Youlanda M. Gibbons, PhD

Author, Scholar and Thought-Leader

“I am grateful to lead the Institute’s initiatives to help shape the profession of diversity and inclusion in the Federal workplace. It is because of those who are dedicated and committed to diversity and inclusion principles that the best is yet to come!”

A gifted professor of Sociology at Georgetown University for several years, Dr. Youlanda Michelle Gibbons has emerged at the forefront of identifying and developing innovative strategies for maximizing organizational and individual potential through Diversity Management. In support of President Obama’s Executive Order 13583 on Workplace Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Gibbons was approached by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM)  to organize the federal government’s first-ever conference on Diversity and Inclusion that was held in 2012. Collaborating with Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business and OPM, the three-day Diversity, Inclusion and Innovation (DI2G) Conference set the standard for thought-leadership in diversity and inclusion in the federal sector.

In 2011, Dr. Gibbons published her first book, The Business of Diversity: A View from the Corporate Suite, Cognella Academic Press. This acclaimed work describes how and why leading corporations that produce information technologies adopt and implement diversity strategies. This seminal work, unlike any other, captures human resources executives’ views and perceptions on the challenges and frustrations associated with attracting and retaining highly qualified, diverse employees.

From 2008 to 2011 her work at NASA included developing, implementing and evaluating action plans to address conflict management and conflict resolution and diversity and inclusion strategic planning.

Dr. Gibbons new research focuses on women in government. It provides compelling evidence indicating significant variation in women’s experiences based on racial differences. These data challenge the assertion that women’s employment in the federal sector is supportive and equal.

In 2003, Dr. Gibbons earned the prestigious Women’s Education Research Institute Congressional Fellowship. As a Fellow, she served as an education policy advisor to the late Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA). In this capacity, she assisted senior legislative staff by evaluating the reauthorization of education policies such as Head Start, Higher Education Act and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Dr. Gibbons earned a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2003 and Master’s degrees in the fields of Public Health, Education, Social Work and Sociology. She has a B.A. degree from Mercer University in English and Human Development.

Notably, Dr. Gibbons has received a number of awards and recognitions including the 2001 Nellie Mae Foundation Fellowship Award, the 2002 American Sociological Association Minority Fellows Award, and from 1998 to 2008, she was recognized for Excellence in Teaching at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Georgetown University.