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Scientists and researchers are a great example of how people, processes, and technology are interconnected. Dr. Charles Johnson-Bey, senior vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton and the 2018 Career Achievement Industry Award winner, presented the recipient of the 2024 Most Promising Scientist Award at the recent BEYA STEM Conference.

Shavonn Watkins, a rising star and lead associate at Booz Allen, is a trailblazer. Her work is characterized by a dedication to scientific inquiry and her contributions to the field have positioned her as a young scientist to watch and an influential figure.

Shavonn’s work extends beyond the laboratory, and she is actively involved in mentorship programs and outreach initiatives to inspire the next generation of scientists and contribute to the broader scientific community.

During the ceremony, Shavonne humbly accepted the award and dedicated it to all the promising individuals who came before her and sacrificed for this award to be possible.

She shared her journey, which began in 2011 when, as a young girl from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she embarked on a cultural immersion research program in Cape Coast, Ghana.

This experience put purpose and passion into her pursuit of a professional career that integrates scientific advancements and technological innovation for the benefit of remote villages in sub-Saharan Africa and rural communities across the Deep South in the United States.

Shavonn’s experiences have prepared her to stand at the front line with her generation, collaboratively working towards solving some of the most complex global challenges facing us today.

From developing innovative mosquito control strategies in Africa to engaging with smallholder farmers in remote parts of Peru during the height of the global pandemic, and subsequently developing recommendations to solve a 30-year-plus regulatory trade challenge on behalf of the United States Department of Agriculture, she awakes renewed each day.

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