Booz Allen’s Lu Sevier: A Global Path to Data Science

Dec 12, 2019 7:00 AM ET
Article

Growing up, Lu Sevier saw herself as a scientist in a lab coat, not the data science professional she is today at Booz Allen.

“I didn’t really know any female technologists or computer scientists when I started college,” Sevier said. “I thought you had to be a math expert to do computer science.”

Career inspiration in the Philippines

During college, she took a summer fellowship in the Philippines. Her project involved mapping the nation’s 7,000 islands to help create better evacuation plans during natural disasters. This inspired her to change her school trajectory and focus on coding.

Back in the United States, she learned about Booz Allen—and the firm’s Field Guide to Data Science—during a mock interview.

“Put me on whatever team created this,” she thought as she flipped through its pages.

Putting data to work for social good

That wish soon came true. Sevier’s first project at Booz Allen was with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Work followed with the Veterans Experience Office, then projects on fraud prevention.

Sevier helped create a framework that uses crowdsourcing to make hackathons more effective, and she was on the team that created the Social Good Pipeline, which brings data-based problem-solving to pressing societal issues. The Pipeline’s first project included a hackathon that helped participants visualize ways to make affordable housing more accessible.

Throughout, she said she’s inspired by the female leaders she works with. “Instead of assuming, they ask questions first so that they understand the full scope of a challenge.”

Learn more about Lu Sevier and data science at Booz Allen.