A native of Portland (Oregon), Colonel Mary J. Mayer, USAF (Ret) received an undergraduate degree in Spanish/Secondary Education from Marylhurst University in the late 60s and taught Spanish/English for three years at St. Helens Junior High School--before being commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force in 1972.
Throughout her 30+ year career, she served in a variety of intelligence, personnel policy, administration, contracting, program management, and special duty assignment positions--including assignments in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Headquarters United States Air Force, Defense Logistics Agency, Defense Security Assistance Agency, Defense Contract Management Agency, and Headquarters Electronic Systems Center in CONUS, as well as Headquarters U.S. Southern Command in Panama, 56th Special Operations Wing in Southeast Asia, and Headquarters 16th Air Force in Spain.
Inher last military assignment, Colonel Mayer served as the Commander, Defense Contract Management Agency - Northrop Grumman and Chair of the Northrop Grumman Corporate Management Council in El Segundo, Pico Rivera, and Palmdale, CA.
She led a staff of 132 professionals ensuring compliance with contract provisions for the manufacturing and delivery of $70B in Department of Defense and NASA contracts with Northrop Grumman.
Weapons systems included the B-2 Stealth Bomber, F/A-18 Strike Fighter, and the Global Hawk UAV.
She is an outstanding graduate of Air War College, Air Command and Staff College, and Squadron Officer School and has a master's degree in Human Resources Management from Central Michigan University. Major military awards include: Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Meritorious Service Medal w/2OLC, Defense Superior Service Medal w/1 OLC, Defense Meritorious Service Medal w/1OLC, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Organizational Excellence Award, and Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor.
After retiring from the United States Air Force in December 2002, Colonel Mayer went to work for industry as the Deputy Vice President and Global Senior Director for Global Procurement and Supply Management for KBR Government and Infrastructure, headquartered in Arlington, VA. Reporting directly to the Vice President of Global Procurement and Supply Management, she shared the responsibility for the executive leadership, management, oversight, and support of the worldwide Procurement and Supply Management organization consisting of over 2,000 employees, a $300M budget, and a spend of $6-8B annually. She was awarded the "Most Valuable Player Award" for her indefatigable efforts to ensure her organization passed the challenging 2004 Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR) in the Middle East and for putting policies, processes, organizations, and teams in place which ensured the success of the 2005 CPSR.
She then served as the Chair, Board of Trustees for the Contract Management Institute (CMI) of the National Contract Management Association (NCMA) in McLean, VA where she successfully led a board of 15 executive-level trustees of this not-for-profit foundation dedicated to improving the Body of Knowledge in the field of contract management through research, education, and scholarship. NCMA created CMI in 1991 as a way to extend its education and research in acquisition management though the solicitation and utilization of funds outside the scope of NCMA's normal funding sources.
Currently, Colonel Mayer is doing part-time consulting work and making major contributions of her time and talent in support of many groups including Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra.