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Meet some of the impressive women executives at CNA

For over 75 years CNA has provided data-driven, evidence-based analysis to help decision-makers solve their toughest problems. 

At CNA, they equip leaders with the ability to build and sustain a diverse and inclusive workplace while creating a dynamic environment that fosters trust, innovation and excellence.

Meet some of the women executives at CNA.

Meet CNA President & CEO, Katherine McGrady Ph.D

CNA Katherine McGrady

Dr. Katherine A. McGrady is President and Chief Executive Officer, CNA, which operates the Institute for Public Research and the Center for Naval Analyses, a federally-funded research and development center (FFRDC) that pioneered the field of operations analysis in support of the U.S. Navy during World War II.

Katherine began her career with CNA as an analyst in 1988. As the field representative to the Commander of Marine Forces Central Command and Commander, I Marine Expeditionary Force, she served in the Persian Gulf during the first Iraq war (Desert Shield and Desert Storm). Katherine received the Department of Navy’s Superior Public Service Award for her contributions during Desert Shield/Desert Storm. She also deployed as part of the Unified Task Force to Mogadishu, Somalia.

Subsequent assignments led to her selection as Vice President and Director, Integrated Systems and Operations (ISO) Division, where she led a team focused on issues at the interface between the Navy and Marine Corps, including analysis of expeditionary systems, logistics, operations and tactics, and training for expeditionary operations. Simultaneously, she directed CNA’s Marine Corps Program, where she developed the annual research program and was the primary interface between CNA and the senior Marine Corps leadership.

From 2004 through 2009 Katherine held a variety of positions at CNA: In 2004, she became CNA’s Senior Vice President for Research; in 2006, she was promoted to Executive Vice President; in June 2009, she was appointed CNA’s first Chief Operating Officer. In that role, she was responsible for the execution of CNA’s strategy and business processes, assuring consistency of policy and approach across the organization, and maintaining an environment of accountability and high research performance.

Katherine earned her Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Macromolecular Science and Engineering (Polymer Chemistry) at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, and a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry (cum laude) from Smith College, Northampton, MA.

Meet CNA Chief Research Officer, Kim Deal Ph.D

CNA Kim Deal

Dr. Kim Deal began her career at CNA as a research analyst in 1998. She has directed and supported a variety of projects covering concepts, operations, organizational structure, and logistics analysis for the Navy and Marine Corps. She was the field representative to Commander, Marine Corps Materiel Command (now Marine Corps Logistics Command) from 2000-2002 and became a research team leader (RTL) in CNA's Operations Evaluation Group in 2006.

In 2010 Kim was named RTL of the Marine Corps Field Team and Marine Corps Program (MCP) Research Director. As an RTL, Kim provided oversight to all CNA analysts at Marine Corps commands including: I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF), II MEF, III MEF, Marine Forces Pacific, Marine Forces Command, U.S. Marine Forces Special Operations Command, Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron ONE, Marine Corps Information Operations Center, and Marine Forces Cyber Command. In her capacity as MCP Research Director, she led some of CNA's most important, highly visible studies for the senior leadership of the Marine Corps. From August 2015 to April 2016, she was vice president and director of CNA’s Marine Corps Program. Kim has also served as a scientific analyst to both the Deputy Commandant for Installations and Logistics and the Deputy Commandant for Combat Development and Integration.

Kim earned a B.A., with honors, in Chemistry at Albion College, Albion, MI in 1989 and earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI in 1993. From 1993-1997 she was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Washington University School of Medicine and, from 1997-1998, was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Institutes of Health.

Meet CNA Chief Financial Officer, Christine Peterson


Christine Peterson brings more than 30 years of experience to the CNA management team. As Chief Financial Officer, Christine is a strategic partner to the CEO, responsible for implementing and enhancing CNA's strategic vision and direction in all areas of finance, including planning and analysis, budgeting and procurement, as well as regulatory compliance. 

Prior to joining CNA, Christine held senior leadership positions with Science Applications International Corporation, the Logistics Management Institute, and Arctic Slope Regional Corporation Federal. She specializes in transforming organizations by applying enhanced approaches to business planning, financial reporting, administration, and partnerships with business development and operations colleagues.

Christine has a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Maryland and has Certified Public Accountant and Charted Global Management Accountant designations. She also earned a Certificate in Executive Leadership from Cornell University.

Meet CNA Vice President of Human Resources, Elisa Soto

CNA Elisa Soto

Elisa Soto brings over 25 years of human resources experience to the CNA management team. As Vice President of Human Resources, she is responsible for implementing and enhancing the strategic vision and direction in all areas of human resources including organizational planning and change management, learning and development, diversity and inclusion, talent management, and compensation and benefits, as well as delivering clear and transparent HR communications.

Prior to joining CNA, Elisa was the Talent Director for OGSystems, a defense contractor in geospatial intelligence, where she was responsible for developing human resources strategy and solutions covering compensation, benefits, wellness, diversity and inclusion, employee engagement, learning and development, and mergers and acquisitions. As a result of her passion and ability to initiate change and trusting relationships across the organization, OGSystems was named to The Washington Post’s Top Workplaces several years in a row. Elisa also held leadership positions in support of NASA for more than a decade. Her high-energy approach and personal philosophy of "People First" has helped her to influence business-critical issues across all functions of HR.

Elisa holds several professional human resources certifications through the Society of Human Resource Management and WorldatWork.

Meet CNA Vice President and Director of Enterprise Systems Data Analysis, Halleh Seyson

CNA Halleh Seyson

Halleh Seyson brings 25 years of experience in delivering enterprise solutions nationwide and globally to CNA, where she serves as the vice president and director of Enterprise Systems Data Analysis (ESDA). As vice president of ESDA, Halleh leads a division that for 30 years has helped government clients make decisions at pace with the speed and scale of their mission. She ensures that ESDA continues to deliver advanced, integrated enterprise systems by combining extensive experience in system architecture and design with innovative program management techniques.

Halleh has a proven track record in the federal government arena, including work with the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs and Health and Human Services, as well as the U.S. Postal Service and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Before joining CNA, she served in leadership roles in government contracting companies, including as vice president at GDIT; group vice president at Social & Scientific Systems, a public health research organization; and executive vice president and chief operating officer at CATHEXIS.

Halleh earned an M.S. in Information Systems and a B.S. in Computer Science from George Mason University. She also has a graduate certificate in Information Engineering from George Mason, as well as certifications in PMP, ITIL Foundation and ScrumMaster.

Embark on a successful leadership career at CNA 

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The organization is committed to building and sustaining a diverse workforce and an inclusive environment.

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