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Nov. 2, 2018

My Path to the Fed: Jessica Coleman

Ask people around the Richmond Fed about how they got here and you’ll get a different story every time. That’s what makes our workforce unique. For example, meet Jessica Coleman. Recently becoming our Bank’s first African-American female captain in our Law Enforcement Unit, Jessica takes pride in her job — knowing that what she and others in LEU do every day makes a difference. Here's her story: 


I followed my father’s footsteps and studied criminal justice as an undergraduate at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. After graduating, I was still curious about the field, so I enrolled in the Public Safety Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University.

There I studied alongside my father, who is now the director of Public Safety and Operations at the Richmond International Airport. We registered for the same classes, studied together and challenged one another to see who would receive the higher grade on exams. That was an experience I will never forget.

Jessica (right) and her parents at Fed Family Day this summer.

Fortunately, after graduating from VCU with a master’s in criminal justice, as well as certificates in public safety and public management, I received an internship with the Richmond Police Department in the Crime Analysis Unit — a fancy way of saying I provided detectives with DMV photos of people who matched a certain description to use for photo lineups with current cases. Around this time, a family friend suggested that I apply for an open law enforcement position at the Fed. I had no idea what the Fed did, nor did I think I would still be working here today — 10 years later.

During my Fed career, I’ve had the opportunity to work at all three of the Fifth District branches. I’ve worked as a staff sergeant in Baltimore, a lieutenant in Charlotte and just recently became the first African-American, female captain in Richmond. Along the way, I’ve been able to develop relationships and networks with amazing people and learned how to be an effective leader that promotes communication and collaboration.

My job allows me to problem-solve, interact with people, mentor and volunteer — all things that I am passionate about. I take pride in my role as a Federal Reserve law enforcement official because the job is so rewarding and necessary. The LEU is the first and last face you see when you enter and leave the building. The work we do really makes a difference. 

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