The Grassroots of FEW: How the VP of Training Lewis-Baltimore Evolved

Kaya Lewis-Baltimore had her self-awareness “Ah-Ha” moment in 2012. Her shift in thought gave her a new perspective. She states, “Sometimes, changing your life is about changing your mindset.”
Lewis-Baltimore realized that she had a federal career path in front of her and she started to take ownership of her career by earning her degree, graduating from her agency’s Administrative Professional Excellence (APEX) program and taking advantage of detail opportunities throughout her agency.

In 2015, she attended her first National Training Program (NTP) hosted by Federally Employed Women (FEW). “I believe in FEW’s mission and what it stands for.” As a result, she quickly joined the organization and persisted to do more—Lewis-Baltimore co-founded the Bright Knights Chapter at her agency. The successful launch of the Bright Knights Chapter propelled
her FEW career.

Lewis-Baltimore eloquently but firmly states, “It’s not about what FEW can do for you, it’s about what you can do for FEW.” She used FEW’s platform to rebrand herself by gaining confidence and pushing beyond her comfort zone. Through FEW, she has taken advantage of the various skillsets that have proven valuable in her career. She encourages members to
volunteer and lead programs. “I developed essential skills such as project management, event planning, public speaking and networking with prominent senior executives throughout the federal government and private sector.”

She deeply believes, “What you put in FEW is what you will get out of it.” Her gifts of building new relationships and motivating others led her to recently win FEW’s prestigious Allie Latimer Award. This overall achievement award recognizes an extraordinary grassroots effort working
to achieve FEW’s mission. Latimer was the first women and the first African American to serve as general counsel of a major U.S. federal agency. To bring federal government into compliance with the Civil Rights Act, she founded FEW.

In her 2018-2020 term, Lewis-Baltimore held three concurrent positions in all three-tier levels at FEW. She consistently provided leadership as the Immediate Past President of the Bright Knights, Regional Representative for the D.C. Metro Region and National Vice President of Training. Presently (2020- 2022) she continues to serve as the Vice President of Training and
has been voted as the National Training Program National Event Chair of 2022. In addition, she also serves as the Training and Education Chair for the Bright Knights Chapter.

During her journey with FEW, Lewis-Baltimore has re-established or created new programs that continue to advance the careers of the organization’s membership:

  • In 2017, she co-developed the Administrative Support Empowerment Program for non-supervisory positions GS-3 to GS-12 at her agency to motivate employees to take charge of their professional careers. The program, which started as a pilot, has helped more than 180 employees to date.
  • In August 2018, her idea to celebrate Women’s Equality Day with an outdoor concert became a well-received and entertaining Lunch & Listen event in Dulany Gardens. The team partnered with the City of Alexandria, the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer and the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
  • She revolutionized the National Shadow Program, which engaged more than 30 participants and gained five new members. “One of Kaya’s gifts is that she is a good trainer,” says Shabiki E.C. Clarke, who is FEW’s Vice President for Congressional Relations. “She sees certain things that can be brought out in an individual. She gets the best out of people.”
  • In February 2020, she orchestrated the Homebuyer Workshop to empower and promote the message that federally employed women can afford a house at any federal grade level. The program included all four of FEW’s focus areas: compliance, diversity, legislative and training.
  • In July 2020, she volunteered to lead FEW’s first Virtual Leadership Summit on short notice. The national online forum generated more than 900 attendees. She received praise from the national board of directors, the D.C. Metro Region and her peers.

Lewis-Baltimore plans to remain active on all levels to help move FEW, its mission and herself forward. “At each level, you learn more about yourself and the people who you serve,” she adds. “The mission is still relevant and so am I. We need to trailblaze for the next one.”

About Federally Employed Women

Federally Employed Women (FEW) helps more than one million women in the military and civilian workforce become strategic leaders with its four-pillar program: training, legislation, diversity and compliance. Since 1968, the nonprofit has advocated for equity and diversity for women. FEW works toward advancing women in government with cutting-edge training,
nationwide networking and invaluable insight. For more information, please visit FEW.org.