Assistant Secretary for Veterans’ Employment and Training Service: Who Is Ray Jefferson?
President Obama has nominated an injured veteran to head the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS), which provides resources and services to help veterans locate grants, training and employment opportunities, and to assure their right to return to a job after completion of military service. Born circa 1970 and raised in Guilderland, New York, Raymond M. Jefferson has considered Honolulu, Hawaii, his home since 1995. Jefferson graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1988 with a major in leadership. He served as an Army Officer with leadership positions in the Presidential Honor Guard, Army Rangers and Special Forces. In 1995, while attempting to protect his teammates from the premature detonation of a hand grenade during Special Forces training, he lost all five fingers on his left hand. After recuperating in Honolulu, Jefferson attended Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, earning an MPA in Strategic Management in 1998. He then earned an MBA in 2000 from Harvard Business School. Upon graduation, he was selected as a White House Fellow and worked as a Special Assistant to the Secretary of Commerce in 2000 and 2001. In 2001 and 2002, Jefferson used a Fulbright Fellowship to study in Singapore, where he focused on how public sector leadership is exercised in that city-state’s multicultural environment.
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