Brinda Jackson was born in McGehee, Arkansas, a small rural town in Southeast Arkansas, and raised in an even smaller rural town, Montrose, Arkansas, population 399 (at that time). Her parents, William and Bernice Jackson, farmers in rural Arkansas, instilled unquestionable values, the importance of education, and a strong work ethic in her and her seven siblings. Because of their teachings and guidance, Brinda was destined to shape a global footprint beyond that small town. Brinda is very humble, and is unaware of the broad impact she has had on others throughout her trail-blazing career. She continues to plant the seeds of greatness in the paths of women, inspiring them to achieve their dreams.
While in grade school, she was inspired to become an Architect from watching “The Brady Bunch” television show. She became focused on that career and that focus remained with her until her dream was realized. In 1979, Brinda graduated Valedictorian from Lakeside High School in Lake Village, Arkansas, as the first African American to do so in the history of the high school. She attended the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, and graduated with a degree in Architecture, only the second African American woman to do so. From 1985 to 1989, she worked as an Architect in a small architectural firm in Little Rock. After realizing her initial dream of becoming an Architect, she decided to shift her focus to other opportunities. In January 1990, she started a career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Little Rock District, as an Architect in the Design Branch.
One of the most noteworthy items of her career as an Architect came about when she passed her Architectural Registration Exam in 1991, becoming the first African American woman in Arkansas registered to practice Architecture. Since that time, she has maintained her status as a Registered Architect. She is also a registered Project Management Professional.
She has attained additional outstanding accomplishments throughout her career. During her tenure as an Architect and Design Team Leader in the Design Branch, she worked on various projects for military installations across the country, including Fort Sill, Oklahoma; Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma; Fort Bliss, Texas; Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina; and Little Rock Air Force Base. In 1999, Brinda made the transition from Architect to Project Manager. In 2003, she deployed as a civilian Project Manager with the Forward Engineering Support Team, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While in Iraq, she was presented the 555 Combat Engineer Group Commander's Award for being the “Battlefield Hero” of the day and received two Command Sergeant Major's Coins of Excellence, in addition to receiving the Superior Civilian Service Award and the Chief of Engineer's coin. During her career, she has received numerous awards, achievement medals and recognition's, to include: 2013 Civilian of the Year for Little Rock District; 1999 graduate of the Army Management Staff College, where she received the Department of the Army Certificate of Achievement for "Best in Seminar"; 1998 recipient of the Women of Color Technology Award for Government Leadership (non-Government award); and the 1995 Little Rock District Architect of the Year.
Though an architect by profession, she is currently the Chief, Civil Works Programs Branch, Little Rock District, with the responsibility of developing, defending and executing an annual civil works program in excess of $200M. Her reputation for “getting the job done” has led to increased opportunities for various developmental assignments: Operations Project Manager for Table Rock Lake, Branson, Missouri; Regional Integration Team - Programmer, Headquarters USACE, Washington, DC; Acting Chief, Project Management Branch, Galveston District, Galveston, Texas; and most recently, the Acting Chief, Civil Works Integration Division, Southwestern Division, Dallas, Texas, where she was responsible for an annual civil works program portfolio that exceeded $1B.
Brinda has been an inspiration to all that know her, particularly women, because of her phenomenal career. She is a mentor to many, both formal and informal. Understanding the struggles of growing up poor in a small rural Arkansas town, she and three of her siblings (who also graduated from Lakeside High School) established the Jackson Family Scholarship in 2000, which is awarded annually to a graduating Senior of Lakeside High School. Brinda is a member of St Mark Baptist Church in Little Rock. She and her husband, David Switzer, reside in central Arkansas.