January, 1966

Person Details


Raymond Jefferson, a Presidential Appointee in the Obama administration served as the Assistant Secretary for the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) at the U.S. Department of Labor from August 2009 to August 2011.

Ray Jefferson has exemplified leadership throughout his career which began at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point where Ray graduated with major in leadership. Ray Jefferson proudly served as an Army Officer with the infantry, Rangers and Special Forces, with leadership positions in the U.S. Presidential Honor Guard, 3rd Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Group. Ray Jefferson's ability to lead and exemplify selfless service became even more notable when he sacrificed all five fingers on his left hand while attempting to protect his teammates from a hand grenade detonating prematurely during classified Special Forces training.

Ray Jefferson went on to earn an MPA in Strategic Management with Distinction as a Littauer Fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, an MBA from Harvard Business School and was recognized with the Dean's Award for exceptional leadership and service. Upon graduation, Ray Jefferson was selected as a White House Fellow and worked as a Special Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. Raymond Jefferson also served as a Fulbright Fellow in Singapore, where he studied leadership within Asian contexts.

Afterwards, he served as the Deputy Director for the State of Hawaii's Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Ray Jefferson was also selected by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell as one of the two inaugural recipients of the Harrison H. Schmitt Fulbright Alumni Leadership Award for dedication to public service. He is a member of the Asia Society, Fulbright Association, NAACP, Special Forces Association and Young Presidents' Organization (YPO).

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