NCMA Welcomes New Board Members to Advance the Contract Management Profession


Holly DeHesa, Director of Marketing and Communications
Phone: (571) 382-1111
Email: [email protected]

Ashburn, VA, April 18, 2023 - The National Contract Management Association (NCMA), a professional association and standards setter for contract management professionals, announced the addition of six new members to its Board of Directors.  Karla Smith Jackson, Wes Bennett, Timothy Applegate, Steve Woo, David Cade, and Iris Cooper have joined the board to provide their unique expertise and insights in NCMA's strategic efforts.

"We are pleased to welcome Karla, Wes, Timothy, Steve, and David to the NCMA Board of Directors," said NCMA Program Year 2024 President, Denyce Carter. “I’m also happy to report that Iris is serving a second term on the Board. As we continue to advance the contract management profession and its connection with other acquisition related communities through advocacy, standards, and professional development, each of these individuals brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, and leadership to the organization. We are excited to have them on board to help us further our mission."

With over 30 years of experience in federal contracting, Karla Smith Jackson, the Senior Procurement Executive, Deputy Chief Acquisition Officer and Assistant Administrator for Procurement at NASA, brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the board. Her impressive background in program management, acquisition, and contract planning, as well as her senior leadership roles in various government agencies, make her a valuable asset to the board.

Wes Bennett is the Senior Director - Strategic Azure Gov't Cloud Contracts at Microsoft, where he provides executive-level advice on business strategy for Department of Defense and intelligence community specific opportunities for Azure Government Cloud products and solutions. With his expertise in both the defense industry and federal government, including his former role as DARPA’s Senior Procurement Executive, Mr. Bennett will be a valuable addition to the board.

As a Senior Executive Service member and Director of the Acquisition Management and Integration Center, Timothy Applegate, CPCM, has experience in cradle-to-grave acquisition, program management, and operations of weapon systems in support of various multi-functional programs. With over 35 years of acquisition and contracting expertise and a Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act Level III certification in Contracting, Mr. Applegate brings a wealth of knowledge to the board, particularly in the areas of strategic planning and program management.

Steve Woo, CPCM, CFCM Fellow, currently leads a buying group at Jet Propulsion Laboratory managing $1.2B in subcontracts supporting NASA’s Deep Space Network facilities worldwide. Prior to his current position, he managed the Non-Flight Research & Develop group whose team established contracts with Sandia National Laboratories and other Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC).  Mr. Woo’s leadership in the NCMA and his expertise in managing large-scale contracts make him a valuable addition to the board.

David Cade is currently Vice President of U.S. Government Services Business Transformation for The Boeing Company. He is responsible for creating a framework for engagement and future contracts with government customers while meeting current business commitments. Mr. Cade brings experience in contracts, compliance, and business transformation to the board. He has a background in law and has served in various leadership roles at The Boeing Company. He is also dedicated to serving a broad spectrum of organizations, including the Boeing focal for Howard University, where he is responsible for development and implementation of a multi-year university strategy aligned with Boeing’s enterprise objectives.

Iris Cooper, CPCM, Fellow, former Assistant Secretary for Procurement, Contracts, and Grants at the NC Department of Health and Human Services has been reappointed to the board. With experience in procurement and contracting, she brings a wealth of knowledge in managing contracts and grants across the NCDHHS mission. Her commitment to integrity, transparency, and efficient procurement strategies will be valuable to the board. Ms. Cooper's passion for acquisition transformation and leadership skills will help drive the success of the organization.

"NCMA is honored to welcome these new and returning Directors," said NCMA CEO, Kraig Conrad. "Their invaluable experience and perspectives will play a crucial role in our collaboration to explore new avenues for growth.”

The NCMA Board of Directors is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the organization, ensuring its financial stability, and overseeing the development and delivery of member services and educational programs. Beginning July 2023, the newly appointed Board will officially assume their duties and convene at NCMA's World Congress event in Nashville, TN.

The National Contract Management Association (NCMA), a nonprofit organization founded in 1959 and is the world’s leading association in the field of contract management. With nearly 20,000 members, NCMA is dedicated to promoting excellence in the contract management profession through education, certification, and professional networking opportunities. NCMA strives to serve and inform the profession and industry it represents and to offer opportunities for the open exchange of ideas in neutral forums. To find out more, please visit