This Q&A is part of a series with the 2021 cohort of the Hopkins Engineering Alumni Spotlight Recognition Program.

John Paul Laverde is a senior business development manager with the Amazon Web Services (AWS) research team, where he assists academic researchers in identifying ways to use cloud technologies to enhance their scientific research.

Before joining the AWS family, he spent five years at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren (NSWCDD-DNA) under the R&D sector, developing new applied research technologies and capabilities for the U.S. Department of Defense. There, he served as principal investigator and program manager, specializing in delivering new software products and artificial intelligence systems to multiple Navy and DOD clients. In his most recent role, he was the technology and innovation program manager and the cloud software factory program director for NSWCDD-DNA. Laverde is currently pursuing a PhD from Northcentral University in Technology and Innovation Management, with a focus in Computer Science. He has a bachelor’s in Computer Engineering from Christopher Newport University and a master’s in Computer Science, with a focus in software engineering, from John Hopkins University.

Laverde lives in Norfolk, Virginia with his wife and 3-year-old daughter. Born in Caracas, Venezuela, he grew up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He joined the U.S. Coast Guard in 2011 and was stationed on the USCGC Harriet Lane working as an engineer technician, law enforcement agent, and linguist. In 2019, he transitioned to the Navy Reserves, and received a commissioned as U.S. Naval Officer, and is currently a Lieutenant Junior Grade working as an Information Professional (IP) stationed at the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Atlantic (NCTAMS LANT).

He enjoys exercising, surfing, and learning anything that involves tech, but his favorite hobby is spending time with his family and teaching his daughter how to surf.


What does your Hopkins education mean to you? How did it help you in your career?

It means a lot; John Hopkins education catapult my professional career as a research scientist and engineer working for the Department of Defense. While attending JHU, I quickly realized that my professors were some of the brightest people in the world and my job as a student was to soak up all of that knowledge and put it into action, which I did. This led to my level of success, in which I have received a number of awards and promotions in a short period of time.


What is one piece of advice you have for current Whiting School students and/or other WSE alumni?

Be patient and stay consistent. You would go through difficult times but overcoming those obstacles is the key to your growth as an individual and professional.


What is your favorite memory from your time at Johns Hopkins, either inside or outside of the classroom?

Favorite memory at John Hopkins was the collaboration and brotherhood that was developed with other classmates. I still stay in touch with most of my classmates.

Hopkins Engineering Alumni Spotlight Recognition Program

The Spotlight Recognition Program is an annual program that helps identify WSE alumni doing impactful and innovative work in their chosen fields and celebrates their accomplishments and connects them back with the institution and greater engineering community.