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Kay Coles James has experience and accomplishments in every sector of America's economy. She has served dozens of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, as well as in academia and government. She has managed a small office of five, and the largest workforce in the world.
The many boards and commissions who have sought her service during her 25-year career in the public arena attest to Mrs. James' expertise. Currently, she sits on the board of two of America's most respected non-profit organizations: The Salvation Army, and The Heritage Foundation. She is on the board of directors of PNC Financial Services Group and serves as a member of the PNC Risk Committee. She also is a board member of Amerigroup Corporation, and is on the Amerigroup Corporate Governance Committee.
After being nominated by President George W. Bush, the United States Senate unanimously confirmed Kay James to be Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) on July 11, 2001. As former Director she was an advocate for Federal employees and leader of a dynamic agency with over 3,600 employees across the country, an annual budget in excess of 261 million dollars and trust funds that annually exceed 29 billion dollars in appropriations.
As President Bush's principal advisor in matters of personnel administration for the 1.8 million members of the Federal civil service and OPM, under her leadership, Mrs. James managed financial programs and workforces that were larger than many Fortune 500 companies. If OPM were in the private sector, it would rank as the largest Fortune 500 Company in terms of assets.
Mrs. James played an instrumental role in designing the process and system through which nearly 170,000 employees from 22 different agencies, each with different cultures and human resources services and represented by 17 separate labor unions, merged into the new Department of Homeland Security--one of the largest personnel mergers in history. Kay James was also a central official in supporting and implementing the legislation that led to human resource flexibilities at the Department of Defense--providing the President and Secretary of Defense greater flexibility to manage 700,000 Defense employees in the performance of their duties to support America's men and women in uniform.
Under the leadership of Mrs. James the OPM has streamlined the way Federal employees are hired by creating a website recording over 100 million visitors since it was unveiled turning OPM into one of the largest recruiting agencies for thousands of retiring military veterans. And OPM advised many nations on civil service and management issues--among those countries are Mexico, Taiwan, Japan, India, and Uganda.
Kay James served as the Chair of the Joint Financial Management Improvement Program (JFMIP) Principals. She was chair of the Chief Human Capital Officers Council (CHCO), a group comprised of the selected officers from cabinet departments and other agencies. She was also a member of the President's Management Council and Chair of the Council's Subcommittee for Human Capital/Workforce Management. She was also appointed by the President to serve on the White House Fellows Commission.
Prior to coming to OPM Mrs. James served as a leader and manager in Government on the Federal, state, and local levels and in private, non-profit, and academic settings. She served as a Senior Fellow and Director of The Citizenship Project at the Heritage Foundation. Prior to joining Heritage, she served as Dean of the School of Government at Regent University and as Chair of the National Gambling Impact Study Commission. She served as Secretary of Health and Human Resources for former Virginia Governor George Allen where she designed and implemented Virginia's landmark welfare reform initiative. As Secretary, she was responsible for fourteen state agencies and over 19,000 employees.
Before serving in the Governor Allen's Administration, Kay James was Senior Vice President of the Family Research Council. She has also served as Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer for One to One Partnership, a national umbrella organization for mentoring programs. She served under President George H. W. Bush as Associate Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and as Assistant Secretary for public affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She was appointed by President Reagan and reappointed by President George H. W. Bush as member of the National Commission on Children. She has served on the Fairfax County School Board and the Virginia Board of Education, and the Focus on the Family Board.
Mrs. James is President and Founder of The Gloucester Institute, an organization that trains and nurtures leaders in the African American community. She continues her public service by serving as a member of the Medicaid Commission and on the NASA Advisory Council.
As a frequent commentator and lecturer, Kay James has appeared as a guest on every network morning show, several national news and talk programs, and her editorials have been featured in newspapers across the country. In addition, she is the author of three books; her award winning 1993 autobiography Never Forget; Transforming America: From the Inside Out (1995); and a third book on the subject of marriage (2001).
A graduate of Hampton University, Kay Coles James is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees, most recently the Doctor of Laws Degree from Pepperdine University. She is also the recipient of several awards and special recognitions, including the University of Virginia's Publius Award for Public Service, and the Spirit of Democracy Award for Public Policy Leadership from the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation.
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