The Impact of Accountabiity in Fed Gov (PDF)
Leslye Miller Fraser ,SM, JD (SES Retired)
Leslye Miller Fraser has over 35 years of leadership experience both professionally and within the community. She currently is a member of the MIT Corporation, which is the Board of Directors and governing body of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she also serves on the Corporation’s Governance and Nominations Committee, the Civil and Environmental Engineering Visiting Committee, the Libraries Visiting Committee, and the Undergraduate and Graduate Education Visiting Committee.
In addition, Ms. Fraser is the National Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Chair for The Links, Incorporated, a 74-year old non-profit African American women’s community service organization comprised of over 16,000 professional women of African descent in 292 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, and the United Kingdom. As STEM Chair, Ms. Fraser led Link chapters across the country in establishing in less than four years over 140 National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Junior Chapters for African American students in grades 3-12 in underserved communities to expose them to STEM fields, which is one-third of all active NSBE Jr. Chapters worldwide. She is a long-time proponent of increasing the diversity of underrepresented minority students in STEM, including recently serving as a panelist during the 2020 Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Leadership Conference’s The Science Divide: Let’s Get Our Children Ready!, which was led by Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, Chair of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.
Ms. Fraser also served for four years through 2019 as the National President of the African American Federal Executive Association (AAFEA), which is the leading non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to preparing and supporting African Americans for advancement into and within the senior ranks of the United States Government, including into the Senior Executive Service (SES), the most senior career position immediately below the top Presidential appointees in Federal agencies. There are less than 8,000 career SES out of the 2.0 million federal employees. In this role, she led a Board of Directors in establishing professional development programming both to prepare federal employees across the country for SES positions and to support those within the SES ranks. Annual AAFEA workshops under her leadership included prominent leaders, including Former Secretary of State, Gen. Colin Powell (ret.); Former NASA Administrator, Gen. Charles F. Bolden (ret.); Jo Ann Jenkins, AARP CEO; and Susan Taylor; CEO of the National Cares Mentoring Movement.
In February 2016, with 21 years of federal service, including 15 years as a member of the SES, and 11 years in the private sector, Ms. Fraser retired from her position as an Environmental Appeals Judge on the Environmental Appeals Board at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the first person of color to serve in that role. Her previous SES positions include Associate General Counsel for Pesticides and Toxic Substances in EPA’s Office of General Counsel, and Director of the Office of Regulations, Policy and Social Sciences in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. She also was a labor and environmental attorney at a leading international law firm, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; and research engineer and manager at an aerospace company prior to joining the federal government.
Ms. Fraser received bachelor and master of science degrees in chemical engineering from MIT, and a juris doctor degree, Order of the Coif, from UCLA School of Law. She has received numerous awards and honors, including a U.S. patent for a material she co-invented for spacecraft systems; the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service; NSBE’s Lifetime Member of the Year Award; and the Meritorious Presidential Rank Award, which is awarded each year by the President of the United States to a small group of federal career SES officials who “consistently demonstrate strength, integrity, industry, and a relentless commitment to excellence in public service”.
Ms. Fraser is a life member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; the Black Alumni of MIT; the National Society of Black Engineers; the NAACP; and the Senior Executive Association. She also is proud to be a charter member of both the NSBE Chapter at MIT and the Lambda Upsilon Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first sorority on MIT’s campus.