Verjeana M. Jacobs, an accomplished attorney, trained mediator and licensed consultant, is known for her exceptional consensus-building skills in facilitating and providing technical assistance to organizations in the development of a collaborative work plan and building capacity to implement the plan.
Jacobs, a skilled negotiator and mediator, has over 25 years in public service working with multiple complex bureaucracies including non-profit organizations, government/quasi-government agencies, urban education systems and labor unions. Working with diverse stakeholders, she supports the group identification of a shared agenda, always seizing opportunities to build respect and trust. In various leadership roles whether as Chair of one of the largest school districts in the United States for almost six years, President of the Maryland Association of Boards of Education, or as Vice Chair of the National School Boards’ Council of Urban Boards of Education, Jacobs is known for her effectiveness in bringing divergent stakeholders to the table to tackle contentious, yet necessary issues with the focus on improving quality of life.
As a Corrections professional from 1989-2012, retiring as a Lt. Colonel, she delivered confidential executive level expertise and counsel regarding the management, coordination, investigation, and supervision of classified and sensitive matters while interfacing with multiple constituencies. Further, during her tenure with the Department of Corrections, she provided administration, planning and management of program activities for grant and non-grant programs.
As an adjunct college professor, Jacobs taught in a variety of disciplines pertaining to real-world challenges affecting diverse, particularly poverty-stricken, minority communities. Issues around public safety, adequate advocacy/legal representation, public health, cultural competency, employment and access to quality schools were taught.
In addition to her distinguished public service career, she maintains an accomplished record as a consultant and facilitation expert. Ms. Jacobs assists well-performing organizations, those under stress and those who are just beginning relationships. Her strong work ethic, adept assessment ability and legal competence yield effective results for her clients. She provides customized group facilitation as well as executive one-on-one coaching on a variety of topics: mission-vision-core-values, SWOT analysis, strategic planning, governance-board development, policy development, organizational management, crisis management, capacity-building, finance and budgeting, employment-labor law and contractual matters.
Verjeana M. Jacobs is a qualified, skilled facilitator. In addition to her legal training she is licensed as a Standards for Excellence consultant through the Maryland Nonprofits Association and is a trained mediator through the American Arbitration Association.
Jacobs is attuned to diverse audiences, respects the importance of cultural competence and has great appreciation of the value of cross-sector collaborations within communities. She is acutely attentive to the nuances of group process and facilitates group dynamics with wit, flexibility and structure.
ATTORNEY & LICENSED CONSULTANT (1997 – Present)
Licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland; Licensed Consultant by Maryland Nonprofits Standards for Excellence Institute; Trained Mediator by American Arbitration Association.
PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION
Elected member of the Prince George’s County Board of Education, (2006 – present); Board Chair from December 2007-May 2013; 2nd largest school district in the State of Maryland with student population of 123,700; budget of $1.6 billion dollars. Duties include governance and policy development for implementation of education reforms to raise the level of academic achievement as well as oversight of management/administrative operations; accountable for Chief Executive Officer’s (Superintendent of Schools) execution of the Bridge to Excellence Master Plan required by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) for K-12 education; providing direct oversight and governance of labor negotiations of four labor organizations within the Prince George’s County Public Schools; as member of Board of Education serve in judicial role deciding appeals of Superintendent of Schools’ decisions regarding transfer, promotion, demotion and termination of employees; provide oversight of board counsel management of workers’ compensation and litigation claims.
President (2014-2015) – Maryland Association of Boards of Education; Vice-Chair Steering Committee, National School Boards Association/Council of Urban Boards of Education.
PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS (23 years – retired)
Division Chief, (Lieutenant Colonel) – Office of Professional Responsibility & Legal Affairs, May 2007 to August 2012 – Managed nine investigators in the Investigative and Gang Intelligence Units. Provided confidential executive level expertise and counsel regarding the management, coordination, investigation, and supervision of classified and sensitive matters; responsible for division strategic planning, development/management of disciplinary procedures governing all Departmental personnel consistent with applicable laws and contracts; legal liaison with County Office of Law, County Office of Human Resources Management (Labor Relations, Pension & Benefits), Human Relations Commission, as well as served as the Department’s interface with the legal community; provide opinion and advice regarding legal mandates and compliance issues; agency representative at Personnel Board, Arbitration and Unemployment hearings; respond to inquiries, subpoenas, requests under freedom of information act, summonses and interrogatories; also supervised and coordinated the investigations of alleged sexual harassment and other allegations of staff misconduct.
Correctional Officer Captain/Division Chief, Programs Services Division, September 2005 – May 2007 – provided administration, planning and management of all program activities, including preparation of legal mandates, consequence statements and performance indicators for governmental review; ensured compliance of grant and non-grant programs to include female specific, juvenile and adult substance abuse and educational programs. Responsible for coordinating the activities of two of the seven divisions (Programs Services and Population Management Divisions); developed correctional policies related to alternatives to incarceration, re-entry/discharge planning and release processes; participated in direct formulation of operating budgets for both divisions.
Correctional Officer Lieutenant (Section Chief – Population Management Division), April 2003 to September 2005 – managed the Records and Release Unit; served as the custodian of records; liaison with local, state and federal judiciary, criminal justice and other agencies. Developed/revised policies and procedures; ensured compliance and maintenance of statistical data; accessed/retrieved criminal history data from national, state, and local criminal justice research systems; supervised staff of 15 paralegals and release sergeants. Correctional Officer Private, Corporal, Sergeant (November 1989 to December 1997). Managed inmate population at all security levels including Work-Release/DWI programs. Supervised approximately 20 officers and 400 inmates and conducted investigations involving alleged misconduct.
President, Prince George’s Correctional Officers’ Association, Inc. – December 1997 – April 2003. First woman elected to serve as organization President, with 12 member board consisting of sworn and civilian representatives of nearly 500 employee organization; political/public policy – assisted in drafting legislative parameters and lobbying in support of criminal justice issues and on behalf of staff; developed relationships and testified before County, State, and Federal legislators, government officials, other entities; drafted due pro56cess procedures. Advocate/Contract Negotiator – defined union contract terms related to worker’s compensation, pension, wages, benefits and work conditions; responsible for securing legal representation to address complaints and/or grievances; provided pro bono legal consultant services. Fiscally accountable for annual budget of $300,000 and supervised office staff. Developed internal policies and bylaws of the Association.
ADJUNCT ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
Adjunct Assistant Professor with accredited University of Maryland, University College (UMUC) concurrently from 1996 – 2011. Exhibited competence and capacity to teach within the complexities of adult learning environments. Taught face-to-face and online courses for over 1,200 students and consistently received high student evaluations. Demonstrated reliability and willingness to make adjustments such as hard to staff courses, class size, and course locations based on needs of the University. Developed syllabus and examinations to meet UMUC course objectives. Facilitated teaching at variety of UMUC campuses to include main College Park campus, secure military bases and satellite locations. Certified instructor by Maryland Police and Corrections Training Commission (MPCTC) to provide legal instruction for academy and in-service training; provide legal instruction for first-line and mid-level supervisory staff to meet MPCTC standards (legal aspects and civil law), as well as accreditation requirements for the American Correctional Association.
Courses Taught (UMUC & MPCTC):
Legal Ethics, Race, Crime and Criminal Justice, Introduction to Criminology, Victimology, Introduction to Criminal Justice, Drugs and Crime, Criminal Law and Procedure, Domestic Violence, Medical and Legal Investigations of Death, Juvenile Delinquency, Correctional Administration, Criminal Law in Action, Civil Law, Criminal Law and Procedure, Legal Aspects of Corrections, History of Terrorism.
- Inside the Minds: Improving Your Company’s Performance, (chapter excerpt), Aspatore Books, a Thomson Business Publisher of C-Level Business & Legal Intelligence, 2009.
- Executive Blueprints – Leading During Challenging Times: Top Strategies and Risks for the CEO, Books24x7 © 2009.
- Executive Blueprints – Getting It Right: Ensuring Your C-Level Team is Making the Most Effective Decisions, Books24x7 © 2009.
- Juris Doctor, 1996 – District of Columbia School of Law, Washington, D.C.; Licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland;
- Bachelor of Arts, 1989 – University of Maryland, College Park. – Behavioral & Social Sciences (Criminology); continuing professional development, yearly conferences/seminars.
PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS / MEMBERSHIPS
- Maryland Bar Association
- Maryland Association of Boards of Education
- National School Boards Association
- Council of Urban Boards of Education
SERVICE AWARD NOMINATIONS
- GLADYS NOON SPELLMAN AWARD
- Finalist in 2007 and again in 2012 for the Prince George’s County Gladys Noon Spellman Public Service Award. This award is presented to a female County employee for outstanding service and commitment to Prince George’s County government.
- CHARLES W. WILLIS AWARD
- 2013 nominee for the Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE) Charles W. Willis Award. This is MABE’s highest honor reserved for the nominee who performs outstanding service at the state and local level in education. This is MABE’s highest honor to the Board member nominated by their local Board of Education as an individual who performs outstanding service at the state and local level in education.