Recently, the Defense Information Systems Agency Director and JFHQ-DoDIN Commander Vice Admiral Nancy A. Norton sat down with “International Edition” Host, Lori Lundin, for an interview about her career, views on gender diversity and advice to girls and young women.
International Edition is a news radio show that airs on “Voice of America,” which has a global listenership of 280 million. The show is broadcast on several continents, with its largest listening audience based online and on the continents of Africa and Asia. Norton’s interview provided a great opportunity to highlight the important roles of both DISA and JFHQ-DODIN and to send an inspiring message to girls and young women.
The interview began with Lundin asking the director to reflect on the magnitude of her position, as the host was impressed with Norton being the first woman to officially serve in the highest leadership role of both organizations. The significance of her position is not lost on the admiral, who explained that it is an enormous responsibility and an honor to serve in her dual-hatted role, leading people who are charged with defending DoD’s networks. She also highlighted the gender diversity at DISA, noting that a lot of the agency’s senior leaders are women – a number that has increased over time.
When asked about her childhood and if she envisioned serving in the capacity that her current role requires, she said she did not. Norton talked about growing up in a small town in Oregon and the fact that she did not travel in her youth, despite having the desire to travel and to be a part of something that was bigger than herself. She explained that through a combination of supportive educators, the influence of her mother and her experience as an ensign (a low-ranking officer), that she discovered her true professional passion and forged a unique path to realizing her childhood dreams.
Listen to the director’s “International Edition” interview (about the 18-minute mark) to hear about her educational journey, her perspective about the importance of normalizing the presence of women in leadership positions and the inspiring advice she received from her mother that she shares with girls and young women who aspire to lead.