Forbes' Capital Region Women Business Leaders

​​​​Leading the Convergence of National Security and Technology

Few things change as rapidly as technology. Keeping pace with those changes is a challenge few companies can maintain. Technology companies often burst onto the scene, make a big splash and then fade into the sunset as newer, faster and more complex technolo- gies emerge. But ManTech International Corporation has not just kept pace, but has actually led the technology race for 46 years.

ManTech began providing advanced technological services to the United States government in 1968. "We began with a single contract to develop war- gaming models for the U.S. Navy," says Bonnie Cook, executive vice president of business operations. "Over the years, our government's technology needs have increased dramatically in scope and sophistication. We've grown to meet that challenge most notably in cyber op- erations and computer network defense technologies." The company now services thousands of active contracts for more than 50 government agencies.

The key to the company's success has been keeping a careful eye on where emerging technologies take the govern- ment and developing the resources to master those technologies. "It's a formidable undertaking that ManTech knows well," says Cook. "You have to stay close to the customers and anticipate their needs." Along the way, those needs have included supporting the new sensor technology needed to protect our nation's armed forces and some of NASA's most visible projects like the Mars Rover.

Technology Changes. Core Values Remain the Same.

They say the more things change, the more they stay the same. That certainly holds true at ManTech. Despite the immeasurable changes in technology over the last 46 years, one thing has remained constant: the man in the corner office. ManTech founder George J. Pedersen still reigns as chairman and CEO. Pedersen built ManTech into a multibillion-dollar public company providing innovation, adaptability and critical thinking for defense, intelligence, law enforcement, science and administrative agencies. Today, the more than 7,000 worldwide employees are dedicated to the mission of responsiveness he initiated nearly five decades ago.

According to Cook, the firm is now expanding into the federal civilian, health systems and private sectors. "We're taking the lessons learned in national security and applying them to help the private sector protect networks and critical information, and meet evolving needs in federal healthcare and information technology."​

Growing With the Company

For most of ManTech's 46 years, Executive Vice President Bonnie Cook has been working her way up the company's ladder of success. She started her career performing contract support, then finance and business operations, taking on acquisition due diligence and integrations and establishing international "citizenships" with business branches in Turkey, Colombia, Germany, Panama and, most recently, Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. "This is truly a place of opportunity," she says. "For me and many, many others."