Cherokee Federal employee and veteran

Employee Spotlight: Jackie Mathis makes a difference in public health

November 30, 2020

A committed team. A great culture. A career that makes a difference.

Embarking on a new career is one of life’s big decisions, so why settle? Find the employer who is willing to go one step further with you. At Cherokee Federal — whether you’re transitioning from the barracks, the ivory tower or the sales floor — you’ll find a team whose leaders are unafraid to stand with you, roll up their sleeves and pitch in. We strive to be the employer of choice.

With employees in 50 U.S. states and more than 20 countries, Cherokee Federal’s highly skilled team of more than 3,300 employees are focused on building next-generation technologies, solving complex challenges and serving more than 60 federal agencies globally.

We invest in the brightest talent and take pride in our team. We also celebrate employees who do exceptional work. This feature highlights Jackie Mathis, who is a program manager with Cherokee Nation Operational Solutions, a Cherokee Federal company. She is responsible for carrying out contracts between Cherokee Federal and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. She started out leading a 12-person team that fulfilled a $4 million contract. In just a few years, Jackie’s team has grown to more than 150 people, and their contracts now have a combined value of more than $170 million.

Jackie recalls her recent career transition from the telecommunications industry. She credits her success to a leadership team that stands with her and colleagues who are dedicated to Cherokee Federal’s core principles: purpose, respect, integrity, discipline and excellence. PRIDE, for short.

“Before coming to Cherokee Federal, I never had this level of support. I can pick up the phone with our company’s leadership and they are there,” Jackie says. “They roll up their sleeves, and together, we divide and conquer.”

Veterans, especially, know the importance of leaders who engage with their boots on the ground. Jackie, a self-described military brat, often interviews veterans who choose Cherokee Federal as their employer.

“Since Cherokee Federal contracts with the DoD and many other federal agencies, veterans find a work environment and culture that is familiar enough to navigate, yet challenging enough to grow professionally,” she explains.

Of course, it’s one thing to be professionally successful, it’s another thing entirely to enjoy going to work every day. Everyone’s reasons will differ when expressing satisfaction about their own career. Jackie understands this well.

“Our focus is on our employees. We have to pivot and come up with ideas about how we are going to continue Cherokee’s reputation for being a great place to work,” Jackie remarks. “By staying attentive to our employee culture, we find greater success in our business partnership with the CDC.”

The CDC is one of the federal agencies that is most drastically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Jackie’s team at the CDC has translated Cherokee’s PRIDE values and company culture into a virtual work setting.

“COVID changed everyone’s lives, but it has not changed our character or our company culture,” she adds.

Jackie and her fellow managers continuously credit their team for the company’s overall success. After learning the CDC renewed its contract with Cherokee in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the daily “wagon” meeting brought its usual optimism, which is employees’ readiness to work and support the customer’s mission — to save lives and protect the public from health threats.

“I enjoy going to work every day because everyone here is so actively engaged. I never have to go out on a limb on my own,” Jackie says. “My team performs life-saving research on a daily basis. And, every Cherokee Federal team is part of something bigger together.”

Jackie and her team are making a real difference in public health with her staff’s work spanning microbiology, epidemiology, quality control, virtual reality education and authoring and producing scientific studies.

The team’s work not only includes developing a large-scale production and purification for COVID-19 pre-clinical studies, but it also coordinates and provides surveillance for pandemic surge response for polio, Ebola and SARS CoV-2 — the scientific name for the new strain of coronavirus. In addition, Jackie’s team conducts quality control manufacturing testing for influenza kits and COVID-19 response kits.

Not only does the team make an impact, but its mission also supports Jackie’s tribe — Cherokee Nation.

“Our sole shareholder is Cherokee Nation, and our work not only impacts public health, but it leads to better lives for Cherokees, today and tomorrow,” she adds.

Jackie has seen the results of that work up close. She takes no small pride in her own Cherokee heritage, joining in Cherokee National Holiday celebration over Labor Day Weekend, paying visits to the Cherokee National History Museum in Tahlequah, Oklahoma and noticing the progress of the tribe in serving its elders with health care, its students with educational opportunities, and all of its tribal citizens with dignity.

Jackie has found a career that makes a difference at Cherokee Federal. Will you? There’s only one way to find out. Join our team and make an immediate impact.


Cherokee Nation Operational Solutions is part of Cherokee Federal, a team of tribally owned federal contracting companies focused on building solutions, solving complex challenges, and serving the nation’s mission around the globe for more than 60 federal clients. Cherokee Federal’s team of companies, with more than 3,300 employees, manages nearly 2,000 projects of all sizes across the construction, consulting, engineering and manufacturing, health and technology portfolios.


Cherokee Federal is a division of Cherokee Nation Businesses, the economic engine of Cherokee Nation, the largest Native American tribe in the U.S. Its mission is to diversify and grow the economy of Cherokee Nation. Company profits support future business investments, as well as programs and services for tribal citizens. Cherokee Federal also believes in the value of a diverse workforce and in investing in the brightest talent to keep the company moving forward.


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