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Resource Analyst Tara Perdue Ensures Flawless Finances for IV&V
May 2011
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At work, Financial Analyst Tara Perdue loves ferreting out errors in financial spreadsheets until her organization’s work is flawless. Off the job, with her two children, she spends as much time out of doors as possible enjoying the country.

What is most interesting about your role here at Goddard?

Mostly what I do is financial tracking for IV&V projects and contracts. Forecasting and dealing with day to day issues are also part of a normal day for me. Since we are physically located away from everybody else at Goddard, we have to check our own accuracy very carefully with help and support from Goddard.

The setting for my work is in a cubicle. We have two buildings right beside each other. One is for administrative work, which is what I do, and the other is for technical work.

The "cool tools" I work with include a calculator and my computer. I use Excel spreadsheets a lot. I also work with Goddard’s and NASA Headquarter’s financial tracking systems.

Teamwork and collaboration are very important in my job. We have a very small team of three people, so we have to work very closely together to make sure that everything is done correctly and that nothing slips through the cracks.

Who is the most interesting or inspiring person you have met here and why?

Tara Perdue portrait
Photo of Tara Perdue. Credit: Tara Perdue
I am inspired by my team lead, Kaci Reynolds, I’ve known her since we went to college together. She’s a very good mentor, she knows her stuff, and she has taught me a tremendous amount.

What was your best day or the best thing that ever happened to you at IV&V and why?

Almost every day at Goddard is a good day. After I see one of our projects successfully launched, I feel a strong sense of accomplishment which is shared by the entire team.

What is the coolest thing you’ve ever done as part of your job at IV&V?

We have a very good outreach program. We organize a “Day in the Park” for about 1,400 seventh grade kids. We all volunteer. We have activities and also bring in speakers including an astronaut who talks to them to inspire them to consider a career in science, technology, engineering or math.

What makes the IV&V a great place to work?

Unbelievably, I just like this kind of very detail-oriented work. Also, the IV&V is very family friendly. I have two children and I’m a single mother; working here is very flexible to these needs. I like everybody I work with and I like the sense of balance between work and family.

If somebody asked you, “What is IV&V,” what would you tell them?

I would tell them that the IV&V is part of NASA Goddard. That’s usually enough to spark their interest. If somebody asks me exactly what IV&V does, I give them a very simplified answer: “We check the software that NASA sends into space.”

Do you have a favorite way, or place to kick back, relax or have fun?

Tara Perdue with children I have a two-year-old and a four-year-old, a boy and a girl, so that’s pretty much what I do. We like things you’d think people in West Virginia would like to do such as camping, swimming in the river, drives in the country and just being outdoors whenever possible.

Do you have a favorite book, magazine, movie, or TV show?

I hate to say this, but I just finished reading the Harry Potter series. I also like books by Anne Rice and Stephen King.

Lastly, where would you most like to visit and why?

Since I’ve never been out of the country, I’d like to go to a lot of places. An Alaskan cruise and Australia are definitely on the list.

Tara Perdue's favorite time is spent with her children, Saffron, aged four, and Finn, aged two, pictured with her here. Credit: Tara Perdue

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Karl Hille
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.