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Amazon Web Services Principal, Innovation Lead, Department of Defense in Arlington, Virginia


Have you ever thought about helping U.S. Department of Defense explore innovative solutions leveraging cloud-enabled technologies? Are you an independent self-starter who is focused on driving innovative and transformative programs with senior government/partner leaders, industry groups and think tanks within the US Defense ecosystem? If so, this role is for you.

In this role, you will serve as a thought partner with strategic customers focused on identifying and operationalizing innovative approaches and technical solutions that will transform the way DoD delivers its mission. You will collaborate with AWS account teams for US Department of Defense (DoD), marketing, and solution architecture teams to demonstrate your vision of transformation through prototypes and proof of concepts to prove out “big idea” concepts. You will work with these teams and our customers to develop a cohesive transformation framework that scales these prototypes and proofs of concept across the Defense enterprise with speed. You will also work with our partner teams to include those working with large Federal systems integrators (SIs), independent software vendors (ISVs), academia, venture capitals and startups to source partner led solutions built on AWS that meet DoD innovation needs.

As a senior leader, you will develop strategy, advise direction, and work with customers to deploy the nonconventional ideas into innovative solutions. You must be comfortable working in a fast-paced and entrepreneurial like technology sales environment, and working with cross functional teams as many parts of the program will have interdependencies with other teams within AWS. You will have the opportunity to drive the growth, and shape the future of an emerging capabilities in one of our most critical customer segments. You will also work closely with the Amazon executives and the public policy team to facilitate high-level meetings between executives and key stakeholders, including Congressional, regulatory, and industry association and alliance partners, to promote and advocate for DoD business objectives.

The ideal candidate will possess a business background (and/or relevant mission experience) that enables them to drive an engagement at a senior executive level. You should also have a demonstrated ability to think strategically about the mission, solutions, and technical challenges, with the ability to build and convey compelling value propositions. She/he will have demonstrated experience in identifying developing digital innovation opportunities for customers, a track record of leading and driving multiple projects to meet customer business objectives, excellent management skills, a customer-obsessed and collaborative approach, strong data and metrics bias, a good understanding of cloud solutions, and a passion for helping customers transform using cloud technologies.

Key Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

· Work with sales leadership to identify and qualify customers for the Innovation program

· Define and drive innovative solutions for the DoD in close coordination with AWS DoD leaders/goals to increase cloud adoption within the DoD.

· Identify and support the development of key relationships with innovation thought leaders within the DoD.

· Maintain regular cadence with senior government/industry executives on key DoD issues.

· Create and deliver proactive messaging, use cases, and thought leadership with senior executives to push innovative solutions across the DoD in close partnership with Amazon Public Policy team.

· Understand technical considerations specific to the DoD, and communicate internally and help guide the direction of our product offerings for developers.

· Identify and deliver high quality engagements using Amazonian innovation mechanisms like Working Backwards to identify specific end-customer problems or opportunities, articulate solutions in a press release, and bring them to life for customers, often as working cloud prototypes, working with relevant engineering and services teams, and partners as appropriate

· Lead specific customer engagements, conduct customer briefings, and present at customer events

· Develop C-suite and line-of-business relationships with leading innovators within customer organizations

· In coordination and collaboration with account teams, prepare and deliver business reviews to the senior management team regarding quarterly and yearly strategies to align with revenue growth expectations.

· Help develop and improve Amazon mechanisms geared towards identifying, experimenting, and scaling adoption of innovative ideas within the DoD

This position requires that the candidate selected be a US citizen.

Inclusive Team Culture

Here at AWS, we embrace our differences. We are committed to furthering our culture of inclusion. We have ten employee-led affinity groups, reaching 40,000 employees in over 190 chapters globally. We have innovative benefit offerings, and host annual and ongoing learning experiences, including our Conversations on Race and Ethnicity (CORE) and AmazeCon (gender diversity) conferences. Amazon’s culture of inclusion is reinforced within our 16 Leadership Principles, which remind team members to seek diverse perspectives, learn and be curious, and earn trust.

Work/Life Balance

Our team puts a high value on work-life balance. It isn’t about how many hours you spend at home or at work; it’s about the flow you establish that brings energy to both parts of your life. We believe striking the right balance between your personal and professional life is critical to life-long happiness and fulfillment. We offer flexibility in working hours and encourage you to find your own balance between your work and personal lives.

Mentorship & Career Growth

Our team is dedicated to supporting new members. We have a broad mix of experience levels and tenures, and we’re building an environment that celebrates knowledge sharing and mentorship. We care about your career growth and strive to assign projects based on what will help each team member develop into a better-rounded professional and enable them to take on more complex tasks in the future.


· BA/BS degree required. concentrations in either business or computer science preferred.

· 10+ years of working within the US Defense (from tactical to strategic levels).

· 7+ years of experience driving strategy development and execution within the DoD.

· 5+ years of experience leading strategic engagements with senior DoD executives and/or Congress.

· 5+ years of experience in customer-facing innovation or equivalent consultative-selling role

· Experience working with various types of government contracting vehicles (CRADAs, SBIRs, OTAs, etc.).

· Training and hands-on experience with innovation methods and approaches that are being leveraged by our DoD customers such as human-centered design, lean startup, and agile acquisitions


· In-depth experience with DoD mission space

· Strong written and verbal skills tailored for an executive audience as well as the ability to work effectively across internal and external organizations

· Strong organizational skills and attention-to-detail along with the ability to multi-task and prioritize well in a fast paced, dynamic work environment.

· Strong analytical orientation; comfort using databases and analytical tools and making data-based decisions, particularly customer relationship management tools.

· Demonstrated ability to think strategically about business, solutions, and technical challenges

· Experience working within the systems integration/consulting services and/or enterprise software development industry.

· Ownership oriented; ability to internalize goals and create appropriate action plans.

· Strong problem-solving skills; the ability to analyze problems and develop actionable and appropriate tactical plans quickly.

· Ability to succeed in a fast-paced, innovative, and rapidly evolving industry and business organization.

· Strong bias for action; willingness to roll up your sleeves and do whatever is necessary to meet team goals.

· MBA preferred.

· Current, active US Government Security Clearance at the TS/SCI.

· Meets/exceeds Amazon’s leadership principles requirements for this role

· Meets/exceeds Amazon’s functional/technical depth and complexity

Amazon is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. Amazon is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, protected veteran status, disability, age, or other legally protected status. For individuals with disabilities who would like to request an accommodation, please visit