June 11, 2007 — Dr. Joe Tafoya, Director of the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), announced today the selection of Ms. Lenoir Graham as DoDEA's Director of Human Resources.
Graham was selected from a field of many highly qualified candidates. Dr. Tafoya commented on the expertise and caliber of those who applied for the position.
"As we fill our major leadership positions, it was a difficult decision," said Tafoya. "There were incredibly talented candidates, and we could not be more impressed with each of them." Tafoya praised Graham "for having the right qualities and skills it takes to move this organization forward" at a critical time.
"DoDEA's focus is on people," said Dr. Tafoya. "Ms. Graham's long tenure here, her corporate knowledge, and her first-hand experiences with the changes we are undergoing make her a strong and able leader. Lenoir is the right person to move this organization forward and provide the kind of support our people need to be successful."
"I'm ready," said Graham. "I'm grateful for the confidence that Dr. Tafoya has placed in me and appreciative of the support and mentorship of many people in the organization that I have learned from over the years."
The Human Resources staff of 136 supports the organization in managing human capital programs and policies affecting DoDEA's civilian employees in more than 200 schools worldwide. The center's staff also coordinates recruitment, staffing, educator certification and recertification, and labor management relations.
Tafoya and Graham see major challenges ahead for the Human Resources Division.
"Transformation and BRAC have impacted our operations considerably," said Tafoya. "We've had to make lots of adjustments to our footprint and operation to meet the changing needs of the Services. That means school closures in some locations and growth in others. With those changes come major personnel considerations and over time we'll have to right-size the organization to meet the mission and continue delivering a quality program."
Graham sees three challenges in the immediate future. First is moving the payroll operation from Charleston, S.C. and Pensacola, Fla., to Indianapolis, In. Second is implementing the new National Security Personnel System (NSPS) for DoDEA General Schedule employees around the globe. Last will be the eventual consolidation of many human resources functions to the Defense Logistics Agency in Columbus, Ohio.
Graham is the daughter of the Reverend Earl and Phoebe Beauford, and was raised in Jamestown, S.C.
"My parents stressed two key ingredients for success with my brothers and sister and me," said Graham. "First was the importance of education and second was the ability to work and get along with people. Although my father left school after an 11th grade education and later received his GED, he knew that a good education opened doors and opportunities. My parents' hard work ensured we got those opportunities along the way."
Graham attended Benedict College where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. Her goal was to become a teacher, but her plans changed dramatically when she followed her new husband to Germany for his overseas assignment.
Graham's career in federal service began with the U.S. Army in 1984 as a file clerk in the Heidelberg Regional Civilian Personnel Office. She steadily rose through the ranks working in Army civilian personnel offices both stateside and overseas. In 1997, she joined the DoDEA team where she has continued her personal and professional growth in the personnel field.
Prior to her new appointment, Graham was serving as the Director of Operations for DoDEA's Human Resources Regional Service Center. She has been the Acting Director for the Human Resources Regional Service Center since March, when the previous director retired.
She and her husband, Ted, a retired Army Sergeant, will celebrate their 25th anniversary in July. They have one daughter, Sheena, who attends Virginia Commonwealth University and a son, Isaiah, who attends Osborn Park High School in Manassas.
DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages the education programs for Department of Defense (DoD) dependents who would otherwise not have access to a high-quality public education. DoDEA consists of the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) located overseas, and the Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS) located in the United States and its territories and possessions. DoDEA provides education to eligible DoD military and civilian dependents from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.