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    SWD Hydropower Asset Investment Manager Oldham champions the American Indian Science and Engineering Association

    SWD Hydropower Asset Investment Manager Oldham champions the American Indian Science and Engineering Association

    Photo By Edward Rivera | Kimberley Oldham, Southwestern Division Hydropower Asset Investment Manager talks...... read more read more

    DALLAS, TX, UNITED STATES

    04.20.2021

    Story by Edward Rivera 

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Southwestern Division

    Her childhood ambition was to be a marine biologist, following in the steps of Jacques-Yves Cousteau, whose show The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau taught a generation about sea life and protecting it.

    “Like a lot of kids, I dreamed of being a marine biologist or scientist like Cousteau,” said Kimberley Oldham, a 27-year federal service member and Southwestern Division Hydropower Asset Investment Manager. “Ultimately, having grown up in landlocked Oklahoma, not being a great swimmer, being claustrophobic when wearing a mask and afraid of sharks probably didn’t lend itself to that profession.”

    Oldham, a Norman, Okla., native is of both Creek and Euchee descent and a member of the Muscogee Nation. Although becoming a Marine Biologist didn’t quite pan out, she attended the University of Oklahoma earning a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree.

    “later, while working for the Tulsa District, I started taking classes and graduated with my Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Oklahoma State,” said Oldham.

    Throughout her 27 years of service she has had extensive work experiences with USACE through the Asset Management, Tribal Liaison, and Operations and Maintenance Programs just to name a few. She also takes time to champion for the American Indian Science and Engineering Society.

    “I’m actively involved with the American Indian Science and Engineering Society and am an advocate for finding ways to recruit young Native American Engineers into USACE and annually participate in the AISES national job fair as a spokesperson for USACE,” said Oldham.

    Throughout her career, Oldham has been influenced by several projects. “I have had the opportunity to be at the inception of many Corps endeavors to include the Tribal Liaison Program, Power Review of the Operations and Maintenance Program, Facilities Equipment Maintenance workflow development, and direct funded positions in both Northwestern and Southwestern Divisions, and more.”

    According to Oldham, each position throughout her career as a manager at multiple Operating Projects, Districts and Divisions, she’s tried to continue to learn and utilize her experience to contribute to the success of the mission. “It’s hard to say which experience is the most influential. We are product of how we handled all our experiences, good and bad. My organizational experience is diverse, my business line and program experience is diverse, and my culture is diverse. I see a lot of ways to contribute to the overall Corps mission.”

    Even with 27 years of experience, Oldham has been able to hold new and unique positions. She was the first Direct Funded position in the Federal Columbia River Power System in the Northwest in which she was to define the Operations and Maintenance program working within the region which included working with both the Bonneville Power Administration and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

    Her current position with SWD is the first Direct Funded position for the Southwestern Power Administration region. “I knew that it wouldn’t be scripted and that it would require creativity and the need to define and formalize processes, plans, strategies, and vision as a part the position working with the region,” she said.
    Her position as the Asset Investment Manager requires working with the SWPA region which consists of six USACE districts under three Major Subordinate Command or divisions. “It is a unique challenge to communicate and coordinate with all the leadership from the six district and three MSCs.”

    For Oldham, unique opportunities didn’t solely come from her profession, while in high school she was part of a Youth Bridge exchange program with West Berlin, Germany, to represent Native American students in a diverse group of students, ranging from 18 to 25 years old, that went over to celebrate Berlin’s 750th anniversary.

    “As a part of that experience, we crossed over into East Berlin under the security of the U.S. Military at Checkpoint Charlie and spent a day in the city. The sights and feeling of being in a heavily militarized zone were extremely eye opening. I haven’t been back to Berlin or Germany since the wall came down but it’s on my bucket list to see the city again.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 04.20.2021
    Date Posted: 04.20.2021 16:23
    Story ID: 394289
    Location: DALLAS, TX, US 
    Hometown: NORMAN, OK, US

    Web Views: 74
    Downloads: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN