AAFEA 2021 Federal Executive Webcast Series

May 18th, 2PM ET Live Webcast

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Bundle #1 - SESSIONS
Political Savvy - May 18, 2021
2:00 PM ET
A politically savvy person is defined as one who “understands and utilizes the dynamics of power, organization, and decision making to achieve objectives.”  This workshop is intended to help participants manage the complexity of identifying key decision-makers and determining what influences them; understanding their own agenda and the agenda of others; and building strategic alliances to influence outcomes.  Leadership also requires an understanding of unwritten rules.


Political Savvy – Federal Leadership and Professional Development Seminar Series

Sam Jones-Bio

Samuel “Sam” C. Jones (SES)Samuel “Sam” C. Jones (SES)

Sam Jones is the Assistant Director for Economic Programs at the U.S. Census Bureau. He is responsible for overseeing more than 1,300 employees conducting over 75 monthly, quarterly, and annual surveys including 12 principal economic indicators, which are the key measures for our nation’s economic activity such as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as well as overseeing the quinquennial Economic Census and Census of Governments. More recent weekly Business Formation Statistics series and the Small Business Pulse Survey – both providing high frequency data in this quickly evolving economic environment that can be used for pandemic related decision making. During his over 40 year public service career, Sam has held various leadership positions. As the Chief of the Economic Applications Division, Sam led an extraordinary effort to share the U.S. Census Bureau expertise globally with the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, which aligned with the country’s new constitution and resulted in collected data within one year of enumeration, a feat never before achieved in the history of Kenya and quickest for any African nation. He then spearheaded a team to develop a partnership with the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics and achieve the same success. On numerous occasions, the Census Director has asked Sam to serve in critical executive leadership roles related to Information Technology for Enterprise Programs. This included over $1 billion 2020 Census software, systems, and infrastructure and to lead the 2030 decennial census IT investment and acquisition development plan. Sam has received numerous awards and appointments, including the Department of Commerce Gold Medal, the African American Federal Executive Association’s Ebenezer Bassett Award, and being appointed by both democratic and republican Maryland governors to the College of Southern Maryland Board of Trustees. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Delaware. In addition, he has a Level III Federal Acquisition Certificate for Program and Project Management and holds a Masters’ Certificate in Project Management from The George Washington University.



Unconscious Bias for Leaders - May 12, 2021
2:00 PM ET
Unconscious biases are prejudices that individuals form outside of their awareness.  This workshop is designed to help participants understand the triggers of unconscious bias in the workplace and its impact on leadership.  Leadership strategies for uncovering and minimizing these biases will be discussed.

Brain Tricks - This Is How Your Brain Works

It's About Time We Challenge Our Unconscious Biases | Juliette Powell | TEDxStLouisWomen

Kevin Cooke-Bio

Kevin R. Cooke, Jr.

Kevin R. Cooke, Jr. was appointed the Agency Chief FOIA and Privacy Officer in January 2021.  In this role he is responsible for the Agency’s mission of compliance with Federal Laws for the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security.

Mr. Cooke has over 30 years of experience ensuring federal compliance, formulating, designing and implementing Information Technology (IT) and Business solutions as well as managing human resources, budgets, contracts, and programs for Federal Agencies.  Prior to this appointment, he was the Deputy Chief Information Officer, responsible for providing leadership and strategic direction for IT investments which support the diverse portfolio of programs across HUD.

Mr. Cooke also served as Acting Deputy Chief Information Officer at the US Department of Energy (DOE). While with DOE he was responsible for coordinating policies and procedures to ensure effective, efficient and economical information management planning in support of DOE missions and objectives.

While working in the Department of Energy’s Chief Information Office, Mr. Cooke progressed through the roles of Director of IT Office Systems, Director of Human Capital and Administrative Management, and Associate Chief Information Officer for Information Technology Corporate Management.

He has served on the board of the Government Information Technology Executive Council and currently Serves on Boards for the Kentucky State University Foundation, the African American Federal Executive Association (AAFEA), the Maryland Center at Bowie State University and the Worldwide Assurance for Employees of Public Agencies (WAEPA).

Mr. Cooke is a graduate of the Kentucky State University and the Federal Executive Institute.  He is married to Shauna Berry Cooke, also a graduate of Kentucky State University; their daughter, Kyndal, is a Freshman at the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.


The Essence of Executive Leadership - May 4, 2021
2:00 PM ET
This webcast will provide methods, strategies and advice for a successful career experience within the Federal Government Senior Executive Service.  The workshop will provide participants with an understanding of the power of influence, identifying organizational culture and how to provoke positive change and innovation.


The Impact of Accountabiity in Fed Gov (PDF)

Leslye Fraser-Bio

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.