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Sabrina Ferguson-Ward

U.S. Department of Agriculture

2018 fellow

Sabrina has over 22 years of federal service. She was appointed as Director of Resource Management Programs in June 2010 for Biotechnology Regulatory Services, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). As Director she directs and oversees a host of administrative programs and operational activities, including: Human Capital Management, Financial Management, Information Technology, Employee Training and Development, Procurement and Contract Management, Fleet Management, Travel Management, Space and Facilities, Telework Program, Policy Development, the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey and special projects for the agency. Sabrina also served as Acting Director for Diversity, Recruitment and Work/Life Division for USDA. She is committed to making USDA among the best places to work in the federal government.

Sabrina served as the 2016 Feds Feed Families Chair for USDA. Under her leadership USDA collected and donated nearly 5 million pounds of food to food banks and pantries. She graduated from the Health and Human Services, Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program (SES/CDP) and in August 2016 received SES certification from the Office of Personnel Management. Sabrina has held a variety of leadership positions over the course of her federal tenure. Prior to working at USDA, Sabrina served as Director of Administration for the Office of Emergency Communications, National Protection and Programs Directorate, Department of Homeland Security in 2008. She also worked at the National Institutes of Health for 14 years (1994-2008) and served as the Chief Administrative Officer for 2,800 employees. Sabrina reengineered and overhauled failed administrative practices, policies and procedures and successfully improved organizational efficiencies and customer service.

In 2010 Sabrina was appointed lead a set of high priority USDA initiatives focused on transformation of organizational culture and improvement of key business practices and processes across the agency. She lead her Agency’s Cultural Transformation Initiative and transformed organizational cultures with her strategic and straight forth approach by driving a more customer-centric, streamlined, and information-enabled go-to-business operating model. During the course of her career, Sabrina has received countless achievement awards and recognition for her ability to lead and implement new and improved business processes and operating procedures. Some of her most notable successes include the implementation a uniformed performance management system; development of an employee awards and recognition program; creation of DHS’ first employee training and development roadmap for emergency responders; increased the numbers of recruitment for persons with disabilities and minority hires by 70%; and reduced administrative redundancies and wasteful spending across government.

Throughout it all, Sabrina has repeatedly proved her ability to be an effective leader and can lead through diverse and challenging situations. She is an agent of change and has a documented track record of accomplishments that include the turnaround of chaotic and struggling operations. She has successfully encouraged two-way dialogue, fostered a commitment to change within the entire workforce, and built shared responsibility and accountability among her employees, colleagues and leadership for developing action strategies to effect change to improve organizational performance. Sabrina graduated from American University Senior Executive Leadership Program in 2015. She attended Harvard Kennedy Business School in 2014 and 2013 and received certificates of completion for Harvard’s Senior Executive Fellows Programs. She successfully completed “Leadership for the 21st Century” at the Federal Executive Institute in 2012. Sabrina holds Bachelors of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Maryland University College. She is a member of the Federal Executive Institute Alumni and a member of USDA’s Cultural Transformation Task Force.

Sabrina is native Washingtonian. She has three children and two grandchildren. In her spare time Sabrina mentors at risk young adults, feed the homeless, gardens, and enjoys watching horror movies.

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