TITLE: Product Lead, Army Enterprise Systems Integration Program Hub
COMMAND/ORGANIZATION: Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems, Army Data and Analytics Platforms
ACQUISITION CAREER FIELD: Program management
YEARS OF SERVICE IN WORKFORCE: 10 years
MILITARY OR CIVILIAN: Civilian
AAW/DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS: Level III certification in program management
EDUCATION: Harvard Senior Fellowship certificate program graduate; Master’s degree in business administration and finance, University of Maryland; B.S. in computer science and aerospace engineering, University of Maryland; Army Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt
HOMETOWN: Fairfax, Virginia
by Ellen Summey
Talking with Matt Gohil, you can still hear the traces of a London accent, though he’s been in the U.S. since he was a teen. The soft R and the ever-so-slightly stretched O in “portal” or “course,” or the long E in “been,” are just about the only giveaways. You could be forgiven for missing it altogether—after all, who would expect to find a Brit working in product management for the U.S. Army? Gohil, who was born and raised in London, first came to the U.S. to visit family at age 16. “My dad encouraged me to see some of the country while I was here, so I backpacked from Toronto to Miami,” he recalled. He made the eight-week journey primarily via Greyhound bus. “I went from city to city to city, along the entire Eastern seaboard—and I absolutely fell in love with the country.”
When he returned to London, Gohil told his father that he wanted to build his life in the U.S. “I told my dad, ‘I see my future over there.’ ” Despite encountering some initial reluctance, Gohil started formulating a plan. He earned a scholarship at the University of Maryland, where he studied computer science and aerospace engineering. After several years in private industry, he began a pivotal six-month consulting job at the Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS). “That was kind of my first taste of the Army, and I think the passion grew from there,” he said. Twelve years later, Gohil is still at PEO EIS. “I’ve seen five PEOs come and go, and seen the leadership continually evolve the organization, and take on new challenges, and I’m still excited about being here. This is a phenomenal organization to be part of.”
Today, he is the newly minted product lead for Army Enterprise Systems Integration Program (AESIP) Hub, within the Army Data and Analytics Platforms program. “I am responsible for the life cycle management of cost, schedule and performance for what I describe as the three main spokes of AESIP Hub—master data management, enterprise hub services, business intelligence and business warehouse, and other operational projects to increase efficiencies within AESIP Hub.” The work is all about data accessibility and visibility for the Army, to allow Army leaders to make strategic decisions based on accurate data, and Gohil said he feels fortunate to be involved. “It’s nice because you’re in the forefront of a mission that is becoming more and more critical, as people come to realize that the Army needs to be able to ‘see’ itself. We are a part of providing that capability—the fully integrated data services and applications, and visualization and analytics tools to facilitate fact-based and resource-informed decision-making for everyone, from senior Army leaders to Soldiers in the field.”
As almost any high-performing Army civilian will attest, there are sometimes frustrations in the work, and there are often opportunities to return to private industry. But Gohil said there’s one primary thing that has always kept him here: “The people.” Throughout his time at PEO EIS, he said he has seen a dedication to the mission, and a commitment to serving Soldiers. “I feel very blessed that, in my entire time with the Army, I’ve worked with phenomenal mentors, leaders and peers,” he said. “And I think that is the key to our ability to deliver capabilities—some of them are very hard. The work is challenging and it’s not always clear-cut, but I’ve never seen us say ‘no.’ We always try to forge ahead to create a capability that the Soldier can use, and that’s what resonates with me the most.”
And despite his 12-year tenure at PEO EIS, Gohil said he’s still constantly learning. “People think that being a product lead means you have (most of) the answers. But every day there is something new to learn about the infinite world of data and data management, as well as how our system interacts with our trading partners and how we ensure that the user experience is optimal,” he said. “Success in this role hinges on my consistent ability and willingness to learn new and different things that create the ‘big picture’ of Army data and how to use it in the best ways.”
When he gives advice to junior acquisition teammates, he encourages them to keep learning, as well. “You’re here to learn about acquisition and not the technical side of what we deliver. Remember to focus on cost, schedule and performance rather than the technical details of the solution like infrastructure and data management, even though it’s hard not to get wrapped up in that. Stay in your lane to learn the business end of what we do. Understanding the technical stuff will naturally come along with it.” Gohil is also a big advocate for developmental assignments, having first arrived at AESIP Hub for what was supposed to be a short-term role. “I absolutely recommend them! I also will say there is never a good time to leave a job you know and love in order to venture into the unknown of such an assignment—but take the chance. You never know whom you might meet and where it might take you.”
Perhaps it’s not surprising that a young man who backpacked through a foreign country as a teen would still urge others to venture off the beaten path, even if it’s a bit uncomfortable. Taking a chance on the unknown is kind of his trademark.
“Faces of the Force” is an online series highlighting members of the Army Acquisition Workforce through the power of individual stories. Profiles are produced by the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center Communication and Support Branch, working closely with public affairs officers to feature Soldiers and civilians serving in various AL&T disciplines. For more information, or to nominate someone, please go to https://asc.army.mil/web/publications/army-alt-submissions/.
Read the full article in the Winter 2021 issue of Army AL&T magazine.
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