Discussion on DEI Implementation Strategies and Challenges

Join us online for a thought-provoking conversation on how to effectively implement Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives in various organizations. Our panel of experts will share their insights, experiences, and best practices to help you navigate the complexities of DEI implementation. Whether you’re just starting your DEI journey or looking to enhance your existing strategies, this event is perfect for anyone passionate about creating a more inclusive workplace. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to learn, connect, and grow together. Register now to secure your spot!

More About Our Panel Members: 

Karla Bruce-Choice, Chief Equity Officer at Fairfax County Government

Karla Bruce currently serves as the as the Chief Equity Officer for Fairfax County, Virginia, appointed in June 2018 by County Executive Bryan Hill. Her appointment marked the first local government, equity-focused senior leader in the jurisdiction, the first in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the first in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area. Karla has over 25 years of local government management experience and is known as a driver of innovation in public service delivery, successfully bridging the efforts of local government with the collective action of residents and broad networks of partners including business, nonprofit, philanthropic, faith, civic, and academia to strategically address the issues that contribute to the vulnerabilities and lack of opportunity affecting neighborhoods and populations across the county. Karla successfully championed the adoption of the One Fairfax Racial and Social Equity Resolution and Policy and provides overall management of the One Fairfax strategic framework, advising and supporting the Board of Supervisors, County Executive, county leadership and staff in shaping and directing policy, practice, and strategy to foster equitable opportunity for all Fairfax County residents.

Karla holds a Masters of Public Administration with a Concentration in State and Local Government from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sport Science from The Pennsylvania State University. She is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and also holds certificates in Public Management from George Washington University, Public Participation from the International Association for Public Participation and Process Management from George Mason University.

Karla’s leadership has been recognized by Leadership Fairfax with the 2023 Katherine K. Hanley Public Service Award and by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments with their 2021 Ronald F. Kirby Award for Collaborative Leadership. For her work with Fairfax County’s community, Karla was awarded the 2022 Ebone Image Award for Government/Politics from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. Northern Virginia Chapter and the 2022 First Baptist Church of Vienna Martin Luther King, Jr. Spirit of King Award. Karla served as the inaugural chair of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Government’s Chief Equity Officer’s Committee and is a member of the Government Alliance on Race and Equity’s Steering Committee. Karla is also a regular presenter, panelist, and nationally recognized thought leader on topics related to the role of government in advancing equity.

Contact: Karla.Bruce@fairfaxcounty.gov

Scheduling: Christina.Fullmer@fairfaxcounty.gov

Webpage: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/topics/one-fairfax



Diana Noriega, Chief Anti-Racism and Equity Officers

Diana Noriega has over 20 years of nonprofit experience. She currently serves as the founding Chief Anti-Racism and Equity Officer at Good Shepherd Services NYC. In this role she oversees all the agency’s internal anti-racism and equity efforts including creating more equitable hiring and promotion policies and practices as well as overseeing the agency’s equity council. Under her leadership, in partnership with HR and the Executive Director, she helped the executive team transition from 90% white to 63% BIPOC.

In 2021, she founded an Antiracism and Equity (ARE) Institute, a 14-month, 128-hour learning and development program that supported 22 nonprofit leaders from across the New York City child welfare and social services sector. It included leaders from SCO Family, The Jewish Board, University Settlement, Children’s Aid, Catholic Guardian and more. She co-founded and co-leads the New York Equitable Economies Coalition, a group looking to provide resources to nonprofits wanting to increase their BIPOC vendors and procurement practices. She is also currently a leading consultant and professional development provider for the NYC Children’s Cabinet’s new pilot program called the Every Child and Family is Known Initiative.

She served as a member of the New York City School Diversity Advisory Group which made a series of integration recommendations for the New York City public school system. Previously, she served as the Chief Program Officer for the Committee for Hispanic Children and Families (CHCF) where she oversaw all programs and educational equity policy efforts across the early learn and K-12 sector. She has presented public testimony advocating for the rights of students and early childcare providers in New York City. In 2017, she was the lead facilitator for the design of a communities of color values platform created with several NYC nonprofits including youth advocacy groups. Prior to CHCF, she served as the founding Director of the Education Initiative at Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC. She has worked in higher education and directly with youth at various nonprofit organizations including Teachers College, Columbia University, exalt youth, and New Settlement Apartments – Girls Programs.

Diana is a Wheaton College Posse Foundation graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She also has an interdisciplinary master’s degree in Multicultural Education from New York University. She has moderated discussions, and, created and facilitated anti-racism, equity, leadership, and empowerment workshops. She facilitated Posse Plus retreats at different college campuses for 5 years. She consults organizations on the development of their social justice and equity programming and platforms as well as leads related workshops. Diana is passionate about justice and liberation.

She considers herself a lifelong learner and always seeks opportunities to enhance her ability to meaningfully support and partner with individuals and communities. She has been trained in circle practice, restorative justice, mediation, social and racial justice facilitation, trauma-informed practices, life coaching, reiki, La Ho Chi energy, and more. She is currently completing a 12-month trauma-informed program called Compassionate Inquiry.

She believes that the most transformative work happens at the intersections. She looks to bridge and deepen her facilitation and social justice work with healing modalities and practices.

Connect: www.linkedin.com/in/diananoriega/

Extraordinary Public Servants

Submitted by ASPA-NCAC Board member Dale Jones

Millions of public servants at local, state, and federal levels serve citizens every day across our nation. They provide necessary services, assistance, and protection for the American people. The work can be routine and it can be extraordinary.

On March 26, 2024, the Francis Scott Key Bridge over the Patapsco River in Baltimore collapsed after being crashed into by the Singaporean-flagged cargo ship Dali loaded with 4,700 containers. It is a historical national economic catastrophe. Two construction workers died, and four more are missing and presumed dead.

During the Key Bridge disaster, public servants performed with extraordinary service. According to the Wall Street Journal on March 30, 2024, a dispatcher at the Association of Maryland Pilots, a trade group, immediately acted with a call to the Maryland Transportation Authority (MTA) and stated, “There’s a ship heading toward the Key Bridge. He lost steering. We need to stop all traffic on the Key Bridge.” Within approximately two minutes, public servants ranging from officials in the state’s Key Bridge office to MTA officers acted with urgency and precision to stop traffic on the bridge prior to the collision, which resulted in no vehicles traveling on the bridge when it collapsed. Thus, no others died in this tragic incident.

This is extraordinary public service.

Overview of our latest event: Preparing governments for future shocks: Roadmap to resilience

Preparing governments for future shocks: Roadmap to resilience

Our Panel:

  • J. Christopher Mihm, Adjunct Professor of Public Administration & International Affairs, Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and former Managing Director for Strategic Issues at GAO
  • Eric J. McNulty, National Preparedness Leadership Initiative Associate Director and Harvard-affiliated Author, Speaker, and Educator
  • Kriste Jordan Smith, TSA DFW Federal Security Director and 2024 Chair, Dallas-Fort Worth Federal Executive


The panel was moderated by Smith, who later summed up the event as follows:

Reading for Thought Leaders:

  1. Preparing Government for Future Shocks, A Roadmap to Resilience, lead author Chris Mihm
  2. Harvard National Preparedness Leadership Institute (NPLI) resources such as the Boston Marathon Case Study and Eric McNulty’s book, You’re It, both at https://npli.sph.harvard.edu/resources/.

Beliefs to Shift Towards:

  1. Whole of community efforts outperform agency-centric planning
  2. Give people permission to adapt, and they will figure it out
  3. Collaboration delivers better results than competition; pursue collaborative capacity
  4. Integrating and harmonizing is our most important work
  5. Remember that governance is not just about driving towards a Return on Investment (ROI), it’s about creating relationships that integrate the horizontal and vertical

Skills to Cultivate:

  1. Deeply listening to non-traditional stakeholders; what “keeps them up at night?”
  2. Boundary spanning; extending your network beyond command and control lines of authority
  3. Identifying your “barnacles of bureaucracy”, considering how to remove them
  4. Staying iterative, keeping moving to evolve
  5. Systems thinking; understanding the incentives and drivers at play
  6. Refine how you think about resilience. Explore it in multiple ways: psychological “it’s all in our head”, engineering “you bend it, you break it”, and evolutionary, “adapt or die”
  7. Effective, human-centered storytelling
  8. Negotiating and Resolving Conflict
  9. Decision Sciences
  10. Foresight
    *8, 9, and 10 are a “package”, the baseline for successful public service professionals

Tools to Use:

  1. Human-centered design principles
  2. Situation Connectivity Map, per Harvard National Preparedness Leadership Initiative
  3. Tabletop Exercises; a tactical way to cultivate relationships long before you need them
  4. After Action Reviews; build in that whole of community perspective
  5. “Julie” – the virtual assistant at Amtrak; it works! One of the better examples of how automation does not have to result in the endless doom loop of ineffectiveness.

Contact Information:
 Chris Mihm, j.christopher.mihm@gmail.com
 Eric McNulty, eric@ericmcnulty.com
 Kriste Jordan Smith, kriste.jordan-smith@tsa.dhs.gov

Attend our Upcoming Event: Preparing governments for future shocks: A roadmap to resilience

Last November, Government Executive reported on a new study, “Preparing governments for future shocks: A roadmap to resilience,” released jointly by the National Academy of Public Administration and the IBM Center for the Business of Government under the executive sponsorship of Global Public Sector IBM. The Government Executive summary brings readers up to speed quickly and links directly to the seminal new study, which emphasizes cooperation among cross-sector networks to enable detailed actions that leaders in each can take to meet eight imperatives.

The National Capital Area Chapter will host a panel discussion featuring the study’s lead author, J. Christopher Mihm. Chris, a long-time chapter member and NAPA Fellow, is Adjunct Professor of Public Administration & International Affairs at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. He is the former Managing Director for Strategic Issues at the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) where he led GAO’s work on governance, strategy, and performance issues. Currently, he serves as Deputy Chair of the Governance, Audit and Compliance
Committee of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).

The other two panel members are associated with the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative (NPLI) at Harvard University, as follows:
Eric J. McNulty, NPLI Associate Director and instructor in the
Health Care Negotiation and Conflict Resolution program.

McNulty is the principal author of the NPLI case studies on leadership decision making in the Boston Marathon bombing response, innovation in the response Hurricane Sandy and the professional/political interface in the Deepwater Horizon response, drawing upon his firsthand research as well as extensive interviews with leaders involved in the responses. Find the case studies at https://npli.sph.harvard.edu/resources/. He is co-author of You're It: Crisis, Change, and How to Lead When It Matters Most.

Kriste Jordan Smith, Director of Federal Security at DFW International Airport and 2024 Chair, Dallas-Fort Worth Federal Executive Board (FEB). Smith, who attended the NPLI program with Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Senior Executive Service colleagues, is at the tip of the spear when it comes to dealing with non-routine events that challenge resilience. Her TSA role’s efficacy depends on good working relationships with leaders of every other function at the 3rd busiest airport in the world by aircraft movements. The FEB role extends her network to 80 Federal Agency Heads and 220 Federal Departments, Independent Agencies, and Senior agency officials
throughout North Central Texas. Smith will moderate the discussion and Q & A.

Reproductive Equity and Justice: Who It Affects and Why It Matters

Join the National Capital Area Chapter of ASPA for a free event on Wednesday titled “Reproductive Equity and Justice: Who It Affects and Why It Matters” on November 29 at 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm EST.

Moderator: Dr. Dale Jones, Member, Board of Directors, ASPA NCAC (Vice President-Elect)


Jhumka Gupta, Sc.D.

  • Associate Professor, Department of Global and Community Health
  • College of Public Health, George Mason University
  • ScD, Harvard University; MPH, Drexel University; BS, Biological Sciences, University of Maryland
  • Research interests: Gender-based violence against women, refugee and immigrant health, reproductive health, human trafficking, and global health.
  • https://publichealth.gmu.edu/profiles/jgupta4
  • Discussion of violence against women.


Karen Trister Grace, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor, School of Nursing
  • College of Public Health, George Mason University
  • PhD, Nursing, Johns Hopkins University; BS and MS, Nursing, University of Pennsylvania; BA, Barnard College, Columbia University
  • Research interests: reproductive coercion, pregnancy intention, health disparities, and health equity.
  • https://www.gmu.edu/profiles/kgrace
  • Discussion of her research on reproductive coercion, which is a type of intimate partner violence in which partners
    sabotage birth control methods or control the outcome of a pregnancy. This work has salience given the recent
    erosion of reproductive rights in the U.S. Abortion is often used as a safety strategy, to enable a survivor to separate from an abusive partner. Restricting access to this safety strategy removes options for survivors and supports their partner’s efforts to exert control.


Rebecca Morris

  • Senior Research Associate and Ph.D. Candidate in Public Policy and Administration
  • Department of Health Policy and Management
  • Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health
  • Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University
  • MPP, George Washington University; BA, Economics and Mathematics, Emory University
  • Research interests: potential effects of Braidwood Management v Becerra case on maternal, infant, and child health; post-Dobbs community health center focus group work.
  • https://geigergibson.publichealth.gwu.edu/program-faculty-staff
  • Discussion of initial trends found in post-Dobbs focus groups of community health center workers (increased service demand, provider strain, and workforce shortages). Also, discussion of the Medicaid unwinding and the pending Braidwood case as policy context for providing reproductive health services.


A Zoom link will be provided to all those who register. Please register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/11-29-2023-aspa-ncac-fall-event-tickets-758966668737

2023 Annual Meeting

In May ASPA-NCAC held our 2023 Annual Conference on zoom!

Our keynote speaker was Beth Noveck, a professor at Northeastern University, where she directs the Burnes Center for Social Change and its partner project, The Governance Lab and its MacArthur Research Network on Opening Governance. She is the author of Solving Problems: How to Fix Our Government and Change Our World (Yale Press 2021).

It was a pleasure having Beth speak to us about her book and have a discussion.

We also awarded our Essay Contest winners with their awards and heard from them about their papers.

Included in our Annual Meeting portion of the evening was the presentation of an NCAC Award.

You can watch a recording of our event below.

ASPA NCAC 2023 Annual Meeting

Jessica Nguyen Wins First Place in the 2022-2023 Student Essay Contest

NCAC congratulates Jessica Nguyen for winning First Place of the National Capital Area Chapter’s (NCAC) 2022-2023 Public Administration Student Essay Contest for her essay Mitigating Maternal Mortality in Maryland: Integrating Midwives into State Medicaid System to Reduce Racial Disparity!

Along with the distinction of the essay winning the Chapter’s Essay Contest, Jessica will receive a cash award of $2,000 that we hope will go toward furthering your education and a three-year membership to the American Society for Public Administration.

Jessica joined us at our Chapter’s Annual Meeting on May 18 to discuss her essay and express her gratitude for being selected. You can view the recording of our Annual Meeting here.

Congratulations, Jessica, on winning First Place for your essay in our Chapter’s 2022-2023 Student Essay Contest!

Dylan Desjardins Wins Second Place in the 2022-2023 Student Essay Contest

NCAC congratulates Dylan Desjardins for winning Second Place of the National Capital Area Chapter’s (NCAC) 2022-2023 Public Administration Student Essay Contest for his essay Open Algorithms: Moving Away from “Magic 8 Ball” Governance

Along with the distinction of the essay winning the Chapter’s Essay Contest, Dylan will receive a cash award of $1,500 that we hope will go toward furthering your education and a three-year membership to the American Society for Public Administration.

Dylan joined us at our Chapter’s Annual Meeting on May 18 to express his gratitude for being selected. You can view the recording of our Annual Meeting here.

Congratulations, Dylan, on winning Second Place for you essay in our Chapter’s 2022-2023 Student Essay Contest!