Keynote sessions happen following breakfast on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at the workshop.

Stephen A. Shinn
CFO, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Steve Shinn is the Chief Financial Officer for Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). In this role, he is responsible for overseeing the entire range of budget planning and execution, financial management, and financial system activities at the Center. He manages GSFC’s budget and financial operations, directs the preparation and submission of annual financial and budgetary reports, and coordinates agency financial management activities with other federal agencies.

Before accepting this position in 2016, Mr. Shinn served as Deputy Director for Planning & Business Management for the Flight Projects Directorate at GSFC, a position he held beginning May 2011. He managed all matters related to business, project planning and control, resource management, organizational staffing, workforce development, diversity and equal opportunity, and physical assets.

Prior to beginning his career in the federal government, Mr. Shinn worked in industry where he developed integrated cost and schedule control systems for over 30 programs. He worked in the capacity of Group Supervisor for the Space Operations Management Group at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, managing individuals in financial management, parametric modeling, hardware production engineering, pricing, project control, cost engineering, earned value management, scheduling, and capital planning.  Mr. Shinn has held various management positions in pricing, cost management, estimating, operations management, software management, earned value management, and scheduling. In those positions, he was responsible for planning, managing, and controlling complex systems development, system integration, and infrastructure engineering programs. He is also an instructor in Project Planning and Control at The Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering.

Mr. Shinn earned his bachelor’s degree in Finance from the College of New Jersey and a master’s degree in Technical Management from the Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering.

 

Gary Bliss
Director, Performance Assessments and Root Cause Analyses, PARCA

Mr. Gary R. Bliss is the Director, Performance Assessments and Root Cause Analyses (PARCA), in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition. PARCA carries out performance assessments of Major Defense Acquisitions Programs (MDAPs) and conducts root cause analyses for MDAPs with Nunn-McCurdy breach status or when requested by senior Department of Defense (DoD) officials.  Mr. Bliss previously held the position of Deputy Director, Enterprise Information and Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Studies in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (AT&L). His responsibilities included oversight of the five OSD-funded Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, the OSD’s university research program, as well as review and development of innovations to overhaul the AT&L enterprise management systems. Earlier in his career, Mr. Bliss served 13 years as the Director of Office of the Director, Program Analysis & Evaluation Weapon System Cost Analysis Division (WSCAD). WSCAD’s ten staff members constitute one of the two offices dedicated to OSD Cost Analysis Improvement Group (CAIG) functions, and is responsible for the preparation of independent development and procurement cost estimates for major systems that range from munitions (e.g. tactical missiles) through platforms (e.g. helicopters, submarines, fighter aircraft, tanks, etc.). As such, Mr. Bliss has been a key player in DoD’s most important system decisions by the Services, OSD and the Congress. Generally recognized in both industry and government as a leading authority on the economics of defense procurement, Mr. Bliss has an established track record in institutional reform and enterprise reengineering. He is an experienced lecturer, often speaking to varied audiences on such topics as:

  • Management information system governance and reengineering
  • Manufacturing enterprise reengineering
  • Acquisition institutional reform

Owing to this expertise, Mr. Bliss has been hosted by the governments of Australia, Taiwan, Japan, and the United Kingdom to lecture their staffs on matters of defense acquisition.
Mr. Bliss has a BA, Mathematics and Economics (Highest Honors in Economics) from College of William and Mary.


Sandra Fairchild,
Project Services Support Director, Savannah River Remediation

As Project Services and Support Director for Savannah River Remediation LLC, Sandra Fairchild is responsible for all aspects of Financial, Supply Chain Management, Contract Management, Information Technology, Cyber Security, Project Controls, and Budget management affecting SRR, the Liquid Waste Contractor located at the Savannah River Site (SRS). The current contract value is $4.1 billion.

Ms. Fairchild has over 31 years of diversified financial experience in the fields of technical planning and controls management, procurement, contracts administration, accounting, earned value management, pension and benefits administration, information technology including cyber security and governmental negotiations. She is certified by the state of South Carolina as a certified public accountant.

Prior to her current position, Ms. Fairchild was chief financial officer for Washington Savannah River Company (WSRC) Liquid Waste contract and Management and Operations organizations. In these positions, her responsibilities involved the oversight of $1 billion annual operating programs with highly diverse missions. During her career, she has held positions of increasing financial management responsibilities, including WSRC Operations Business Unit controller, with responsibilities for financial oversight of $500 million construction projects, and WSRC Closure Business Unit controller, where she had responsibilities for financial oversight of Environmental Management and National Nuclear Security Administration programs.

Prior to working at SRS, Ms. Fairchild was senior auditor for the South Carolina State Auditors Office. In that capacity, she had responsibility for oversight of companies receiving federal or state funding.

Ms. Fairchild is an honorary lifetime member of the Aiken Junior Women’s Club and serves as Treasurer for the Aiken Technical College Foundation.
She, and her husband, Pete, have two children. They live in Aiken, South Carolina.