Kim Aftergood’s grandparents–migrant farmworkers from Mexico–came to the United States in search of a better life. Now this 18-year Accenture veteran is at the center of national security efforts to protect her family’s adopted country.
Aftergood’s journey started in a rural Central California town, where she graduated as high school valedictorian and went on to become the first in her family to attend university, earning a degree in global economic relations from the University of the Pacific.
Accenture lured her away as she was applying for law school. Shortly after, she transferred to the Washington, D.C., office, where she surprised herself by discovering a love of technology.
“I never thought I’d be coding, but I love it!” she exclaims.
After the 9/11 terror attacks, Aftergood’s job shifted to supporting intelligence agencies in the defense sector, putting her at the forefront of protecting the nation’s security.
She’s acutely aware of the gravity of her work. If U.S. intelligence leaders “don’t have the right information at the right time, lives are at risk,” she notes.
“The threats to the United States have changed dramatically,” she adds. “No longer is it just state actors. We've got individual actors and the threats are growing by the day.”
Those threats extend to Accenture’s clients. Aftergood has been specially trained by the company to proactively protect clients’ data. Playfully chopping her hands karate-style in the air, she offers up the label she proudly wears: “Black Belt in Client Data Protection.”
For Aftergood, security for both the nation and Accenture’s clients means constantly being proactive and generating new innovations–as she says, “Delivering now while focusing on the next.”
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