FSLRB Biographies

Carol Waller Pope

FLRA Chairman Carol Waller Pope serves as the Chairman of the FSLRB.

Stephen R. Ledford

Member Ledford is a skilled negotiator and creative problem-solver with over 30 years of experience in labor-management relations and human resources in the U.S. Foreign Service.  Mr. Ledford also served as the Director of Labor and Employee Relations at the U.S. Information Agency (USIA).  Throughout his career, Mr. Ledford participated in numerous arbitrations and hearings and appeals before the Foreign Service Grievance Board.  He designed and conducted training of thousands of federal employees and union officials in the areas of labor relations, negotiations, employee relations, and conflict resolution.  Mr. Ledford developed labor-relations programs that were nationally recognized as models for Foreign Affairs and Civil Service communities in building substantive, collegial, long-lasting relationships between management and unions.  On October 7, 2015, he was sworn in for his third term to the Foreign Service Labor Relations Board.     

Herman J. Cohen

A retired career diplomat and specialist in African and European affairs, Ambassador (ret.) Herman J. Cohen is President of Cohen and Woods International.  Mr. Cohen retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in November 1993 as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs under President George H.W. Bush (1989 - 1993).  During his 38-year career with the U.S. Foreign Service, he served in five African countries and twice in France.  He was the American Ambassador to Senegal, with dual accreditation to the Gambia, from 1977 to 1980.  And he was Chief of Mission in Zaire (Congo) in 1968.  During assignments in Washington, Mr. Cohen also served as Special Assistant to President Reagan and Senior Director for Africa, on the National Security Council staff (1987 - 1989), and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Research (1980 - 1984).  Mr. Cohen was one of the leaders in the American Foreign Service Association during the period 1969 to 1974 who helped the organization become the exclusive bargaining agent for the employees of the Foreign Service of the United States.  Later, during the period 1984 to 1987, he served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Resources in the State Department.  On October 7, 2015, he was sworn in for his first term as a Member of the Foreign Service Labor Relations Board.     

Mr. Cohen’s honors and awards include the French Legion of Honor, the Belgian Order of Leopold II, the U.S. Foreign Service distinction of Career Ambassador, and the Townsend Harris Distinguished Alumni Award of the City College of New York.  He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Diplomacy.  Mr. Cohen provides commentary on Africa regularly for the Voice of America, the BBC, Radio France, Al-Jazeera, and “Africa Today.”  He has also published two books about Africa:  Intervening in Africa: Superpower Peacemaking in a Troubled Continent (2000), which won the Douglas Dillon Award for the best writing on diplomatic practice in 2000; and The Mind of the African Strong Man:  Conversations with Dictators, Statesmen and Father Figures (2015).