Dubai Regional Operations Center Champions Diversity

By Kerry McGinley

PAE’s Dubai Regional Operations Center is an office that crosses borders, cultures and functions to pull off big jobs. Its location and staff ensure programs in challenging locations halfway around the world from corporate headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia, have the people and resources necessary remain mission-ready and effective. 

Because of the wide range of people, services and cultures in the Dubai Regional Operations Center, the office was chosen as a PAE Values Champion for diversity, one of eight key values considered the foundation of the PAE’s success. Its staff  represents multiple nationalities, speaks multiple languages and works in a wide range of roles to ensure programs in their section of the globe continue to function efficiently and effectively. The center is the first office group chosen as a PAE Values Champion. 

“That is the strength of our diversity,” said Senior Business Manager Michael Richardson. “That’s why we’ve got 14 nationalities represented in the office. We’re taking advantage of being the type of people we hire on site and actually conduct the work.”

The office is part of the Global Mission Services division, but it at times functions as a sort of corporate outpost. 

“We’re a regional operations center,” he said. “The Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia -- everything is within a three- to four-hour time zone range.”

Their location means better response times for critical issues. And because much of the staff has worked on the contracts serviced through the office, they can temporarily backfill a wide range of positions when program employees take lengthy leave. 

“Because we’ve had so many people that have been to the program sites, they’re able to see how instrumental it is to get the job done,” he said. “If a vendor stops delivering food, we have people who’ve been on the ground and know what the impact of that would be. So they’re dedicated to figuring out what’s wrong and find a solution right away.”

The team also recently participated in Lean Six Sigma green belt training, which Richardson said reinforced and improved existing processes to ensure quick solutions for the customer. 

“We’re looking at innovation moments and recognizing, ’Why is it being done this way? Can it be done better?’” Richardson said. “When we identify an issue, rather than just finger-pointing, we’re coming to the table with our lean six sigma methodology. Now we’re looking at the facts of what’s causing it and what can we do about it.”

The connection they share as ex-pats far from home contributes to the group’s success, Richardson said. 

“The mission still comes first,” he said. “People really take that to heart to make sure we’re meeting the demands of our programs.”