“Ultimately, we are a nation of diverse cultures and ethnicities, striving to embrace each other’s values under a set of standards and beliefs of ‘inclusion and understanding'”
Kim Yee, a proud Chinese American, serves as the Supervisor of the Contracting Officer Representative (COR) at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division, supporting the Department of Machinery Programs and Platforms.
Asked what Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Month means to him, Yee said, “This month celebrates the contributions of millions of Asian and Pacific Islanders to ‘history. American” and reminds us of the unique and emerging challenges facing Asians as they continue to embrace the American dream.
Yee emphasized that AAPI Heritage Month is important because it recognizes the significant contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to America, with this designation encompassing more than 50 ethnic or linguistic groups, including Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.
“Challenges such as (the) current rise in unprovoked violence against AAPI communities, encourage us to seek out, leverage and embrace (the) diversity of ideas, experiences, talents, languages and cultural backgrounds to strengthen and unite us,” Yee added.
Having joined the Warfare Centers in 1987, Yee is an authoritative expert and program leader in planning, formulating, organizing and directing extensive technical activities to meet advanced systems machinery technology requirements for new acquisition and in-service engineering programs. He also has extensive experience in procurement.
Throughout his 34-year career, Yee has held a number of important positions, including Deputy Chief Engineer of NSWCPD and Director of Acquisitions. He has managed a number of high level programs including as USS Arleigh Burke Destroyer (DDG 51) Class Acquisition Platform Manager, Systems Engineering Manager CGX Hull, Mechanical & Electrical ( HM&E) for Naval Sea Systems Command surface ship design and systems. Engineering, Future Surface Combatant (FSC) Flight III Study Machine Engineering Lead and USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) Damage Control Automation and Machinery Control System Lead .
When asked to choose a person who motivated him to learn and succeed, Yee said, “The person who inspired me the most in my career was Mr. Paul Socoloski. He was my branch manager in 2000 and recognized my talents early in my career and helped encourage me to take on challenging tasks in management and leadership roles. After many years in between, I was fortunate enough to become his Deputy Chief Engineer in the office of NSWCPD CHENG (Chief Engineer).
“The important life lesson I learned is, to be honest, to work hard, to solve problems, to create added value, to look for what others lack and to be a mentor”, a- he added.
Yee, a proactive advocate for the advancement of NSWCPD AAPI employees, continually promotes diversity and inclusion within the federal government workforce. As an advisor to the Naval Asian Society Employee Resource Group (NASERG), Yee was instrumental in the creation and establishment of NSWCPD Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to promote awareness and support. cultural inclusion to improve the representation of underrepresented groups and minorities at all levels of the organization. As an advisor, he leads a core team at NASERG to develop programs that help develop Asian and Pacific Islander roles in government. He has also represented the NSWCPD at several White House Asian American and Pacific Islander Initiative (WHIAPPI) events in previous years.
Yee provides leadership seeking to continuously foster a diverse and inclusive workforce and workplace by building NASERG’s leadership capacity and organizational capacity. He strives to create an inclusive work culture and environment that fosters creativity and innovation. Yee promotes AAPI engagement through awareness and inclusive leadership skills training, promoting work-life balance, flexibility and supporting recruitment and hiring, STEM awareness , onboarding, mentoring, continuous learning and development-retention, and other key talent management strategies.
Under his leadership, NASERG hosted the annual NSWCPD AAPI Month celebrations, featuring guest speakers from academia and senior government leadership. NASERG has also hosted employee networking events and flexible lunchtime activities to encourage peer-to-peer networking and mentorship which, in turn, fosters learning opportunities.
Additionally, Yee has been an active participant in NSWCPD recruiting efforts to promote, establish and maintain effective and equitable AAPI participation within the workforce. He represented the NSWCPD at the NAVSEA National Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE) conference and as a senior recruiter at the SASE regional conference hosted by the University of Maryland. Yee also supported local NSWCPD recruiting events onsite at Princeton University and City College of New York.
He has advanced the division’s diversity goals by leading and actively participating in the command’s Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Committee (EEOAC) as a member since 2010. During his tenure, he served as EEOAC Chair, leading the team’s review of Management Directive 715 ( MD-715) and the development of NSWC’s EEOAC Annual Organizational Assessment. He also led the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) Organizational Climate Survey Command Survey (DEOCS) assessment team in the review/ evaluation of survey data, written comments and focus groups.
As a supervisor, Yee managed diverse groups of employees from diverse backgrounds, leveraged diversity, and championed adherence to EEO’s goals and objectives to ensure everyone is treated fairly and has equal access to opportunities. As a result, employees reached out to Yee for advice on career opportunities and mentorship.
Yee has also promoted awareness and diversity as a member of NSWCPD’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Outreach Team. He served as a mentor for the NSWCPD Navy SeaPerch, culminating in winning the “against all odds” award for a freshman team at the Greater Philadelphia SeaPerch Challenge’s annual underwater robotics competition. From 2015 to 2017, he was also a mentor for the NSWCPD, as part of DODSTEM (formerly the National Defense Education Program), spending months preparing a high school robotics team for competition and helping his team to win the Gracious Professionalism Award.
“See a need, fill a need” is a motto Yee lives by. His advice to the generation born tomorrow? “No matter what you do, learn to love it and it will never be just a job!”
Yee himself received the 2014 Magnificent 8 – Vice Admiral Samuel L. Gravely Award for Achievement in Equity & Diversity Award, which recognizes an individual for their significant contribution to promoting understanding of cultural differences and promoting diversity. equal employment opportunity for all persons at all levels. in the workplace – all of which are efforts that Yee has reinforced within the division.
Yee received a Bachelor of Engineering from the City College of New York in 1986 and a Master of Science in Engineering Science from Penn State University in 1994. He also earned Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act Level III certification. (DAWIA) for systems planning, research and development. & Engineering – Science and technology.