster improvements. “I am thankful for the opportunity to serve in both of these capacities to help each person fulfill their purpose in their community, at NSWC Dahlgren Division and for the Navy.”

Since he became Dahlgren’s NAIAN SEPM, Brown began to connect and learn more about his Native American heritage. He owns a copy of the New Testament translated into the Algonquin language by English Puritan missionary John Eliot and printed in 1661. “As a Native American and a Christian, it is amazing to think that my Native American ancestors converted to Christianity early,” said Brown. “It is because of my Christian faith and my Native American Heritage that I was led to apply to be the Native American SEPM. I believe every person is a special creation of God and was put on this earth for a purpose and each person should be treated with respect and dignity.”

Brown obtained a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Longwood University and a master’s degree in engineering from North Carolina State University. He has more than 17 years of federal service working with various program sponsors and ship platforms in addition to computing systems supporting combat systems; command, control, computers, communications and intelligence systems; hull, mechanical, and electrical systems; and air integration systems. He worked as technical lead, group lead, project manager and contracting officer representative throughout his career prior to becoming a branch head.

Moreover, Brown took advantage of opportunities throughout his career to collaborate with Naval Sea Systems Command and NSWCDD leadership, various program sponsors, type commanders, regional maintenance centers, ship builders, supervisory of shipbuilding, in-service engineering agents, technical warrant holders, technical SMEs, product directors, ship’s force, contracting officers and specialists, financial managers and private industry. Brown credits this collaboration with helping him more fully appreciate the life cycle of systems and the different aspects of the systems engineering “V” which graphically represents a systems development lifecycle.

“The opportunity to work across all aspects of the systems engineering process has enabled me to better understand how early requirements definitions or design decisions can impact the warfighter,” said Brown. “Working on both the research and development side and in-service side of the systems engineering process has helped me make better technical contributions.”