Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Kansas City hosted its inaugural Women in Leadership symposium March 30. The event included a panel of five accomplished women in local, state and federal government and concluded with an informative question and answer panel.
“This symposium was an excellent opportunity to hear the personal and professional experiences of local women in government who contribute to the community daily,” said HSI Kansas City acting Special Agent in Charge Taekuk Cho. “We at HSI have seen firsthand how valuable it is to have a diverse workforce throughout our ranks, in a variety of critical roles that both increase mission effectiveness and team camaraderie.”
HSI was honored to host the following distinguished speakers:
- Teresa Moore was appointed as the U.S. attorney for Western District of Missouri by the U.S. District Court effective April 25, 2022. Prior to that, Teresa served as the U.S. attorney following her appointment by Attorney General Merrick Garland on Dec. 26, 2021. Before that time, she served as acting U.S. attorney under the Vacancies Reform Act since March 1, 2021.
- Jean Peters Baker was appointed prosecutor in May 2011 and elected to the position in November 2012. She is only the second woman elected to lead the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office. Sen. Claire McCaskill hired Baker as a young assistant prosecutor. Baker has since served in nearly every unit office.
- Stacey Graves was sworn in by Jackson County 116th Circuit Court Judge Jen Phillips in Dec. 2022. Graves is a 25-year veteran of the department who began her career as a civilian records clerk in 1997. As a major, Graves managed the Shoal Creek Patrol Division and led the HR division during KCPD’s pandemic response.
- Stella Owens currently serves as the acting Deputy Special Agent in Charge for HSI in Kansas City. She manages and directs HSI personnel and the investigative and administrative activities of HSI in Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas. Owens was promoted to Assistant Special Agent in Charge in 2020. During her tenure, she managed the Border Enforcement Security Taskforce and the office’s Public Safety, Global Trade and National Security investigative portfolios.
- Shannon Shelton serves as the Assistant Director for Work-Based Learning in North Kansas City Schools. Her primary role is to build district-level systems of support in maintaining business and community pathways partners by using work-based learning experiences to shed light on the invaluable talent that students bring to organizations.
The leadership panel spent the morning sharing inspirational messages with a diverse audience of professionals.
Key takeaways from these women in leadership included to trust in yourself, own your mistakes and learn from them, turn obstacles into opportunities, recognize your colleagues for their contributions, and finally, make wise friends and make wise decisions.
“The professional women who presented at this event represent law enforcement and partnering agencies whose cooperation is crucial to the success of our mission,” said Cho. “We are definitely a much stronger team with the leadership they bring to the table.”
Visit us online to learn more about the women of HSI.
HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.