Power Moves: SAIC has a new chief climate scientist. He's applying a tech background to the role - Technical.ly DC

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Power Moves: SAIC has a new chief climate scientist. He’s applying a tech background to the role

In the new role, Stephen Ambrose will merge technology and climate change solutions. Plus, Howard has a new interim CIO, and a former Sonatype VP is taking on a new open source role.

SAIC's new chief climate scientist Stephen Ambrose will be exploring tech solutions for climate change.

(Courtesy photo)

Updated: Invariant is a government relations and communications firm. 9:53 a.m., 7/6/21

Power Moves is a column where we chart the comings and goings of talent across the region. Got a new hire, new gig or promotion? Email us at dc@technical.ly.


The Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) appointed Stephen Ambrose in the new role of chief climate scientist.

He’ll be tasked with leading the Reston, Virginia-based IT company’s climate program, which helps government and industry address climate change issues. He’ll also be promoting solutions for climate change issues in data science, modeling, AI and ML and analytics. Previous roles include stints at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior. He was also a senior advisor and program manager at General Dynamics Information Technology.

Ambrose, who is based in D.C., told Technical.ly that technologies such as electric vehicles, fossil fuel emission reduction systems, biofuels, solar and wind power generation, clean water tech and data processing will have a huge role in his new position.

“Data analytics is one of the most important technologies today,” Ambrose said. “How we understand the vast amount of data coming to us every day from space, air, ground and ocean is critical. It will be vital to society to be able to put this data to use to provide information for smart decisions by decision makers developing policy, funding, direction and solutions to climate change.”

On top of his daily roles, Ambrose said he’ll also be putting together panels with SAIC to talk about climate science and technology, and plans to host a virtual conference in the fall. He’ll also be sponsoring one-on-one fireside chats for speakers with expertise in data, modeling, technology and the economy.

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Starting this week, Howard University has a new interim chief information officer and head of enterprise technology services: Olga Osaghae.

Osaghae will take over following the departure of Jonathan Piersol on July 2. The university is currently in the midst of a national search for a permanent replacement. In the new role, Osaghae will be taking over all IT responsibilities for the school, which includes anything from strategy to policy to budgeting to network operations. Plus, she’ll be the executive sponsor for all projects regarding Workday, the school’s cloud-based system.

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Osaghae has spent 13 of her 18 years of industry experience at Howard, holding previous positions of manager of database administration services, project manager, senior functional analyst and senior IT auditor, among others.

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Ahead of a planned merger with Osprey Technology Acquisition, Herndon, Virginia’s BlackSky announced two new board members.

Magid Abraham and Tim Harvey will join the board upon completion of the business combination. BlackSky is a technology platform providing real-time geospatial intelligence and global monitoring. Abraham previously cofounded and held CEO positions at comScore, NeuraWell Therapeutics and Paragren Technologies. Harvey currently holds the role of executive chairman at VTS Inc and was the previous president of commercial solutions at BAE Systems.

“We are at a significant inflection point for the space industry,” Harvey said in a statement. “BlackSky has proven itself as a company to watch.”

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Open source nonprofit the Linux Foundation has named Derek Weeks as SVP and chief marketing officer, a newly created role. Weeks will support the California company from Bethesda, Maryland.

In his new role, Weeks will be overseeing direct and digital product marketing, brand strategy, analytics and marketing operations. Weeks comes to the role from his position as vice president at Sonatype, and he cofounded the All Day DevOps virtual conference.

“Open source software is fueling a massive tidal wave of transformation across all industries, and I couldn’t think of a more exciting time to come onboard this exceptional team at The Linux Foundation,” said Weeks, in a statement. “With its respected position in the community, I look forward to driving growth and further elevating the organization’s contributions to open software, hardware, data and standards that serve millions developers worldwide.”

Check out a few more moves around the DMV:

  • Former head of strategy and management consulting Kim Pack is the new CEO of McLean, Virginia-based Wolf Den, a government consultancy firm.
  • Alexandria, Virginia-based intelligence firm Nisos added former White House cyber and national security personnel Paul Kurtz to its board of directors.
  • The City of Manassas named Micah Kemp as its new associate director of economic development, tasked with growing existing employers and making the area more attractive for business.
  • Rosslyn, Virginia, cybersecurity firm Shift5 announced André Browne as the new director of engineering.
  • Invariant, a communications and government relations firm, named Morgan Gress Johnson as corporate communications and public affairs strategist.
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