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News | May 29, 2024

Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Advancing Leaders Through Innovation with David Kim

By DCAA Staff Writer

David Kim is a Program Manager for the Headquarters Policy Incurred Cost Division. Before this role, he gained extensive experience in various positions within DCAA including auditor, supervisor, and technical specialist. Born in South Korea and Immigrating to the United States at the age of nine, David was raised in a traditional Korean household. Values such as education, obedience, and respect for authority were deeply ingrained in him at a young age and continue guiding him today. As the oldest child in an immigrant family, David shouldered numerous responsibilities, navigating language barriers and adversity to help his family adapt to their new life.

Reflecting on his upbringing, David shares, “I had to grow up fast while adjusting to a new life. The language barrier made the simplest daily tasks difficult for my parents and I took on many roles and responsibilities to support them.” These experiences fostered qualities of self-reliance, objectivity, persistence, and patience, which have been invaluable in David’s professional journey.

David’s cultural background and upbringing profoundly influenced his leadership style. He believes in the power of collaboration and harmony within teams to achieve the best outcomes. To further develop his leadership skills and knowledge, David actively participates in various leadership courses and programs, including the Defense Contract Audit Institute (DCAI) Emotional Intelligence and Situational Leadership trainings. He advocates for others to participate in continual learning and emphasizes the benefits of the DCAA mentorship program that shaped his career.

Exemplary leaders influenced David’s professional journey, sharing, “The greatest contributors to my success have been my direct, first-line supervisors. All of them were great leaders who supported and empowered me to excel so that I continue to advance and inspire others the same way they inspired me.” Exemplifying the values from his upbringing and his leadership at DCAA, David serves as a mentor and helps guide others in their career advancement, “The DCAA mentoring program is instrumental to fostering leadership within the agency. I highly encourage everyone to participate.”

Innovation is a cornerstone of David’s leadership. He champions initiatives with creative measures that adapt to legislative changes, such as mandates by the National Defense Authorization Act. He believes innovation takes many forms, including simple yet impactful practices like mentorship programs. David led the initiative creating the mentorship program that pairs new hires with senior auditors to facilitate growth for both participants. The program provides autonomy for senior auditors and enhances the onboarding and acclimation experience for new hires. David’s commitment to fostering collaboration, guiding others, and driving positive change sets the foundation for his dedication to excellence.