Milad Bahrami, senior vice president and general manager for Government Health & Safety Solutions at Leidos, recently spoke with ExecutiveBiz regarding his first year with the company as well as why he wanted to join the company in order to make a difference in the federal sector.
In addition, Bahrami discussed the impact of recruitment and talent retention in the federal marketplace. He also provided a look into the work that Leidos is doing in the greater community during the latest Executive Spotlight interview.
“Employee retention is as difficult in the federal sector as it has ever been. Our goal at Leidos is to engage, develop and empower as diverse and creative of a workforce as possible. We want to create an environment individuals feel is a good fit for them to work in long-term.”
You can read the full Executive Spotlight interview with Milad Bahrami below:
ExecutiveBiz: Congrats on joining Leidos back in April 2021! What was it about the company that made you feel it was the best choice for you to make a difference with the current set of federal IT challenges we’re facing?
Milad Bahrami: “I started my career out of college with Lockheed Martin and walked right into their leadership development program. I did rotations across the company, and I spent several years there. After my tenure ended, I spent time with a couple of different consulting firms and systems integrators and served in the public sector as well.
“With Leidos, I find myself working in one of the most innovative and ethical organizations that I’ve had the pleasure to be a part of. Leidos has an exceptional infrastructure in place to create great leaders. I feel like I’m surrounded by them every day.
“We also have a strong focus on diversity and equity that I’ve noticed since I started. I think this contributes to our ability to adapt and change while being creative about how we do business. My core goal with Leidos is to continue that commitment to guide our teams and support our customers’ missions.”
ExecutiveBiz: What are your strategic goals for the coming year? What do you hope to accomplish and any new markets that you’re keeping an eye on in the federal sector?
Milad Bahrami: “One of the key areas that I’m responsible for is our civilian health and safety portfolio. Leidos is present in almost every part of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Social Security Administration, as well as the life sciences.
“We want to ensure that we continue to stay aligned with our customers and remain flexible because the last two years showed us very clearly that the health landscape will continuously change in this country and more rapidly than we ever anticipated.
“Digital modernization, cyber operations and software development are our core capability areas, and we’ll continue to increase efficiency and modernize infrastructure with different customers across HHS and other health agencies. We believe in staying flexible so we can support our customers in any environment.
“Obviously, the benefits of bringing in emerging technologies are crucial. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud migration and cybersecurity are the backbone of a lot of our modernization efforts.
“In terms of cybersecurity, the White House has been very clear that it’s of the utmost importance to this administration, and our goal is to embed cybersecurity into our modernization efforts and bring it forward in value-added areas.
“It’s exciting when I think about the areas we’re investing in as a company. Leidos is forward-looking, innovative and inclusive to our customer base to ensure they have what they need to address their mission needs.”
ExecutiveBiz: How does your company ensure long-term success for your workforce to drive value for your employees as you continue to face the uphill challenge to recruit and retain the best talent in the federal marketplace?
Milad Bahrami: “Employee retention is as difficult in the federal sector as it has ever been. Our goal at Leidos is to engage, develop and empower as diverse and creative of a workforce as possible. We want to create an environment individuals feel is a good fit for them to work in long-term.
“One of the ways we do this is through regular employee feedback, surveys and discussions. We found these to be great ways to hear how our employees feel, and we’re able to get feedback and results to adapt and develop very tangible actions to improve the company based on that information.
“The pandemic caused a renewed focus on mental health and all types of other well-being issues. Leidos has always been committed to helping reduce the stigma around mental health and addiction, and the pandemic reinforced the importance of this commitment.
We are always looking at how we can increase resources like wellness programs to provide a solid infrastructure for our employees’ health and well-being. Additionally, we have a great team focused purely on early career development.
They’re focusing on college recruitment, and we’d like to create a consistent flow of younger people into our workforce who we are continuously training. That does a lot for Leidos in terms of our succession planning while also bringing fresh ideas and perspectives to our company.”
ExecutiveBiz: An important part of a company having strong business ethics in the federal sector is about helping and giving back to the greater community. Can you speak to the various charities and work with other organizations that your company does to make a difference and how people can get involved?
Milad Bahrami: “This is an area that is as tremendously important to Leidos, and it’s important to me on a personal level—it’s one of the key reasons why I wanted to join the company. There’s a very strong foundational belief that we want to support the communities where our employees live and work.
“Leidos focuses on combining charitable giving with employee volunteerism whenever possible. As an example, we support STEM education initiatives and raise funds and awareness for major health challenges. There are several campaigns that Leidos has been involved with, including opioid addiction, mental health and suicide, heart disease, and cancer.
“I’ve personally supported some of these organizations for many years, including The Children’s Inn at NIH, so it’s been really exciting for me to take on the role of executive sponsor for The Inn in a professional capacity.
We regularly provide educational activities and programs to the families that are staying at The Inn. We’ve also partnered with a nonprofit called Learning Undefeated to develop a STEM program for the kids at The Inn.
“With the reach we have as a global company, Leidos can really give back in an incredible way.”