Home: Metro Washington, D.C. Profession: Government relations, legal affairs, teaching. Organization/title: Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, Vice President of Government Relations & General Counsel; University of Maryland Baltimore County, Adjunct Civil Rights Professor. Pronouns: She/her/hers. Significant other: My husband and college sweetheart. Alma mater: Howard University (B.A.); Catholic University (J.D.).
Current project: Leading legal affairs and government relations for an organization representing over 400,000 college students. Recent recognition: Honored to be recognized as a “Top Lobbyist” by the National Institute for Lobbying and Ethics. Recent professional development: Accepting the invitation to join Chief, a private network for women in senior executive level positions. Latest accomplishment: Serving as Co-Chair of Planning Committee and Mistress of Ceremonies for Regional College Hunger Conference. Latest contribution to others: Volunteering on social justice and educational equity issues designed to improve the lives of underserved communities. Hobbies: Reading, writing, traveling and hiking.
Personality profile: Pointed but polite; a strong sense of justice; loyal, intuitive, analytical, tenacious. What one word would your closest friend use to describe you? Resolute. Moral compass: The Bible. How do you define a perfect friendship? One where you can be your authentic self by sharing your strengths and vulnerabilities, supporting one another, motivating one another to accomplish your dreams and laughing often. How do you define an ideal business relationship? Respectful collaboration where both sides can be heard, can make a positive impact and can benefit financially. What is your greatest joy? My family. What is your guilty pleasure? Lemon raspberry cheesecake. What occupation, other than your own, do you most admire? School teachers, like my mother, who taught kindergarten for 35 years before she passed. What is at the top of your bucket list? To create a medium to advance the lives of underserved children.
What was your first paying job? As a part-time receptionist while in high school. What was your favorite childhood toy or game? Playing school (I was the teacher) or playing church (I was the preacher). I liked to be in charge. What movie have you repeatedly watched? Love Jones. What’s prominently featured on your home or office wall? My diplomas and law licenses. Besides your parents, who has had the greatest influence on your life? My incredibly kind, loving, fun-loving and supportive husband who simultaneously inspires and grounds me. What company or organization do you most admire? Children’s Defense Fund, for their dedication to serving underserved children. What personal circumstance has had the greatest influence on your life? I am a proud “Daughter of the African Diaspora”. With an African father, an American mother and a Caribbean/South American husband, I have a keen interest in cultural identity and in finding ways for people to connect regarding their similarities and to embrace and respect one another’s differences.
Since 40% of students suffer from food insecurity, I led the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area partnership with the Capital Area Food Bank to plan the first Regional College Hunger Conference. I also work on Name, Image and Likeness Issues, so college student athletes can receive compensation for endorsements, social media posts and event appearances.
What is your big idea? We should never underestimate the power of children, because they have the capacity to change the world. What message do you want to send out into the world? Every challenge presents an opportunity to strive, thrive and rise. What widely held belief do you reject? That women cannot be bold, confident and outspoken leaders and game changers. What mega-trend most excites you? The opportunity to learn more about other cultures and share game changing ideas with one another via the internet.
Who would you like to spend an evening with, in heaven? My mother. She was a tremendous and positive influence in my life and I think about her every day. As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? An attorney. I thought that would be the best way to change the system and improve the lives of others. How would you choose to spend tomorrow, if you knew it was your last day on earth? With family, on a tropical vacation, someplace where I could wake up to sunshine, blue skies, a lovely blue ocean and laughter. What advice would you give your younger self? Take a deep breath and relax. It will all work out in the end. What period in your life would you do differently, if you could? My high school years. I would spend more time enjoying myself than trying to be the perfect student.
Personal mission: Caring for my family and improving the lives of others through authenticity and connectivity. Personal motto: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" (Martin Luther King, Jr.). Favorite quote: “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).