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A retired executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Services who spent 40 years in the business, Linda Gooden joined the University System of Maryland Board of Regents in 2009 and in 2018 was named chair.

Gooden has won numerous awards, including being selected as a member of the Maryland Business Hall of Fame, and honors as a U.S. Black Engineer and IT Black Engineer of the Year.

What is the most important thing you do in your job?
I’m honored to help young people help expand higher education opportunities. Recently, the USM Board of Regents selected a new university president, naming Dr. Valerie Ashby as next president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Ashby is an African-American chemist who distinguished herself as dean of Duke University’s Trinity College of Arts & Sciences. As a Black woman in STEM, I’m proud to see success for underrepresented minorities at every level, from student to president of a nationally renowned university.

If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
My dream job growing up was to teach math. So if I hadn’t been in the building when they delivered the new computer to my college and became a STEM major and entered the aerospace industry, I would have been an educator. I believe that education is such a rewarding industry.

As an educator, you provide the tools that allow people like me to select careers in STEM and do the things that help make the world a better and safer place.

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