Nyla Beth Gawel

Cues and Views

Strategy and growth executive and inclusive leader Nyla Beth Gawel, in brief.

November 9, 2022
3 Minutes
Nyla Beth Gawel

Home: Bethesda, MD.  Birthplace: Yardley, PA.  Profession: Corporate strategy, transformation and innovation in tech and public sectors.  Significant other: Paul Gawel, my sinical muse.  Alma mater: Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service.

Current project: Leading the strategy to transform a $7.5B legacy defense tech and services company.  Recent recognition: “You have changed our language, perspective, and overall strategy. Being our ‘authentic selves’ has become a source of pride, joy, strength, and business growth… You are an exceptional leader doing exceptional things.”  Latest contribution to others: giving blood at the American Red Cross.  One donation can help save more than one life.  Recent travel or adventure: Hot air ballooning over the Pyrenees.  

Personality profile: Strategic, Achiever, Woo, Individualization (according to Strength Finders). What one word would your closest friend use to describe you? Rockstar.  Moral compass: Would it make my children proud?  How do you define an ideal business relationship? Aligned, data-driven, candid, empowered.  All ships rise with the tide.  What natural talent have you neglected? Artistic creativity.  What is at the top of your bucket list? Exploring Egypt.  What is your go-to workout? Peloton – teams Robin and Kendall.  What ingredient is essential to your perfect vacation? My passport.  Fun fact: 3rd generation of four Nylas.

What was your favorite college course? International Demography.  What movie have you repeatedly watched? Love Actually.  Besides your parents, who has had the greatest influence on your life? My grandparents, who both pursued science degrees and careers, especially Nyla #1 against all odds.  What’s the best advice you received in your career? Sit at the table; never self-select the back bench.  What is your go-to source of creative inspiration? Pinterest.  What company or organization do you most admire? Global Women in Tech, led by Ayumi Moore. What world event has had the greatest influence on your life? 9/11 and the creation of what we now call ‘homeland security’.  

What change are you working on to effect in your profession or field?

Advancing women in tech and P&L executive roles.

What change would you like to see in the world? Greater tolerance, respect and diplomacy among public sector leaders.  What message do you want to send out into the world? Read Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All” lyrics – teach children well and let them lead our way. What widely held belief do you reject? Fear of tech.  Galileo, DaVinci and Franklin prove that fear loses in the long-run.    What mega-trend most excites you? DE&I prioritization, especially inclusion.  Successful organizations require and embrace different perspectives.

What title would you choose for the movie about your life? High-Heeled Playground.  What actor would you choose to play you in the movie about your life? Reese Witherspoon.  What awards show red carpet would you choose to walk? The Tonys.  Combines all the skills the others award individually.  As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? A waitress on rollerskates, or, President of the United States.  After your loved ones, what object would you first save from your burning home? Our “fire file” that holds ID documents, baby- and yearbooks. What advice would you give your younger self? You have nothing to prove to anyone else. What period in your life would you do differently, if you could? Middle school.  I’d just erase it, along with my perm.

Personal mission: Providing the best life I can for my family.  Favorite quote: “If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader” (Dolly Parton).  Desired epitaph: Mom, friend, wife and leader who loved deeply, worked hard, played fair, inspired broadly and impacted all.

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