As a U.S. Navy officer, Purdy worked extensively with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, unified commands and other government agencies. While serving at the Naval Academy, Purdy was instrumental in shaping many new practices pertaining to the fair treatment of women officers and faculty. During her last assignment with the military before retiring with the rank of commander, she was a senior military fellow at the National Defense University. More recently, she has worked for Booz Allen Hamilton where she supports the Department of the Navy's Chief Information Officer in workforce planning endeavors.
Purdy, who lives in Davidsonville, Md., has received the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal and the Navy Commendation Medal with Three Gold Stars.