Kay Coles James Named Commencement Speaker

Posted: May 2, 2002 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Kay Coles James, director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the federal government’s human resources agency, will be the keynote speaker at George Mason’s 2002 Commencement exercises, President Alan Merten announced yesterday. This year’s ceremony is set for Saturday, May 18, at 10 a.m. in the Patriot Center.

No stranger to Virginia, James served as state secretary of health and human resources under former Virginia Gov. George Allen. A graduate of Hampton University, James was nominated to her current position by President George W. Bush in April, 2001. She is his chief advisor on human resources issues and pay and benefits for the nation’s 1.8 million federal employees.

Prior to joining the Bush administration, James was a senior fellow for The Citizenship Project at the Heritage Foundation. Additionally, she was a member of the White House Task Force for the Black Family and head of the National Commission on Children under President Ronald Reagan. Under President George H. Bush, James served as associate director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and assistant secretary for public affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

James has also served on the Fairfax County and Virginia boards of education.

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