janaia Deshields

JANAIA DESHIELDS

Vice President, Veteran & Military Programs, Points of Light

Janaia graduated from the United States Military Academy earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Systems Engineering and Sociology. She was commissioned as an Adjutant General Officer for the Army in 2003. During her six years of service she was stationed at Fort Jackson, South Carolina and Fort Hood, Texas where she deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  During her military career she received numerous awards for her contributions to diversity programs, emergency relief efforts, and personnel programs.  Her drive for excellence resulted in her being awarded the Distinguished Honor Graduate during her advanced military schooling. During her military service she also earned her Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management from Webster University.

At the conclusion of her military service, Janaia transitioned into the federal government where she served as the Human Resource Database Manager for the Installation Adjutant General on Fort Hood, Texas in which she monitored the personnel deployed strength for over 40,000 service members.  Following this role, Janaia was afforded the opportunity to work for Target Corporation as a retail manager overseeing the daily sales and operations for stores located in Texas and then Virginia after relocation.  Within her first three months in role she was selected as the “Most Valuable” team member and categorized as a high-potential candidate for promotion.  In the midst of her employment successes, Janaia missed the camaraderie and the community aspect of the military. Deciding to follow her passion to serve veterans and military families, Janaia accepted a position with The Mission Continues as the Fellowship Program Director. She was responsible for all aspects of the program including the management and representation of the Fellowship Program staff, oversight of all program development and operations, and coordination of internal and external organizational efforts. The Fellowship Program grew exponentially due to her extensive background in recruiting and training, database creation and management, and human resources and program management.

Janaia presently serves as the Vice President, Veterans and Military Programs for Points of Light (POL).  POL is the world’s leading organization focused on volunteerism and civic engagement and is also the national home and administrator for the Community Blueprint Initiative. Janaia develops the military strategy for the organization and the programs that support moving the strategy forward.  She is involved with continuing the efforts of expanding the Community Blueprint, embedding National Service in the military and veteran community and identifying ways for service members, veterans and their families to leverage service as a method to integrate successfully within their local communities.

In her personal time, Janaia is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, a high school recruiter for the West Point Association of Graduates, an event coordinator for the West Point Society of DC and community volunteer with the Travis Manion Foundation and The Mission Continues.

Janaia currently resides in Northern Virginia.