Dr. Ziarko’s management, technical, and education experience span more than 40 years.  She has been a practicing systems/software engineer since the 1980s.  Her work and academic experience includes programs and advanced research projects for Treasury/IRS, DoD (OSD, Army, Navy), NASA, EPA, GSA, Department of Interior, and the USPS.  In 1990, She worked on the President’s Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) team. 

 As part of the Litton/PRC leadership team for Federal Systems in the 1990s, Dr. Ziarko served on the USPS Corporate Internet Steering Committee and was a Measurement Program Manager for a nation-wide USPS telephony acquisition program.  From 1999 to 2018, she worked for The MITRE Corporation where she served as a Program Manager and Systems Engineer responsible for organizational analytics, technical workforce development, and systems engineering efforts.  Currently, she advises an aerospace and aviation company as a principal system engineering consultant.

Since 2003, Dr. Ziarko has taught systems engineering courses for the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering at the Applied Physics Laboratory, Dorsey Center, Crystal City, and Online community.  Dr. Ziarko holds a M.S. in Information Systems and a Ph.D. in Public Administration from The American University in Washington D.C. concentrating on Technology Transfer, Open Systems, and Science and Technology Policy.  She has a keen interest in aerospace and science and technology policy. 

Education History

  • M.S. Information Systems Human Factors, American University
  • Ph.D. Public Administration Science and Technology policy, American University

Work Experience

Instructor, Course Manager, JHU Whiting School of Engineering


Selected Papers and Lecture Content
• Systems Engineering Process Improvement, 2022- present.
• System Test and Evaluation Overview, Test and Evaluation Process, Requirements Analysis, 2008 – present.
• Critical Thinking, Leadership for Enterprise Systems Engineering 2008 – 2020.
• INCOSE Systems Engineering Competency Model, Contributor. 2014 – 2019.
• The Learning Culture. L. Van Nostrand, and J. Ziarko, MITRE Corporation, 2013.
• A Systems Security Engineering Study, D. Hild, L. Van Nostrand, and J. Ziarko, MITRE Corporation, 2012.
• From Analog to Digital: Global Earth Observation and International Collaboration to Manage Mega Disasters. J. Ziarko, American Society of Public Administration, Baltimore MD, 2011. National Defense and Industry Association, San Diego CA, 2012.
• Realizing the Vision: Innovative Practices to Enhance the Capability of the Systems Engineering Workforce. J. Ziarko, National Defense and Industry Association, San Diego CA, 2010.
• Managing Complexity: Today’s Federal Acquisitions and System of Systems (SoS) Initiatives, J. Ziarko, American Society of Public Administration, San Jose CA, 2010.
• Mixed Contracting of Service Delivery in Federal Agencies and Bureaus: A Study in Inter-Organizational Network Structure and Program Effectiveness, J. Ziarko, 2006.
• A Study in Federal Agencies and Technical Cultures. J. Ziarko, 2000.
• Comparative Study of the Role of Government in the Administration of National Space Programs. J. Ziarko, 1999.
• Field Implementation and Project Plan, USPS Information Systems and Environmental Management. USPS HQ, Washington, D.C., D. Redic, P. Myo Khin, (USPS IT) and J. Ziarko, 1995.
• Information Technology and the Environment: Partners in Progress -The Vision. USPS Information Technology and Systems (IT) and Environmental Management Policy (EMP), USPS HQ, Washington, D.C., D. Redic and J. Ziarko, with a contribution from P. Brushoff (VOLPE/DOT), 1995.
• Forecasting Fiscal Impacts of Environmental Regulation: Feasibility of a Macro-level Approach. J. Ziarko, 1994.
• Congress and the President: Trade-Offs in the Budget Process. J. Ziarko, 1993.
• Reducing Information Overload through NASA’s Human Factors Guidelines, J. Ziarko. 1990.

Honors and Awards

  • From 1997 – 2018

    Managed CEO’s Board of Trustee interviews with 30 federal government executives each year (Gallup) and employee engagement surveys for corporate leadership.

    Analyzed data to pinpoint improvement opportunities for corporate leadership.

    Directed CEO’s Federal Employee Fellowship Program and prepared Memorandum of Agreements with government organizations to receive federal employees as fellows.

    Identified trends and practices in learning and development; piloted new approaches to design and deliver courses and curriculum for technical learning and development programs.

    Conducted focus groups and created competency models for systems/systems security engineering to drive learning and development in a wide range of technical specialties.

    • Needs assessments for corporate learning and development; designed, developed, and implemented corporate-wide technical curriculum and learning experiences.
    • Johns Hopkins/MITRE MSSE Degree Partnership Program (10 years, 9 cohorts).
    • Curriculum to develop systems engineers, systems security engineers, and technical specialties.
    • Web-based design for technical workforce development.
    • Outcome Leader/Principal Investigator: Milestone Readiness Reviews, Quality/Acceptance Assurance, Process Improvement (CMMI), Performance Measurement (CIO), Integration and Test, Configuration Management, IRS Business Systems Modernization best practice studies in architecture, performance measurement, systems engineering, and program effectiveness.

    FEDERAL SYSTEMS LEADERSHIP AWARD. Litton/PRC, USPS Systems and Postal Routed network. Bonuses and recognition for increasing business opportunities in engineering and IT, internet steering committee representation. (2018)

Professional Organizations

National Defense and Industry Association (NDIA)
Pi Alpha Alpha National Honor Society
Internatiomal Council on Systems Engineering