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Emily Harman | Department of the Navy Small Business Programs Director

Small Business Success Tips Podcast (episode 21)

Summary: Emily Harman discusses developments in the Navy's Office of Small Business programs, how to develop strategic relationships with the 10 buying commands, developments in acquisition, subcontracting and how companies must demonstrate how they will further the Navy's mission.

Guest Bio:  Located in Washington, DC,  Emily Harman is the Director, Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP) for the Department of the Navy (DON). Serving as chief advisor to the Secretary on all small business matters, Emily is responsible for small business acquisition policy and strategic initiatives. From 2005 to 2015, she was associate director of the Naval Air Systems Command’s (NAVAIR) OSBP. Her previous experience includes serving as a division director in the Major Weapons System for Air-Antisubmarine Warfare, Assault, Special Mission Programs Contracts Department and as the Multi-Mission Helicopters Program Office’s (PMA-299) contracting officer. Ms. Harman has NAVAIR experience as a services contracting officer, as well as contracting officer for the AV-8B Weapon Systems Program Office (PMA-257).

With over 30 years of federal service, Emily believes that small, large and non-traditional defense partners can provide the technological advantage required for a healthy and secure national security, innovation, and industrial base. Small businesses bring innovation, agility, and sometimes a lower cost structure.


In this episode, Emily Harman discusses

  • the 10 buying commands and  structures of the Department of Navy
  • how the 2018 Small Business Strategy for each command will be publicly available online for transparency and for increased accountability
  • research strategies to determine exactly what each command buys, what small business opportunities are available, the long range acquisition forecast for the next three fiscal years, as well as past purchase history
  • why successful businesses work closely with local Procurement Technical Assistance Center professionals before approaching clients

  • how the 76 small business professionals at various commands can advise on the culture of each command, identify best approaches to deputy program managers and specific technical persons, and can set up appointments if appropriate

  • how successful businesses demonstrate how they will solve problems and contribute to the Navy's actual mission (not to Navy's small business goals!)

  • how small businesses must deliver on time, within cost, schedule, and performance
  • subcontracting as the best way to get to know your Navy customer and get some past performance

  • continuous networking to research your “competi-mates”, your competition and potential teaming partners

  • Navy social media outreach efforts including LinkedIn, Facebook Live, Twitter and YouTube

Referenced Links:

Host:  Neil McDonnell is an experienced small business owner and seasoned entrepreneur. An Army veteran and the founder HUBZone Chamber of Commerce, Neil is a government contracting subject expert and HUBZone advocate for media and conferences.

His podcast series offers key information and tips to help small businesses gain insight into government agencies and large prime contractors and develop strategies to effectively present services. 



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