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Name and title: Charles DeLeon, general counsel and corporate secretary. Age: 41 Government contractor: GTSI Corp., formerly called Government Technology Services, provides technological systems to federal, state and local governments. Based in Chantilly, Va., the company reported revenues of more than $1 billion during 2004 and has more than 800 employees. “We provide solutions to customers through teams of leading experts, such as engineers, who understand our customers’ requirements and structure a solution to meet their needs. We team to provide the best solution, but do quite a bit of the work ourselves,” DeLeon said. “Solutions,” he continued, “are a combination of hardware, software, services and configuration-which is the architecture of all of it-that meet a customer’s requirements, such as designing a security solution that protects against both cyber and physical intruders.” Hurricane response: “We’ve greatly increased the range of what we can provide” since the company was founded, DeLeon said. “In 1983, we were a seller of shrink-wrapped software and quickly moved into hardware, such as IBM mainframe products, to meet the government’s needs.” These days, “technology teams” bring engineers and technical sales representatives together to work on projects. After the Hurricane Katrina disaster, the company was contacted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, “a long-standing customer-because we provided mobile [intellectual technology] solutions to FEMA. Now, FEMA needed to start setting up operations and was looking for support in mobile network equipment. So we put together a solution involving laptops, wireless equipment, support and services, and delivered it to them almost immediately. Since we already had that solution, we deployed it pretty quickly. That’s where our experience pays off in understanding what our customers are looking for. We’ve also given first responders mobile-communications solutions, so we were ready to respond when Katrina hit.” Legal team and outside counsel: DeLeon oversees the legal department, comprising two attorneys and two legal assistants, and a contract and program management department, with 40 people. He is responsible for GTSI’s compliance program and as corporate secretary handles “matters related to the board of directors and corporate governance.” Additionally, “I’m responsible for the strategic direction of the legal department, to ensure that we mitigate the legal risks faced by GTSI,” he said. He answers to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dendy Young. “One of our biggest challenges is to keep driving strategic, proactive initiatives to grow into a strong legal department. So I work hard to stay focused, keep up with best practices, and to set out a strategic vision for the department. Another challenge is marketing our legal department services to the company. We’re a very fast-paced company, involved in a lot of different business areas, so we have to compete for what I call internal ‘mind share’ with our other business units.” As a government contractor, “we have to comply with regulatory and state requirements, employee matters, corporate governance and Sarbanes-Oxley. We’re not only mitigating risk, but also facilitating our business, so that when an individual comes to us, we are not viewed as the ‘sales prevention’ department. That’s one of my challenges.” Regarding outside help, “we use a number of firms based on the expertise of the partners,” he said. Arent Fox of Washington is used for corporate and securities work and Richmond, Va.-based McGuireWoods is used for employment matters and complex litigation. Other firms are called on “from time to time.” Other than that, “I try to stay tuned to our business so we can meet legal challenges arising out of the business. The fact that I give the company’s overview for our employees who have recently come on board helps quite a bit.” Route to the top: DeLeon put himself through George Mason University, partly with the aid of an Army ROTC scholarship. He was commissioned as a military intelligence officer and spent 12 years with the Army National Guard. He graduated from George Washington University Law School in 1995, then worked for a government contractor, Electronic Data Systems Corp., handling federal contracts. “I next worked for PSINet, a large Internet service provider, where I gained commercial high-tech legal experience. After PSINet, I joined a startup software company in Reston, [Va.] In 2001, I joined GTSI as deputy general counsel and was promoted to general counsel last year.” The military, DeLeon said, “was a great experience” that taught him the value of “discipline, decision-making and teamwork. “I spent time as a tactical military intelligence liaison officer, which means I was embedded in an infantry unit,” he said. “We collected data from the field, analyzed it, distilled it, formatted it and then delivered it to the infantry unit so they understood what they were facing. If the job is to attack the enemy on a hill at the side of a road, you have to know what the enemy is doing. I believe that going through the intelligence cycle is similar to analyzing issues involving the law.” Personal: DeLeon grew up in Needles, Calif., “where my grandparents emigrated from Mexico in the early 1900s.” When not in the office, he can be found “at home with my three boys and wife, playing with the kids.” Latest book and movie: 1776, by David McCullough, and Revenge of the Sith. “I really enjoy researching and studying historic military campaigns,” DeLeon said. “A lot of key decisions in military campaigns can be applied to business decisions. I don’t glorify war at all, but I do enjoy reading about it, mainly for the decision-making and the leadership traits that are found in these military campaigns.”

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