Deputy Program Manager Remedies Pandemic Challenges through Customer Dedication

Eda Cecia


By Lindsay Emery

Deputy Program Manager Eda Cecia said she saw opportunities to identify solutions and implement new processes when the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020.

“It has been a good time to make some positive changes by engaging and developing the team and increasing the customer service.” Cecia said.

Restrictions during the pandemic complicated Global Antiterrorism Training Assistance operations, so Cecia started to develop processes, standard operating procedures and prepared the team to implement the changes. In addition to COVID precautions, Cecia encourages her team to learn from their mistakes by creating what she calls a “lesson learned register.” She encourages team members to develop themselves professionally by documenting their solutions.

Cecia brings unique experience to the GATA program PAE supports for the U.S. Department of State. She earned her law degree in Albania and her Master of Business Administration from University of Nebraska. Cecia began working at the United States Embassy in Albania before moving to Virginia and working for SAIC. In October 2019, she started in her current role at PAE.

Under GATA, Cecia coordinates functional areas, procurement, human resources and finance logistics to ensure the customer receives the best possible service. Her global experience allows her to provide leadership and management for operations, personnel and subcontracts for 34 countries.

“It’s really very important to understand the other side of the contract and to feel exactly there when you are deployed somewhere across the ocean,” Cecia said. “That way you will better understand the expectations and focus your efforts and provide the best service.”

Understanding customers is pivotal to recognizing and surpassing their expectations so the team can excel, Cecia said. In addition to putting the customer first, Cecia sees all areas of responsibility have proper oversight to ensure the multitude of missions go smoothly. Senior Program Manager Michael Alexander nominated Cecia because of her exemplary teamwork and precision.

“She is constantly checking, following up, stepping in when necessary and cajoling our team to be precise, efficient and accurate,” Alexander said. “Our program could not operate without her outstanding work.”

Cecia’s leadership and teamwork abilities earned her recognition as a PAE Values Champion for the value “Be Customer Focused.”

“What is really important that I’ve seen with PAE is the positive environment that is established by the leadership where everyone’s opinions and ideas are valued," Cecia said. “There are challenges everywhere, but the trustworthy environment increases the opportunity and transforms the team skills to strengths.”