Kelly Rutherford is going places

Kelly Rutherford
Photo Credit: Kelly Rutherford, PL FMS-ACES
Erika Christ, PEO EIS Strategic Communication Directorate
August 29, 2023

Kelly Rutherford started off calendar year 2023 with a new role as product lead for a brand-new product office within PEO EIS’s Defense Integrated Business Systems portfolio — Foreign Military Sales – Army Case Execution System (FMS-ACES). The office is charged with deploying an integrated solution that meets the needs for foreign military sales case execution through innovative capabilities, automated interfaces and enhanced reporting and data analytics.

FMS-ACES will be the Army’s modernized solution to provide the security cooperation community with the capability to manage FMS cases from end to end on a cloud-based platform at the speed of relevance. The solution will improve data quality and visibility and integrate disparate Army and DOD systems. Rutherford is paving the way with FMS-ACES being the first PEO EIS program to utilize the DoDI 5000.87 Software Acquisition Pathway from the initiation of the program.

Before joining FMS-ACES, Rutherford served with several other PEO EIS product offices, including Integrated Personnel and Pay System – Army, the Accessions Information Environment, Army Enterprise Systems Integration Program Hub and the General Fund Enterprise Business System.

She recently took time to answer some questions about her life and career for PEO EIS’s Teammate Tuesday series.

Where did you grow up?

I am local to Northern Virginia — sort of. I was born and raised in Fredericksburg, Virginia in Stafford County. I married and raised my children in the same area that I was raised, and my children graduated from the same high school that I did.

What led you to a career in federal service?

I ended up in federal service by chance but also by choice. I started my federal service career with the Marine Corps in Quantico, within 20 minutes from my home. I have always loved to manage chaos, so managing IT system development has always been in my sight. After many years at the Marine Corps, I wanted more, so I ventured from there to the Army with PEO EIS.

What do you enjoy about working at PEO EIS?

I love the people that I call my partners at PEO EIS. No matter which direction I look within PEO EIS, I can learn from each one. There is mentoring and support from peers.  There is never the same issue or challenge at hand. I am always learning something new or building a new relationship. 

What is it like to lead a brand-new product office?

It is fun! For so many years, I was the one behind the curtain helping others execute. With FMS-ACES, I have literally started at the very beginning of the program coming out of ASA(ALT) and am moving it forward. I don’t know if it is the fact that I am leading a program from its cradle that is the best, or the fact that I am learning from this program a new aspect of DOD laws, regulations, policies and directives with Foreign Military Sales. Also, I am leading the efforts to be the first PEO EIS program to execute from the cradle the Software Acquisition Pathway (DoDI 5000.87), paving the way for the U.S. Army PEO EIS execution of this pathway for Defense Business Systems.

Why should industry partners make sure to attend the upcoming FMS-ACES Industry Day?

FMS-ACES is going PLACES! We hope to share at our Sept. 7 Industry Day the excitement that we have with solving the Army’s current problem of modernizing the case execution process for Foreign Military Sales and supporting the Army’s IT modernization efforts. We also want to take the time to engage with our industry partners to actually receive live feedback on our solicitation documentation to ensure they can respond in a clear and precise manner. 

What do you enjoy doing in your downtime?

My motto is family first. My downtime is anything with my husband and children. Our favorite is spending time on the lake playing in the water. Now that my children are out of the house, in college and adulting, my husband and I are enjoying just being together and taking care of our Bull Mastiff and Mastiff (Jax and Tinker). One of the new things we have started to do over the last year is golf.

Anything else you’d like to share?

FMS-ACES is a new program. Even though the initial priority is to replace the 1970s COBOL solution, we plan to support the overall Army Modernization Strategy for Foreign Military Sales.


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