Jill House Smith '70
Outstanding Achievement in a Chosen Profession

Jill earned both a B.S. and an M.A. from Shippensburg University in mathematics with a minor in biology. In 1977, she joined the Department of the Army as a mathematician at the U.S. Army Ballistic Research Laboratory at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. While starting her career as an intern, she continued her education at the University of Delaware in graduate statistics and electrical engineering. She served in a number of capacities and was promoted to positions of increasing responsibility and authority which ultimately led to a long and highly successful civilian military career.

Based on her expertise in computing and networking, Jill was invited to serve in a developmental position with the Deputy Under Secretary of the Army for Operations Research in the area of Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance. Her technical contributions are numerous and include new statistical methodology for ballistic testing, modeling and simulation of ballistic live-fire events, just to name a few.
Ms. Smith was recognized for her leadership skills in additon to her demonstrated technical accomplishments when she was appointed to the Senior Executive Service by the Secretary of the Army in 2001. Her official title was Director, Weapons & Materials Research Directorate, U.S. Army Research Laboratory. As a senior executive, she is a major link between political appointees and the Federal workforce. In this position, Jill directly led the technology development in the Army for basic and applied research in lethality and protection. In this capacity she serves on numerous technical advisory boards.

In 2011, Jill was presented the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service by the Secretary of the Army at a Pentagon ceremony. This status is the most prestigious recognition afforded to career federal employees and is presented to Senior Executives and Senior Technical personnel. Her Meritorious Executive Rank recognizes Jill as a leader with vision, both nationally and internationally, in the areas of protection, lethality and materials and manufacturing science. Under her leadership, major advances were made in revolutionary technologies implemented by both the Army and Navy. The development and implementation of expedient armor shields military vehicles which protects our military from loss of life or limbs in explosions from Improvised Explosive Devices in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since receiving this award, she has been promoted and now leads the development of technologies and systems engineering for the Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance systems for the Army.

Jill lives in Forest Hill, MD, with her husband, Steve. They have two daughters.