Meet the Team
Kellie Drakeford LeDet
Chief Government Affairs Officer and Special Assistant to the President for Government Affairs and Community Partnerships
Kellie Drakeford LeDet is the Chief Government Affairs Officer and Special Assistant to the President for Government Affairs and Community Partnerships. In this capacity, she manages the University's relationships with federal, state and local governments, regulatory agencies, key policymakers and community stakeholders.
A well-respected policymaker and community partner with demonstrated accomplishments, LeDet assists in developing the University's annual legislative agenda and works with key personnel to ensure that its legislative priorities receive attention on the federal, state and local level. The division under her direction enhances the University's image and reputation through effective community outreach and strategic partnerships.
Kellie LeDet served as Chief of Staff and Assistant Commissioner for the division of Executive Services at the New Jersey Department of Education. In this role, she oversaw the Offices of Legal Affairs, Administrative Services, Legislative and Government Affairs, Public Affairs, Human Resources, Strategic Operations, Budget and Accounting, Office of School Ethics and EEO, Communications and Media Relations and the day-to-day operation of the Department.
Prior to joining the NJDOE, Ms. LeDet was appointed Regional Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration by President Barack Obama in July 2014. In this capacity, she was the first African American and woman to direct the SBA’s operations in Region II, encompassing New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In her role, she had direct oversight and responsibility for the administration of SBA’s international export, disaster relief, government contracting, and entrepreneurial programs that assisted more than three million small businesses, employing more than six million workers in the Region.
Before joining the SBA, Ms. LeDet served for eight years as Deputy Chief of Staff for the office of U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ).
Ms. LeDet began her career with U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ). She also served as Deputy State Director for U.S. Senator Robert Torricelli (D-NJ). She then went on to join Governor McGreevey’s Administration as the Deputy Chief of Management and Operations, where she had oversight of six state agencies - formulating and implementing strategic plans, departmental policies and budgets.
Ms. LeDet attended Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia where she majored in Political Science and Mass Communications with a Public Administration concentration. She and her husband live in Monmouth County.
Craig Coughlin Jr.
Craig Coughlin Jr. is the Director of the Office of Government Affairs and Community Partnerships at Kean University. In this role, Craig develops and markets events on campus to help foster and cultivate the strong relationships that Kean University has with elected officials, policymakers and community leaders.
Craig has worked in Event Marketing and Communications for over 10 years. He joined Kean University as the Special Events Communications Specialist, where he worked on large-scale events such as Commencement, Homecoming and the annual Human Rights Conference. Prior to that, Craig was at the Brooklyn Cyclones as the Promotions and Premiums Manager, where he excelled at creating and building partnerships with civil service and la bor organizations.
Craig graduated from New York University with a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Management and graduated from Kean University with a Masters of Public Administration. He lives in Cranford with his wife .
Professional Services Specialist
Amirah Pierce is the Professional Services Specialist at the Office of Government Affairs and Community Partnerships at Kean University. In this role, Amirah is responsible for the strategic planning and marketing of events. She also develops relationships for the office's community outreach initiatives.
Amirah graduated from Morgan State University, where she earned her B.S in Marketing, and Georgian Court University, where she earned an M.S in Digital Marketing and Communications. She is passionate about community involvement, building relationships, and creating efficient community access to information.
Ayisha I. Mapp
Managing Assistant Director of Community Partnerships
Ayisha I. Mapp is a proud and lifelong resident of Plainfield, New Jersey. She is an ambitious creative who serves as the Executive Director of Plainfield NOW, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization devoted to addressing social, economic, and educational inequalities in Plainfield and the surrounding areas.
Ayisha attended Howard University where she studied Political Science and African American Studies. She attended the Rutgers University Center for Government Services, Public Purchasing program. Before transitioning to her current role as Managing Assistant Director of Community Partnerships for the Office of Government Affairs & Community Partnerships at Kean University in Union, New Jersey where she uses her political background to navigate community partnerships, Ayisha worked for the County of Union as a Purchasing Assistant. In addition she also ran the County COVID-19 testing and vaccine sites; in this role, Ayisha made it her goal to focus on communities of color, the disadvantaged and those who had the least amount of access to healthcare.
Ayisha also served as the Deputy Chief of Staff to New Jersey Assemblywoman Linda S. Carter(LD-22); she was the Secretary for the National Organization of Women, NJ(NOW-NJ) and has served as an Executive Member of the Barbados American Charitable Organization of New Jersey (BACONJ). Most recently Ayisha was appointed to The Wardlaw+Hartridge School Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Committee where she works to assist the prep school in becoming a more diverse and inclusive environment.