Denise L. Pease
U.S General Services Administration, Northeast and Caribbean Region
New York City
Denise L. Pease is the first African-American woman to be appointed a regional administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration by President Barack Obama. She heads the GSA’s Northeast and Caribbean Region, overseeing the federal government’s real estate portfolio and the procurement of goods, services and information technology for federal agencies in New York, Northern New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands.
Pease considers this appointment her greatest achievement since recovering from a brain injury she suffered during a 1995 car accident. She had to relearn to communicate, including reading and writing, and still lives with the challenge of having epilepsy. She has become a national advocate for people with disabilities and works to increase employment opportunities for the disabled. Harriet Tubman, who led more than 300 slaves to freedom even as she, too, battled epilepsy, is one of her role models for leadership. Pease has served on the board of directors of the Epilepsy Foundation of America and was the founder of its African American Initiative.
Pease previously served as New York City assistant comptroller of commercial banking and New York State deputy superintendent of banks. She attributes her professional achievements to values learned from her parents who taught her that anything is possible through hard work and commitment, and that challenges keep us strong and make us wise. “Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful,” Pease says.
Pease holds a bachelor’s degree in American history and biology from Columbia University, where she was a Charles H. Revson fellow. She was a National Urban fellow at the Bernard M. Baruch Graduate School of Public Administration, and completed an executive management course at the European Institute of Business Administration (INSEAD) in Paris. She enjoys hot air ballooning, as well as embracing the global experience by traveling.