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Graduate School USA Workforce Wednesday Speakers

Home / Graduate School USA Workforce Wednesday Speakers

Graduate School USA Workforce Wednesday Speakers

Jeffrey Vargas, Chief Learning Officer, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
Workforce Wednesday Topic: Millennials in the Federal Government

Jeffrey Vargas joined the CFTC shortly after the passage of the 2010 Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform Act. Under his leadership the Commission has embraced a strategic approach to learning which now focuses on building the technical, managerial and leadership skills of a dynamic workforce.

While with the Department of Energy, Jeffrey served as the Chief Learning Officer for the DOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and he was the Co-Chair of the DOE’s Learning Board. As the NNSA CLO he provided oversight of the technical qualification program and was the chief architect of NNSA Executive Summit and the NNSA’s competitive leadership development program. While with the Department of Energy (DOE), he served as a senior recruiter, senior advisor, and project manager.

Jeffrey is an author and sought after speaker who is a national leader in learning innovation. He is ranked as one of the nation’s top experts on understanding generational differences with an emphasis on building generational synergy in the federal workplace.

He is a consultant and workshop facilitator that helps agencies improve their generational competency. Over the last eight years he has spoken to thousands of federal employees at more than 30 agencies helping them identify ways to improve their communication and cross-generational engagements.

Jeffrey received his undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Maryland, and later went on to complete the Georgetown University Training Specialist Certificate Program.


Jeffrey Neal, Senior Vice President, ICF International and Publisher, ChiefHRO.com
Workforce Wednesday Topic: Strategic Human Capital


Jeffrey Neal has extensive federal human resources and information technology experience, having served as a career civil servant for 33 years, including 13 years as a member of the Senior Executive Service. He served as the Chief Human Capital Officer (CHCO) for the 23,000-employee Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) from 2000–2009. At DLA, Mr. Neal identified more than $50 million in administrative and operational savings—a transformation cited by the Partnership for Public Service as a model for other federal agencies.

Prior to joining ICF, Mr. Neal was appointed in June 2009 as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) CHCO. As Principal Human Capital advisor to the Secretary of Homeland Security and CHCO for DHS, he was responsible for development, execution, and oversight of human capital programs for a department of more than 234,000 civilian and military employees.

Currently, Mr. Neal is the author for ChiefHRO, a blog where he shares insight and views on Human Resources, management matters and more.


Davita Vance-Cooks, CEO, U.S. Government Publishing Office
Keynote Address, Deming Award Luncheon


Davita E. Vance-Cooks is the Director of the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO), the agency’s chief executive officer. A seasoned business executive with more than 35 years of private sector and Federal Government management experience, she is the first woman and first African-American to lead the agency.

Under her leadership the GPO has followed a program of cutting costs while improving services, generating positive net income for the agency each year while modernizing the GPO’s operations and expanding the availability of Government information digitally via mobile apps, bulk data downloads, and e-Books. Her objective has been to move the GPO from a print-centric to a content-centric focus in the digital era, a strategy that was validated by a congressionally-mandated study of the GPO by the National Academy of Public Administration. The agency has earned several digital Government achievement awards, was the first legislative branch agency to move to cloud technology, and has partnered with the private sector to increase information access. At the same time she has worked to improve work life at the GPO. The level of EEO complaints at the GPO has reached an historic low. The agency has been rated as a “best place to work” by the GPO’s employees and as an “innovative agency” by the Partnership for Public Service.

Ms. Vance-Cooks holds a B.A. from Tufts University and an M.B.A. from Columbia University.