• My Career Story

    Having launched his career in academia, Jeffrey spent seven years as a researcher and program coordinator at Howard University’s DC-Baltimore Center on Child Health Disparities working in communities East of the Anacostia River in northeast and southeast Washington, DC. His work as co-director of the Howard University Building Futures for Youth adolescent sexual health project served as the catalyst for his commitment to community engagement, volunteerism and youth development. Following his time at Howard University, Jeffrey worked with the former DC Children’s Youth Investment Trust, a District of Columbia Government funded intermediary, supporting the incubation of public-private partnerships creating citywide youth development and youth leadership programs in school and community settings.


    Following his time at the District of Columbia Children's Youth Investment Trust, Jeffrey served as the Director of National Programs for the former Center for Progressive Leadership (CPL). During his time at CPL Jeffrey managed the national programs team which facilitated and administred leadership training and professional development opportunities as well as paid internships and entry career jobs for minority recent college graduates transitioning into national organizing roles within nonprofit organizations, political campaigns and social sector start-ups.


    Committed to equality, equity and equal access for all, in 2011 Jeffrey joined the administration of former DC Mayor Vincent C. Gray as the Director of the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs and went on to become the District’s first Chief Service Officer serving as Executive Director of Serve DC – The Mayor’s Office on Volunteerism and the District of Columbia State Commission for National and Community Service. Continuing to champion service and volunteerism as a sustainable solution to meeting unmet community needs, Jeffrey joined the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), a congressionally charted non-profit organization promoting civic health and engagement in America as Chief Program Officer. In this role, Jeffrey advised the Executive Director and board on the integration of NCoC’s historic portfolio of programming with a new focus on the expansion of national service opportunities supporting the launch of the Service Year Alliance and serviceyear.org.


    In 2017 Jeffrey DeShawn joined a non-partisan social sector focused community leadership development initiative working with former HP CEO Carly Fiorina and her newly founded Unlocking Potential Foundation. As Interim Managing Director and Director of Coaching at of the Unlocking Potential Foundation, Jeffrey DeShawn led the development of a national network of professional and pro bono coaches providing high level coaching services to nonprofit leaders across the U.S.


    Expanding his work internationally, in 2015 Jeffrey joined his former spouse during a U.S. Department of State post in Maputo, Mozambique, supporting the U.S. diplomatic mission through the embassy’s Community Liaison Office and as a Lecturer with the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). In these capacities he trained students and community leaders in community engagement strategies and leadership development as well as facilitated civic engagement and volunteerism opportunities for Embassy Leadership and the broader Expat community.


    Jeffrey is an AmeriCorps Alum and graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Howard University School of Social Work. In addition to his professional work, Jeffrey has served on several boards and has led local and national initiatives and campaigns.

    Board Service and Recognitions

    Anacostia Coordinating Council - 2020-Present

    Association of State Service Commissions 2012 – 2015

    United Planning Organization 2014-2015

    Government of the District of Columbia Distinguished Public Service Award - 2014

    Points of Light Foundation Daily Point of Light Award #4972 - March 13, 2013

    Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance Distinguished Service Award - 2012

    DC Black Pride Welmore Cook Award for Outstanding Leadership - 2010