Spectrum of duties keeps her in tune

Spectrum of duties keeps her in tune




Name: Cindy Shuba Raiford
Agency: Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control,
Communications and Intelligence
Title: Director, spectrum management

Length of service: 22 years at the Defense Department

Age: 45

Education: Bachelor's degree in mathematics, Pennsylvania State University; master's degree in telecommunication, George Washington University; Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va.; Federal Executive Institute, Charlottesville, Va.

E-mail address: cindy.raiford@osd.pentagon.mil

Responsibilities: As the director and focal point for all electromagnetic spectrum management actions within DOD, I'm responsible for establishing policy on the management and use of the electromagnetic spectrum.

I also represent DOD policies and positions nationally and internationally, providing policy oversight to the Joint Spectrum Center and management and oversight to the Defense Information Systems Agency's Office of Spectrum Analysis and Management.

In addition, I oversee the DOD Electromagnetic Environmental Effects Program, including electromagnetic compatibility and electromagnetic interference. This includes assisting with oversight, management and coordination of spectrum management organizations and activities.

On an international level, I am the U.S. representative to the NATO Frequency Management Subcommittee and a member of the U.S. delegation to the International Telecommunication Union's world radio communication and plenipotentiary conferences.

Most exciting aspect of my job: Working with spectrum managers and telecommunications experts from around the world.

Frequencies have no boundaries, so it is imperative to coordinate with other nations to ensure compatibility, resolve interference and maintain interoperability with our allies.

Our international partners are more than colleagues'they've become friends who share common goals. Most recently, for example, I received a thank-you e-mail from the spectrum manager in Bangladesh. That doesn't happen in too many jobs.
The biggest issues in spectrum management: With few exceptions, nearly every modern piece of military equipment depends in some way on the radio frequency spectrum. Spectrum access is critical for maintaining our military and information superiority and our responsiveness to events that challenge our interests at home or abroad.

The biggest Defense spectrum issue is maintaining assured access to the spectrum that's required for national security and military operations.

For our nation, the biggest issue is balancing the needs of national security with the commercial desire for more bandwidth and more spectrum.

The greatest challenges in spectrum management: The challenge in today's spectrum environment is to meet the spectrum and ever-growing bandwidth requirements of government and industry with a limited spectrum resource.

Another major challenge is to maintain an appropriate balance of priorities for all spectrum users. We ought to work to meet the needs of emerging commercial technologies, but it must be done without jeopardizing national security and military operations.

Most exciting new technologies in spectrum management: Those that promote the efficient use and sharing of the limited spectrum resource. The key to sharing will be to establish performance criteria for both transmitters and receivers so that more systems can be accommodated and operate harmoniously in a given portion of the spectrum.

What best prepared me for this job: I have been fortunate to have had a variety of positions within DOD, including cartographer, mathematician, computer scientist, airborne command post engineer and command center systems engineer.

This diversity of experience, with opportunities to participate in military exercises to learn about the systems used for command, control, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, has been quite valuable to my preparation for this job.

The greatest influences in my career: The people I've worked with at DOD have been my strongest influences.

At the risk of leaving someone out, two especially come to mind: My husband, Army Col. Robert Raiford, who has provided tremendous encouragement and support, is the first. And the second is former deputy assistant secretary of Defense John Grimes, who got me involved in spectrum management. He said it was going to become an exciting and important area and that someday I would thank him. I do.

Other interests: Piano, theater, volunteering, skiing and traveling.

'Richard W. Walker

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