Cassi Chandler: Leading Through Change With Two Pairs of Flats & Red Stilettos
- Renowned for breaking glass ceilings and becoming the FBI’s first African American female special agent assistant director
- Draws from decades leading complex teams in the U.S. government and financial industries to empower companies to build more inclusive cultures
- Transformational leader outlining the way forward for organizations by going “all in” on diversity
- A captivating storyteller who shares thought-provoking lessons and actionable insights on motivational leadership
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Cassandra “Cassi” Chandler is an innovator, strategist, investigator, and leader who has broken barriers, led diverse teams, and built cultures of motivational leadership and inclusivity at some of the world’s most important organizations, including Bank of America and the FBI. In a career that has included many “firsts” across the U.S. government and financial services industries, she served as the FBI’s first African American female special agent assistant director as well as the Bureau’s first female national spokesperson and director of public and community affairs. The founder, president, and CEO of Vigeo Alliance – a leadership and talent risk management partner helping organizations elevate their cultures through diversity and inclusion – Chandler is dedicated to helping organizations position themselves for success by building more diverse and inclusive cultures that thrive.
Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, Chandler draws from her personal experiences leading diverse teams as a change agent in a broad range of fields to facilitate honest conversations on what can be achieved when organizations go “all in” on diversity. In addition to defining the tools motivational leaders need to mindfully build more high-performing cultures, Chandler provides actionable insights on how to move the needle while leading with empathy. An engaging storyteller, she immerses audiences as she retraces her journey reinvigorating the world’s leading intelligence organizations in the post-9/11 landscape, managing risk, and driving global equity at one of the world’s top multi-national banks. Her exploration of the influences that impact perceptions of diversity is integral for any organization focused on establishing a more inclusive vision.
Prior to Vigeo Alliance, Chandler was senior vice president for business operations at Bank of America, where she led enterprise-wide teams and developed integrated frameworks for identifying and addressing cybercrimes, fraud trends, and consumer risks. She also served on the corporation’s Global Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council and led the bank’s compliance relationships with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Before Bank of America, she spent 23 years with the FBI, where she directed white collar crimes, financial crimes, terrorism, and cybercrimes investigations and foreign intelligence activities, while also leading the evolution of its healthcare fraud and criminal and domestic terrorism intelligence programs.
Chandler continues to drive organizational change as the CEO of Chandler Consulting and a former adjunct professor on intelligence and terrorism at Pace University’s master’s in public safety and homeland security graduate program. As part of her commitment to impacting progress, Chandler served as an independent federal monitor with the NYPD, is an instructor at the Pacific Coast Banking School, and a member of the League of Women Voters and Rotary Club International. She also served on the U.S. Marine Corps Red Team, which monitored the Corps’ assessment of expanding infantry officer roles to women, and on numerous charitable and diversity boards. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Leafly Holdings, Inc.
Chandler’s groundbreaking accomplishments have been recognized through numerous awards, including the Senior Executive Service Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive under President George W. Bush, the National Center for Women & Policing’s “Breaking the Glass Ceiling” award, and the Norfolk NAACP Trailblazer Award. In 2023, she was named one of World’s Leaders Magazine’s “World’s Trailblazing Females Making a Mark in Business.”
She earned her B.A. from Louisiana State University, where she serves on the board of the alumni association, and her J.D. from Loyola University School of Law, where she is a member of the board of trustees.
Show, Don’t Tell: What It Means to Be a Motivational Leader. Working at the highest levels of the intelligence and banking industries, Cassi Chandler has built and nurtured diverse, high-performing teams and empowered their success in navigating high-priority intelligence and risk matters. As an expert in motivational leadership, she offers a compelling look at the role leaders play in contributing to the well-being of their teams by motivating and inspiring their people.
In this interactive discussion, she analyzes the elements of motivational leadership that spark high performance in teams — outlining actionable steps for leading with empathy, focusing on the ability to identify and build upon shared team values, establish an inclusive vision, embrace mentoring, sponsoring, and other opportunities to support and uplift team members.
Leading Through Change with Two Pairs of Flats and Red Stilettos. One lesson that Cassi Chandler has carried through her career leading teams at high-powered organizations in the federal government and banking industries is that the only constant is change. Organizations are in a perpetual state of change, and just as they must adapt to evolution and disruption internally, in their industries, and in the greater business landscape, they must lead their people in doing the same. In this talk, Chandler recounts her experiences as a transformational FBI leader of more than 20 years to provide a proven framework for leaders to ensure the success of complex and diverse teams impacted by organizational change.
Creating a Culture of Trust and Belonging. Before any team can be successful, each member must believe that their presence and contributions are valued and that they have an important role to play in the team’s achievement. Dedicated to helping organizations foster thriving cultures, former FBI special agent assistant director Cassi Chandler leads a reflective session in which she guides organizations through strategies and tactics for assessing the strengths, opportunities, and challenges within their own cultures. Helping audiences visualize the potential of their organizations through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion, she provides proven action plans for revitalizing an organization’s culture to be high performing and rooted in trust, belonging, and authenticity, while reframing its strategic objective to be driven by purpose above profit.
Diversity — It’s Personal. Throughout her career, transformational leader and culture and diversity risk expert Cassi Chandler has broken through glass ceilings, led diverse teams, and built cultures of motivational leadership and inclusivity in pivotal roles at some of the world’s most important organizations, including Bank of America and the FBI. Drawing from her own personal story and experiences as a DEI champion, she shares the positive impact of diversity on organizations and defines the tools essential to building a diverse and inclusive workplace culture while positioning your team members for success. Speaking openly and honestly, she explores how to effectively move the needle in business and diversity, and reveals how leaders set the tone for implementing, reinforcing, and sustaining DEI in their organizations.
A Bundle Unbroken: Women and the Power of One. Cassi Chandler’s career is one of overcoming obstacles, breaking barriers, and redefining how leaders look and act. As the FBI’s first African American female special agent assistant director, she was a trailblazer for women of all backgrounds, showing that it’s possible to break the glass ceiling and become leaders at the world’s top organizations. Women have come a long way in the workplace, but there is still progress to be made. In this talk, Cassi looks at the emerging challenges women face today from a variety of corporate, environmental, and technology influences, to perpetual global disruption, the rise of global hybrid workforces, and the increasing impact of generative artificial intelligence on humans. She walks groups through actionable strategies for addressing the challenges women face at work and inspires them to become explorers, build their individual powers, and bundle their powers together to drive positive change.
Building the Human for Tomorrow. In this forward-looking talk, leadership expert and former FBI special agent assistant director Cassi Chandler leads a compelling overview of how emerging advances in technology, along with constantly changing global, social, and economic factors will present unforeseen challenges for organizations and employees as we move toward the future of work. Chandler prepares leaders to meet the challenges of today and in the future by sharing thoughtful strategies for how anyone can know, grow, and extend their power in a manner that influences and inspires confident teams that are optimally positioned to meet the ever-evolving needs of the organization.
Succeeding in Difficult Environments. With decades of experience navigating teams to success in challenging environments as a director leading critical intelligence assignments at Bank of America and the FBI, motivational leadership and diversity expert Cassi Chandler provides sought-after insights for succeeding in difficult environments. Sharing real-life examples from her own experiences, she challenges leaders and employees to recognize how people see, hear, and react differently to stimuli in the work environment based on the ways we each encode things due to our personal perspectives. Utilizing thought-provoking exercises, she shares actionable tactics audience members can implement into their professional and personal lives to tap into unrealized levels of productivity, perseverance, and, most importantly, self-belief, when working and leading in difficult environments — as well as the importance of understanding how one’s actions might impact others.
How to Create a Risk-Aware Organization. A trailblazer in national intelligence and finance circles, former FBI special agent assistant director and Bank of America SVP of business operations Cassi Chandler has mastered the art of navigating organizations through every type of risk imaginable. In this talk, she shares riveting stories and takeaways from her experience developing integrated frameworks that identify, evaluate, and assess emerging risks at some of the world’s most complex organizations to provide the tools organizations can use to identify and protect themselves against the risks they may face, including cybercrimes, fraud trends, consumer risks, and other security threats.
The Tubman Principles: 10 Steps to Career Success. The first steps to mapping out career success are evaluating where you are at this moment in time, visualizing where you want to be and when, and then identifying the actions you need to take in order to achieve your career goals. In this talk, former high-ranking FBI and global banking executive Cassi Chandler reveals how abolitionist Harriet Tubman’s life work inspired her own career trajectory and introduces audience to her “Tubman Principles” for personal and professional development. In this talk, she identifies 10 best practices, strategies, and essential tools anyone can utilize to advance their careers and ensure long-term success.
Attendees will learn the importance of:
- Developing a reputation for high standards
- Speaking softly, but with power; fighting the right fights
- Developing and advertising one’s expertise
- Mentoring and networking effectively
- Communicating effectively; embracing change with confidence
- Being a visionary and bold strategist
- Prioritizing self; and nurturing one’s spirit
She was absolutely amazing! Everyone loved her. She provided great information, messaging, energy, etc. She was 100% Top Notch!
Well, Cassi was a huge hit. Everyone loved her message and how she delivered it - she has even more fans!
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