Delores "Dee" Draper
Founder/CEO, Civics OnDemand, LLC
Hometown: Washington, DC (Chattanooga, TN until 18 yrs. old)
Leadership Position: Membership and Engagement Committee
Fun Fact: I am a U. S. Air Veteran and my love for golf.
About Dee: My evolution has spanned over a 40 yr. simultaneous civilian and military (ultimately assigned to the Pentagon) career on the federal, state, and local levels of government and the private sector - as a legislative staffer in leadership, lobbyist, urban planner, political campaign advisor, community advocacy organizer, business analyst in the banking industry, and now the Founder/CEO of my own firm - Civics OnDemand, LLC - a boutique public strategies development firm. I have a passion, love, and acquired knowledge in navigating the complexes of government and most importantly sharing with others how to accomplish their desired outcomes.
What attracted you to WGR and how has it helped you personally and professionally?
I was attracted to WGR because it is the premier organization of my peers. As I transitioned to the next phase of contributing to my field I wanted to connect with women on the "front lines" in the industry. My membership continues to inspire me both personally and professionally. The opportunities to further the status of our profession are endless and WGR is an excellent platform for transformation, expansion, and evolution.
What was your original career path and how did you end up in Government Relations?
My career path has always been Government Relations. At 14 yrs.old after my Introduction to Civics class, I knew I would be involved and work in the Government industry. I told my girlfriend as we were walking out "I'm going to do that", she said, What? I said, Government, "it controls everything". As an undergraduate I majored in Political Science with plans to attend law school then I realized I wanted to go to work immediately - so I placed my emphasis on Urban Planning. I also, have a Master's in Business and Management that is a great compliment for being the CEO of my own firm.
What advice do you have for young women entering the field?
Gather confidence and be flexible know that no matter how things appear today it could change tomorrow. If you have an idea never discount it based on what someone else says because it is your idea and if you received the idea you can achieve it over time. Associate yourself with positive, open-minded people. Always seek out mentors.
Do you have a mentor and how did you connect?
LeeAnn Peterson. We connected from my interest in PWIA and her extraordinary work of establishing and holding workshops for the women in advocacy in cities around the country. I saw it as an excellent way to meet new people, fulfill my commitment to the WGR Membership and Engagement Committee by recruiting new members outside of DC. LeeAnn took me under her wings. She is a true inspiration.