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NEWS | June 10, 2022

NSWC Dahlgren Division’s Carrie Hardin Takes Pride in Leading the Way

By NSWCDD Corporate Communications

There was a time when Carrie Hardin shied away from being a leader. She never believed she had what it takes to guide others. Her co-workers and supervisors disagreed and frequently encouraged her to embrace her potential. Hardin finally became fired up about becoming a leader while pursuing her master’s degree. That was when her drive to lead finally kicked into gear. 

These days, Hardin is the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division's (NSWCDD) Computing Architecture, Design and Networking Branch Head. Her team designs and develops the computing power, networking and storage systems that operate our ships combat and weapon systems. She began her career at Dahlgren as a contractor testing simulations and software after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Mary Washington College, now known as the University of Mary Washington (UMW). 

After taking leadership courses while earning her master’s degree in business administration from UMW, Hardin stepped into a project management role with the Littoral Combat Ship Surface Warfare Mission Package Command and Control and Missile Engagement Processing software development team. Her fondness for leadership began to grow as she utilized her learned skills and past experiences.

For Hardin, leadership is more about advocating for those around her. “My favorite part about being a leader is helping others be successful, removing barriers for people, watching people reach their potential and helping people grow in their careers.” 

As a member of the gay community, Hardin leads the way by living her life openly and honestly. She believes the key to acceptance is normalizing her life in front of others. “I never really thought I impacted people just by being an out lesbian in the workplace, frequently speaking about my wife, just like any straight person talks about their spouse,” she says. “But then I realized that in our workforce, representation does matter as we all work to build a more diverse, equal and inclusive workplace.”