Kay C. James
Kay Coles James has been active in the development, implementation and analysis of American public policy for the past twenty years in senior positions in the public and private sectors. She serves as the Senior Fellow for The Citizenship Project at The Heritage Foundation, a leading conservative research and educational institute based in Washington.
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From May 1997 to August 1999, Mrs. James led a federal study into the social and economic impacts of legal gambling in the United States as chairman of the National Gambling Impact Study Commission. She was appointed to this position by then House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott. The Commission presented a unanimous report to Congress, with 76 policy recommendations, adding a new and credible source to the growing national debate on legal gambling.
In June 1999, Mrs. James concluded her tenure as Dean of the School of Government at Regent University, a private nationally-accredited graduate-level institution located in Virginia Beach, where she also served as Professor of Government. Prior to this, she served as the Secretary of Health and Human Resources for the Commonwealth of Virginia, a position to which she was appointed by Governor George Allen in January 1994. As Secretary, Mrs. James had responsibility for fourteen state agencies and 19,000 employees with a combined biennial budget of $8.4 billion. Her priorities included developing and implementing Virginia's welfare reform initiative and administering the Commonwealth's vast health care agencies and services for the elderly, disabled and mentally ill. In addition, she conducted the broadest down-sizing initiative in state government, reducing staffing levels by more than ten percent.
Before being appointed to that post, Mrs. James was Senior Vice-President of the Family Research Council, a Washington-based policy organization. Prior to the Family Research Council, she served under President Bush as Associate Director for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Mrs. James also served President Bush as Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Mrs. James was appointed by President Reagan and reappointed by President Bush as Commissioner on the National Commission on Children. In addition, Mrs. James was appointed in 1988 to the White House Task Force on the Black Family.
In the private sector, Mrs. James has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer with the One to One Partnership, a national umbrella organization for mentoring programs; as Director of Public Affairs for the National Right to Life Committee; as Personnel Director for Circuit City Stores, Inc.; and, as Director of Community Education and Development for Housing Opportunities Made Equal in Richmond.
Mrs. James is actively involved in community service and has served on the Fairfax County and the Virginia State Boards of Education, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Young Life. In addition, she currently serves on the Boards of Directors of PhyCor, Inc., a physician-management company in Nashville, AmeriGroup, Inc., a health care provider exclusively for low-income families, Focus on the Family and the Center for Jewish and Christian Values.
Mrs. James has published two works, an autobiography, Never Forget in 1993, and most recently, Transforming America: From the Inside Out (1995). She is a graduate of Hampton University, and has also received numerous honorary degrees and awards, including the Frederick Douglas Award of Excellence from the Coalition on Urban Renewal & Education, the Strong Men & Women Excellence in Leadership Award from Dominion Resources, the William Wilberforce Award from Prison Fellowship and the Publius Institute Award for Public Policy at the University of Virginia.
Mrs. James is married to Charles, Sr. and they have three children.
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