Government | Economics
Always interested in other parts of the world, Irena Zubcevic has found the United Nations to be an amazing place to work. She has served the organization as the chief of the Intergovernmental Policy and Review Branch of Office of Intergovernmental Support and Coordination for Sustainable Development since April 2018, preceded by positions as the chief of the Ocean and Climate Branch of the Division for Sustainable Development in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs and as a senior sustainable development officer. The sustainable development initiative includes 17 developmental goals that she considers to be the framework for the whole of humanity. Ms. Zubcevic’s branch recently hosted a big conference to find solutions to trash and pollution in the ocean. They are also working on public transportation in remote areas and on women’s safety on public transportation; the hope is that raising awareness of these types of problems will prompt countries to adopt policies to better the lives of their people, and through them, the world.
One of the things Ms. Zubcevic loves most about her job is being able to interact with people from all over the world. She finds it an enriching experience, and feels she has grown because of it. She understands and has a deeper appreciation for different cultures and the issues they face. Over the years, Ms. Zubcevic has come to speak a number of different languages, including English, French, Spanish, and Italian, and to have a working knowledge of German and Russian. She considers a highlight of her career to be participating in a group of countries discussing how they could move forward and form a framework for everybody to be prosperous enough to economically grow and have social responsibility, gender empowerment, and protection for children and youth. They worked for three years to help countries come to an agreement on these goals, and it was really validating to see that come to fruition.
Government | Social Services
With expertise in government, academics, social welfare, and mental health, Delores L. Parron-Ragland was a highly-regarded figure in her communities. She championed the concerns of the underrepresented, fought for the rights of those who couldn’t fight for themselves, and was genuinely devoted to using her position to help others. Initially in child welfare as a social worker for the Spence-Chapin Adoption service and an adoption selection social worker for the Child Welfare Division of the District of Columbia Department of Human Resources, Dr. Parron transitioned to the role of psychiatric social worker with the Hillcrest Children’s Center in 1969.
The hands-on experiences gave Dr. Parron a wealth of new knowledge, which she sought to share with her peers as an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at the Hoard University College of Medicine from 1971 to 1978. At that time, she joined the Presidential Commission on Mental Health as a social science analyst and the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences as a senior program officer. The opportunity led her to help start a new Division of Mental Health and Behavioral Medicine, which influenced new initiatives in medicine.
As a United States’ Diplomat in the field of civil nuclear energy and nonproliferation, Janet Marie Gorn is a Senior Foreign Affairs Officer in the U.S. Department of State. She has traveled to 37 countries in every region of the world, where she actively represents the U.S. Government, including as the U.S. Representative and Head of Delegation, in bilateral and multilateral fora, international conferences and meetings, and on international task forces, for such organizations as the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development UN/CSD, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); and the OECD/Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA).
A recognized expert, Ms. Gorn frequently gives presentations at domestic and international conferences and symposia, is a published author, and is an Adjunct Professor at a local college. She is currently the Co-Chairman and Vice Chairman, respectively, of two U.S. Interagency Steering Committees. She served for five years on the White House Sub-Interagency Policy Committee on Civil Nuclear Energy Policy, representing the State Department Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation and on the Sub-IPC on Nuclear Energy Investment and Finance. Ms. Gorn has also served in special duty assignments in the Department’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs; the Senior Coordinator’s Office for Russian and Eastern European Affairs; the OES/Office of Nuclear Technology and Safeguards; the Deputy Assistant Secretary’s Office, and as a Special Assistant to two Ambassadors.
Government | Business
Always looking to help others, Roberta Gibson Pevear embarked on a long career of community service. She was a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives from 1979 to 1988, and was instrumental in the development of an evacuation plan for the Seabrook Station nuclear power plant in New Hampshire, which she considers a professional highlight. While in the government, Ms. Pevear served as the Clerk of the Environment and Agricultural Committee. She also has experience as the Commissioner of the Rockingham Planning Commission and the New Hampshire Planning Commission, as well as the Chairman of Rockingham County Home and a Civil Defense Director for Hampton Falls, N.H.
Outside of her government service, Ms. Pevear was also very active in business. She was the Secretary to Owner of Wilner Wood Products, Export Secretary of Whitaker Cable, District Secretary of Anheuser-Busch, and Legal Secretary with an Officer of Johnson & Johnson. She went on to join Law Firm of St. John, Ronder & Bell, Kingston as the Secretary to Mr. St. John and Sears-Roebuck and Co., in Administration. While serving in the N.H. Legislature, Ms. Pevear was a Sales Agent for Avon products. She prepared for her endeavors by earning a diploma in commercial art from Gould Academy in 1947.
For more than 30 years, LeAnn Michelle Oliver has remained committed to her work in government administration. She loves being able to make a difference in society, and to use her in-depth experiences to creatively solve problems and build partnerships. Further, her reputation for excellence in public policy, strategic planning, and program management, coupled with her field’s ample opportunities for growth, has allowed her to move quickly into more senior roles. The higher the role, the more she is able to use her knowledge to influence positive changes and advancements, and the better she can achieve her goals.
Currently, Ms. Oliver is lending her services to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), where she has been for more than seven years. She started as a program manager in the Office of Weatherization and Intergovernmental Programs in 2010, and progressed to senior adviser for clean energy and rural development and associate chief information officer for IT policy and governance. In 2015, she transitioned into the position of senior advisor to the office of the chief financial officer and became responsible for the implementation of an enhanced financial system. Other responsibilities over the years include managing $11 billion in American Recovery Act funds, managing four grant programs with total annual funding of more than $200 million, and redesigning the department-wide governance process.
Government | Education
Linda Menard Post has had a long and distinguished career as a legislator and educator. Inspired by the leadership experience she gained as a member of the Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) School Board for 12 years, she was elected in 2009 to represent District G of the Alaska State Senate. She was quite proud to be able to represent the fabulous state of Alaska and give back to her community. Notably, her first husband was also a senator, and they were the first husband and wife team to be elected.
In addition to her legislative work, Ms. Menard Post served as the owner of the Mrs. Alaska Franchise, which represents women who have honored the state, and as the owner and founder of All I Saw Cookware, which is an upper-end house wares company. She was also the chief financial officer of Wasilla & Palmer Dental Centers, where her first husband practiced dentistry, a teacher for the Mat-Su Borough School District, and a substitute teacher for the Alaska Job Corporation. Additionally, Ms. Menard Post is the founder of the Mat-Su Schools Foundation, which enriches and expands educational opportunities for children in the school district, and a charter member of the Mat-Su Convention & Visitors Bureau, which strives to create a vibrant tourist industry and an authentic Alaska experience.
Government | Health Care
Thriving as the senior vice president of federal public affairs at McGuire Woods Consulting LLP, Stephanie Ann Kennan has led a long and influential career in health care and government policies. She is currently using her background to help clients navigate the legislative and executive branches of federal government to solve a variety of health care policy issues. Her work focuses on the providers, medical device manufacturers, drug manufacturers, and associations concerned about Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement. She also represents clients on matters before the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, as well as other agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services. Additionally, Ms. Kennan has experience organizing and representing coalitions and working with state health insurance exchanges. She has been advancing the mission of McGuire Woods since 2011.
Ms. Kennan’s first foray into the field came in 1980, when she earned a Bachelor of Arts in American government and foreign affairs from the University of Virginia. Progressing rapidly from there, she held prestigious positions such as legislative assistant to Rep. Larry Smith of Oregon, member of the Montgomery County Commission on Aging, assistant director of education for the Group Health Association of America, and legislative representative for both American Association of Retired Persons and the American College of Emergency Physicians. From there, Ms. Kennan became the director of federal relations for the Maryland Department of Health and the senior health policy advisor for U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon. She spent more than 10 years with the politician, during which she managed his health care portfolio, including his budget committee and finance committee health-care related work, and drafted the first Medicare drug benefit proposal and the senator’s signature health care reform legislation, the Healthy American Act. In 2007, Ms. Kennan decided to leave and take a job as a senior policy advisor with Alston & Bird LLP, where she stayed until 2011. During that time, she also served as a member of the board of directors for the Glen Echo Partnership for the Arts.
Government | Military
Hardworking and passionate, Sandra K. Simpson began her distinguished career in government service by earning a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Vermont in Burlington in 1971. She proceeded to join the U.S. Army in 1973, and, after being trained in medical logistics, she realized she had found her niche. Ms. Simpson quickly grew to become responsible for all medical logistics throughout the Middle East, Europe, and Africa, where one of her most memorable accomplishments was successfully leading a team tasked with delivering medical necessities and supplies into Liberia during the Ebola outbreak.
In a culmination of all of her years of excellence in her field, Ms. Simpson served in the Defense Logistics Agency for the U.S. government in Wiesbaden, Germany, from 2007 to 2015, when she officially retired. A subsidiary of the Department of Defense, the agency was established to provide global logistics and support services catering to all military services including the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps, and civilian agencies and foreign countries during wartime and peacetime. Ms. Simpson’s additional distinguished positions for the U.S. government in Wiesbaden include theater level logistics manager, deputy director of internal logistics, maintenance management coordinator, and property accounting officer. Although she is retired, she still lends her expertise as a consultant to the U.S. government in Kaiserslautern, Germany.
BUsiness | TECHNOLOGY
Passionate and hardworking, Muriel Ruth Nelson Hinkle dedicated more than three decades of service to the defense of the United States. She started in the field in 1970, when she served Analysis & Technology, Inc., as an illustrator of naval warfare predictions and computer stimulated naval engagements. After three years, she jumped to the top of the corporate ladder by co-founding Sonalysts, Inc., where she has been ever since, with her husband, David. During her time with the company, Ms. Hinkle has served as the company’s president and chief executive officer, and, when she retired in 2001, she was granted the distinguished titles of president emerita and CEO emerita. She is proud of the business’s growth; originally an approximately 15-person operation, it now hosts more than 350 employees on a seven-building campus.
Although Sonalysts was initially started as a naval research and development business, over the years it has expanded in directions even Ms. Hinkle didn’t see coming. While defense projects, from training simulation programs to new sonar techniques, do still make up more than half of the company’s revenue, entertainment services have become a major, yet unexpected, asset. The world-class sound stages have produced commercials, infomercials, and television shows like “Deal or No Deal.” Renowned director and producer Steven Spielberg filmed part of “Amistad” there, and even stars like Alicia Keys have made use of the company’s facilities. Other branches of Sonalysts include a weather and aviation analysis station, a warehousing and fabrication shop, and editing, audio, animation and motion graphic suites. The diversity of the business can be traced back to the fact that employees are not tied down by a title; Ms. Hinkle believes it’s important that employees have a say in the direction of the company and the projects they undertake.
Management | Government
Renowned amongst her peers for her expertise in management and governmental affairs, Susan Porter Rose was granted the opportunity to serve in a number of high-profile positions over the course of her career. She started out as a staff assistant to Congressman Richard L. Roudebush in 1963, but left a year to become the assistant dean of George School in Bucks County, Penn. Ms. Rose served in that capacity from 1964 to 1966, after which she joined Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass. Her success in these roles led her to be selected as the assistant director of correspondence to former First Lady Pat Nixon in 1971, and to be promoted to director of scheduling to the former first lady in 1972. When Ms. Nixon left office in 1974, Ms. Rose was offered the chance to stay on staff in the same role to former First Lady Betty Ford, which she accepted. In 1977, Ms. Rose advanced again, this time to the position of special assistant to the assistant attorney general in the Office of Improvements in Administration Justice, and in 1978, she became the special assistant to the deputy assistant attorney general of the Justice Management Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. She proceeded to serve as the chief of staff to Barbara Bush from 1981 to 1993, throughout her stints as both first lady and second lady. During that time, Ms. Rose also worked as the assistant to the U.S. vice president and the department assistant to the U.S. president. For the remainder of her career, from 1993 to 1998, she worked as the commissioner of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts.
Despite Ms. Rose’s busy and demanding schedule, she often found time to put her skills to use in her community. She participated in the Yale Global Alumni Leadership Exchange program in 2009 and 2008, with the latter being the program’s inaugural year, and was a member of the board of directors for the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy from 1993 to 2002. Further, Ms. Rose was the president of the alumni association at Earlham College between 1978 and 1981, a member of the alumni council at Earlham College between 1975 and 1978, and a trustee of the Bush Presidential Library.