While on active duty in the U.S. Navy, Dr. Rabern held positions on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations and Joint Chiefs of Staff, where she was responsible for budget development, financial forecasting, preparation of briefings for the Joint Requirements Oversight Council and Quadrennial Defense Review, posture statements and Congressional testimony. Upon retiring from the U.S. Navy in 2000 she was selected into the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Senior Executive Service and assigned as Assistant Director & Chief Financial Officer. As principal advisor to the FBI Director on all financial matters, she was responsible for all financial planning, programming, budgeting, investment, audits, contracting, establishing standards, policy and procedures worldwide and congressional appropriations testimony.
As Assistant Commissioner & Chief Financial Officer of the U.S. Customs Service, Dr. Rabern served as the key advisor to the Commissioner on all matters relating financial and resource programs, construction and procurement. She oversaw all financial management and accounting activities relating to operations and programs, including, human capital, payroll and benefits, and the agency’s annual audit. She was responsible for financial statements and reports to the Department of the Treasury, Office of Management and Budget, and Congress.
As Chief Financial Officer of the U.S. Agency for International Development, she was responsible for all financial matters related to the delivery of economic development and humanitarian assistance programs through grants, contracts, and loans to governmental and non-governmental organizations globally. She developed and implemented a system of internal financial management controls to assure timely identification of management decisions required to ensure fiscal integrity.
As Deputy Director of the USAID Office of Military Affairs, Dr. Rabern was responsible for stand-up of the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State’s “3-D” Strategy within the geographic Combatant Commands. She worked hand-in-hand with regional and functional command centers, the State Department's Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization, and the Bureau for Political & Military Affairs, managing all resourcing and personnel functions, developing performance goals and indicators, and providing a structure to integrate the development, diplomacy and defense elements of the National Security Strategy including reconstruction, stabilization, strategic communications and security sector reform.
As a student at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Dr. Rabern served as a research fellow, focusing on U.S. engagement with the former Soviet Union. While earning a Ph.D at the University of Virginia she taught at the Virginia Military Institute, later serving as the inaugural Director of the Institute’s Center for Leadership & Ethics where she was responsible for leadership development, preparing cadets for service to the nation.