At Leong-Hong's farewell fete, officials laud her DOD service

What will Belkis Leong-Hong do next?


That was Topic A among the 200 people who attended the recent retirement dinner for the
chief information officer of the Defense Security Service. Leong-Hong took the job last
June, capping a 29-year career with the federal government that included 18 years at the
Defense Department.


Aware of her knowledge, popularity and seemingly boundless energy, friends and
well-wishers said they did not expect her to stay out of the information technology
picture for long.


But Leong-Hong was not ready to announce plans at her gala earlier this month at the
Fort Myers, Va., officers club.


Among those feting Leong-Hong were former Rep. Norman Mineta (D-Calif.), now a senior
vice president at Lockheed-Martin Corp. Mineta and Leong-Hong are active in the Federal
Asian Pacific American Council. In a good-humored reference to Leong-Hong’s short
stature, Mineta said, “You’re not 4-foot-11; you’re a giant.”


Referring to when he was in Congress and Leong-Hong went to work at the Defense
Information Services Agency, he said, “At DISA, Bel was the first woman at the
table.”


Speakers also noted her involvement with groups such as Women in Technology and the
Presidential Management Intern program.


Arthur Money, assistant secretary of Defense for command, control, communications and
intelligence, presented Leong-Hong with a distinguished civilian service medal.


Leong-Hong started her federal career at the former National Bureau of Standards, now
the National Institute of Standards and Technology. She joined DOD in 1981. In the 1990s,
she was honored for work in defining standard data elements for the Corporate Information
Management initiative. 

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