In Memoriam – Dawn Michelle Lawson

Dawn Lawson

Dawn at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC

Ms. Dawn Michelle Lawson, 49, of Springfield, VA, formerly of Hamlet, NC, passed away Thursday, February 7, 2013. Arrangements with Nelson Funeral Service, Hamlet, NC. Dawn was a longtime active member of the Virginia 11th Congressional District Democratic Committee and the Democratic Party of Virginia Central Committee, as well as the Democratic Black Caucus of Virginia, her church, and her sorority.

Memorial Service: Thursday, February 14, at 11 am. Antioch Baptist Church (6531 Little Ox Road, Fairfax Station, VA 22039;  map, click here). Dawn’s  family is taking calls at her resident address: 8826 Surveyors Place, Springfield, VA 22152; (703) 912-6632. Cards should be sent to Dawn’s mother, Mrs. Mildred Lawson at 274 Old Gibson Road, Hamlet, NC 28345.

Dawn M. Lawson, served as Deputy Program Manager with the U.S. Department of the Army, Manpower and Reserve Affairs at The Pentagon. Prior to this position, she was employed with the U.S. Air Force and with the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). At DISA, she served as the Software Product Manager under DoD’s Enterprise Software Initiative. In this role, she established DoD’s first Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) for open source software. While employed in the Office of the CIO, she conducted DISA’s first reverse auction for laptop and desktop computers and negotiated a multi-million dollar enterprise agreement for Microsoft licenses for DISA Worldwide. Her effort with the auction saved the agency nearly a half million dollars. Additionally, she oversaw major acquisition programs involving telephone switch modernizations, commercial satellite communication systems and other information technology projects. At DISA, she competed and was accepted into the Management in Technology Organizations course at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.

Ms. Lawson graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of NC at Greensboro and went on to earn a Master’s degree in Telecommunications Management from George Mason University. In 2005, she received Chief Information Officer certification from the Information Resources Management College, National Defense University at Ft. McNair in Washington, DC. Additionally, she was acquisition certified in Program Management and Information Technology from the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) at Ft Belvoir.

Her professional memberships included the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA), the DoD Senior Professional Women’s Association, Blacks In Government (BIG), the DoD Acquisition Corps, DAU Alumni Association, African American Federal Executive Association, a life member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.) (Lambda Kappa Omega Chapter), and several more.

She was recognized with numerous awards, including performance/achievement awards from DISA, the Air Force and Army. In 1999, Ms. Lawson received the Blacks In Government (BIG) Meritorious Service Award and the BIG Board of Directors Appreciation Award in 2004.

Ms. Lawson was born in Hamlet, NC. She was single and resided in Springfield, VA. In her spare time, she enjoyed listening to jazz, traveling and performing community service.