STEM Professional of the week

Claudia Garcia      
U.S. Navy

Claudia Garcia has over 23 years of service and engineering experience working for the United States Navy. She currently heads both the Avionics and Power and Propulsion Departments at the Naval Air System Command’s (NAVAIR) In-Service Support Center, North Island in San Diego, CA. Claudia directs these departments in supporting the U.S. Navy and Marine Corp’s premier tactical aircraft platform, managing 50 engineers, Technicians and Contractors and is responsible for providing a variety of In Service Engineering (ISE) products and services in support of the F/A – 18 and E-2C/C-2 aircraft for the United States Navy, Marines and various Foreign Militaries.

Her career at NAVAIR began when Claudia was hired as a summer intern in the Material's Laboratory. A year later, after earning her college degree, she was hired as an F/A 18 ISE Test Program Sets (TPS) Engineer within the Support Equipment Department. Since then she has worked her way up to management positions, leading her through various technical, leadership and management engineering roles. Often recognized for her energy and passion towards making a difference within NAVAIR's workforce. Claudia is actively pursuing the challenge to come up with new and innovative ways to recruit, hire and retain a diverse workforce of Engineers and Scientists across the Department of the Navy. She has also translated this passion to a focus on the next generation workforce.

Her dedication to inspiring today’s youth to become future STEM professionals is recognized by her peers and community leaders. As one of the inaugural members of NAVAIR’s National STEM Board she is known throughout the Command for diligently spreading the STEM program from San Diego to their facility in Jacksonville, Florida. She works closely with San Diego’s Hispanic community to break the cultural barriers that often prohibit many Hispanic youth from achieving their American Dream and participates in programs that reach out to Hispanic families in an effort to provide inspirational testimonies that help not only motivate children but parents as well.

Claudia and her family emigrated from Mexico to San Diego when she was 4 years old. She was the 3rd out of 6 children. Her family's financial struggles inspired Claudia to dream big. She was the first in her family to attend and graduate from college. Because of her background and her many struggles growing-up in a low income family, she has successfully connected with hundreds of students and their parents during motivational workshops. She also enjoys spending her free time tutoring math and mentoring students.

Claudia is married with two teenage daughters and living her dream. She received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from San Diego State University. Claudia was honored with a STEM Military & Civilian Hero Award at the 25th Anniversary HENAAC Conference in 2013.

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