Listee Features — Government


Maya D. Hennessey is an independent consultant and behavioral health expert who has dedicated her career to policy and intervention work, serving women with substance use disorders and other complex behavioral needs. She holds a bachelor’s degree in behavioral health, business and management, and theology from Northeastern Illinois University and began consulting in 1975. Between 1992 and 2004, Ms. Hennessey was a women’s addiction treatment specialist for the Illinois Department of Substance Abuse Services, where she focused on working with pregnant and parenting women who used drugs. Inter-agency outreach and collaboration were a significant component of her role with the Illinois Department of Substance Abuse Services, and she piloted a program in conjunction with the federal government and state departments

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Benita Hamilton


Graduating third in her class from Glades Central Community High School, Benita D. Hamilton first thought of pursuing a career in health care. Completing coursework at Palm Beach State College, she began her career as an office cleaner for the Janice Haberberger Cleaning Company before spending time with the Visiting Nurse Association of Florida. From 1982 to 1987, she held the role of medical secretary with the Hospice of Palm Beach County. While working as a newspaper carrier with the Palm Beach Post, she got to know a co-worker who was a postmaster with their local post office, and Ms. Hamilton was immediately interested in pursuing a similar career. Thus began her tenure as a clerk with the United States

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Toni Boucher


Born in Italy to an impoverished family, the Honorable Toni Boucher immigrated to the United States at age 5 and became the first in her family to graduate high school and college and go on to pursue graduate studies. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in foreign languages from the University of South Dakota, which she quickly followed with a Master of Business Administration from the University of Connecticut. Over the years, she has also held several certifications through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. In 1997, Ms. Boucher began her extensive tenure in government as a state representative and the assistant minority leader for the 143rd Assembly District in Connecticut. Ms. Boucher served as a state representative until 2009, when

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Ocassa “Cassie” Thompson began her professional journey by earning a Bachelor of Arts in history, with a minor in education, from Good Counsel College in White Plains, New York, in 1969. She went on to do graduate coursework and then began her junior high and high school teaching career on Long Island, New York. After nearly three years of teaching, which she thoroughly enjoyed, she followed her other interest, that of government service. Mrs. Thompson began her career with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 1974. Throughout her 33-year career with the CIA, she made a considerable impact as both a minority and a woman, and she is forever grateful to the colleagues and friends she worked with over the

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Mary Blanchard


An accomplished federal executive, Mary Josie Cain Blanchard earned an Associate of Arts, with honors, from Stephens College in 1967 before attending the University of Texas at Austin, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in 1969 and 1971, respectively. In 1970, she embarked on her career as an instructor for the College of the Mainland and became the research director for the Prudhomme Corporation in 1971. In 1972, she joined the environmental planning division of the Texas General Land Office, where she remained until 1975 when she became the chief of permits and research for the surface mining reclamation division of the Railroad Commission of Texas. Ms. Blanchard began her work with the federal government

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Holding considerable expertise in designing automated financial systems, Joan Herron San Lwin was drawn to accounting as a result of her logical nature and her fascination with the scientific precision that went into the field. First completing coursework at Parsons College from 1970 to 1972, her early career included work as a senior accountant with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus as well as positions with Coopers & Lybrand and KPMG. From 1984 to 1997, she served as the senior financial systems consultant with CDSI. During the mid-1980s, Ms. San Lwin had the opportunity to do work for several companies who provided accounting packages to the federal government through the Joint Financial Management Improvement Program. This led to

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Doris Jackson-Hardwick


First earning a Bachelor of Arts in business administration from Paul Quinn College in Waco, Texas, in 1981, Doris Laverne Jackson-Hardwick was inspired to a career working in veterans affairs by her father, who worked for a hospital for 43 years and did influential work with labor unions. Her father taught her that “it’s not about you” and encouraged her to be of service to others. She began her career with the local Veterans Affairs Regional Office in 1983, where she served in a variety of roles, including accounts receivable clerk, veterans’ benefits counselor and veterans’ service representative. Moving to El Paso in 2007, she attained the role of military services coordinator with the IDES program in 2008, a position

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Peggy Huang


Greatly impacted by the experience of coming home to find her house trashed and robbed as a child, Peggy Z. Huang went on to pursue a career that would allow to her to make a difference and help others. Earning a Bachelor of Science in political science at the University of California Berkeley in 1993, she obtained a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific in 1997. That same year, she embarked on her career as a senate associate with the California State Senate and, between 1998 and 2008, served as staff counsel for Sacramento Child Advocates, the Law Offices of Anne E. Fragasso and the California Department of Social Services. During

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Lucy Kirk


Attributing much of her success to perseverance, Lucy Kirk was inspired to a career in international service out of her love of education and travel. First earning a Bachelor of Arts in American studies from Wellesley College in Massachusetts in 1962, she subsequently joined the American University of International Service in Washington, D.C., where she obtained a Master of Arts in international relations. She embarked on her career with the Library of Congress and initially considered joining the Peace Corps before a friend suggested that she apply for a position with the Central Intelligence Agency. Ms. Kirk achieved her first position with the CIA in 1967 and worked as an operations case officer until 1989. Serving as the chief of

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