PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. -- Cynthia L. Perazzo, a senior manager with the largest organization at Picatinny Arsenal, was appointed to the Department of the Army Senior Executive Service during a ceremony here on April 4.

 Perazzo currently serves as the executive director of the Weapons and Software Engineering Center, or WSEC, which is part of the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center.

 The Senior Executive Service was established to reward competent, highly motivated, successful senior personnel and offer them increased responsibility and the chance to improve the management of major government programs and initiatives.

 As part of her current duties, Perazzo is responsible for leading a large research, development and engineering center with a competency team located at Picatinny Arsenal, Watervliet Arsenal, New York, and Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

 She provides guidance and direction to an engineering and scientific community engaged in supporting the full life-cycle of armament systems. Perazzo is responsible for developing, directing, and managing investment strategies to ensure state-of-the-art facilities, people and equipment, and overseeing the extensive research, development, and engineering efforts for fielding new weapons, fire control and software systems.

 "I really can't express enough how proud I am of Cindy becoming an SES," said John F. Hedderich, Director of the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, who also officiated the event. "I was proud of her before she was an SES. Working with you, Cindy, has been just great."

 "I'm so excited and happy to be here this morning to share with you this special day," Perazzo told the audience at the ceremony.

 She thanked a broad range of people, including current staff members, former co-workers, former managers, mentors, team members from early development projects, and others who extended their support throughout the years. Perazzo also noted the significant contributions to her life by members of her family.

 Perazzo also gave heartfelt thanks to David R. Castellano, Executive Director, Munitions Engineering Technology Center, who she said took his coaching of her to the next level, which included valuable time, support and wisdom.

 To Hedderich, she expressed a special gratitude, saying "You believed in me." Perazzo recounted the time last year when Hedderich offered her a developmental assignment.

 "I said to you, 'Do you think I'm ready?' and you said, 'No, no one's ever ready. But I do think you can do it. And I believe in you.' And your belief is what gave me the confidence to do what I did last year, and to be here today."

 Perazzo described her team at WSEC as a "tremendously talented group of people with all the right stuff. The right stuff to accomplish our mission and to surpass everybody's expectations."

 She further noted that the Army is undergoing major changes, which makes it a great time to be part of the overall team effort in which ARDEC as a whole is making key contributions.

 Before her current assignment. Perazzo was named the ARDEC Deputy Director of Technology and Chief of the Strategic Technology Investment Office in May 2011. In that capacity, she centralized planning and management over the execution of approximately $250 million of science and technology funding.

 Those investments are used to ensure that military service members are equipped with the most technologically advanced armament systems at the lowest possible cost. Such spending is intended to address current capability gaps, while continuing to explore new technologies to support future improvements and capabilities.

 Perazzo attended the New York State University at Plattsburg, where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in physics, and the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in engineering

 She received her master's degree in Business Management at the Florida Institute of Technology. She is a certified 6 Sigma Black Belt and has attained Level III acquisition certification in Program Management and Systems Planning, Research, Development and Engineering. She holds an international certification as a Project Management Professional.

 Perazzo received the National Defense Industrial Association Firepower Award in 2013. In 2016 and 2017, Perazzo chaired Picatinny Community Day. As a member of Women in Defense, she has served in several leadership positions at the Picatinny Chapter.

 She is a member of the National Defense Industrial Association. Perazzo is the chairwomen of the ARDEC Diversity Advisory Council and provides leadership, coaching, and mentoring for multiple engineers, administrative, and business area staff within the Picatinny community.