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Executive Spotlight: Cameron Chehreh, VP & GM of Public Sector at Intel

Cameron Chehreh

VP & GM, Public Sector

Intel

Executive Spotlight: Cameron Chehreh, VP & GM of Public Sector at Intel

Cameron Chehreh, vice president and general manager of Intel’s public sector business, recently spoke with the Potomac Officers Club to shed light on lessons learned throughout his career and to provide insight into his leadership style. Chehreh, a 2023 Wash100 Award winner, has worked in the technology industry serving government customers for over two decades, and his previous experience includes time at Dell Technologies, General Dynamics Information Technology and other major GovCon tech organizations.

What can you tell us about your background and how you’ve been able to adapt to the ever-changing challenges of the federal landscape over the course of your career?

For me, as I look at my career to date, the dynamics of the environment supporting a mission is what excites me every day. Early on, I felt like I was striving for consistency and being able to deliver solutions that were very mature, leading edge and pushing the envelope of innovation. 

What I found was that if you are too far out from what is relevant now and you don’t show people how to get to it, what you have created is a difficult journey. Over time, what I’ve learned from a great mentor of mine, who was a retired Rear Admiral, is to work at the speed of relevance. It is a term used in the intelligence community and the military intelligence brigades. Once you realize what that means, it changes you forever. I still strive to be innovative but now at the speed of relevance. 

What this has allowed me is to deliver innovative solutions that drive the digital mission infrastructure forward and that are aligned to what my mission customers need now and then next. Following this advice, I find I am always aligned to the ever-changing challenges of the federal landscape. 

How would you describe your management style and core values towards building a winning culture?

I see myself as a servant leader, and through that, I derive strength. Most people misunderstand what a servant leader is at its core. I define it as striving for excellence through serving others. As I began my journey in leadership I realized that the strong bravado most leaders displayed was not effective. Humbleness and humility went a long way. I do not forget when strength is required, display it. That said however, serving others on your team drives a greater sense of purpose and inspires people to do great things. This leadership style has allowed me the great fortune to have strong, enduring relationships with my customers and my teams over the years. 

What are the core values that you believe are essential to build a great team and establish a foundation to drive success in such a competitive industry?

Although very cliché, when you are confident enough to do the following, the teams will over-perform every time:

Hire people smarter than you and set the proper leadership tone. This means allowing them to be exactly who they are but providing the working framework for their engagement — things like decision authority, autonomy, financial acumen and a balance of provocative thinking. This creates an environment to challenge cultural norms so that organization remains leading edge.

Endorse a culture of failure and learning. This is important as most companies who are successful suffer from that success at some point in time. It is unavoidable to go there unless you drive an environment of continuous improvement. Business is a lot like sports: although the plays may be the same, the game is the same, the players are always different. The execution and the external dynamics are always changing and if your organization is stagnant, irrelevance is around the corner. 

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