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DEIA in Action: Women in the Workplace

December 7, 2021

Click Here to View Women in the Workplace 2021 Presentation

Women in the Workplace 2021 presentation slides are provided courtesy of McKinsey and are for official use only.

About The Speakers

Photo of Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the Department of State
Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the Department of State

Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, a 30-year diplomat, is the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the Department of State and was the longest serving U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Malta. Through a series of senior positions that included advising the Commander of U.S. cyber forces on our foreign policy priorities, expanding our counterterrorism partners and programs as Deputy Coordinator for Counterterrorism, and Coordinating the largest evacuation of American citizens from a war zone since WWII, her professional life has played out almost daily in international media.

She began her formal work in teaching and leadership development as Chairwoman for Middle East Area Studies at the prestigious Foreign Service Institute where U.S. diplomats are trained. Earlier in her career, she served in Baghdad, Jakarta, and Cairo before taking on the position of Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for the Middle East and Africa. Her Middle East assignments include election monitoring in the Gaza Strip and an extraordinary assignment where she actively supported gender equality in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the first woman to lead a diplomatic mission there. In addition to the State Department, she has held senior positions at the Defense Department and at the National Security Council. Prior to that, she was a fellow on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for the then Ranking Member, Senator Joseph Biden. Ms. Abercrombie-Winstanley is the recipient of the Maltese Order of Merit, Department of State Meritorious and Superior Honor Awards, including “For acts of courage during an attack on the U.S. Consulate General, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on December 6, 2004 by al-Qa’ida terrorists.”

Over the years, Ms. Abercrombie-Winstanley has been a keynote speaker for a variety of organizations including IESAbroad, The Cleveland City Club, TrueBlue Inclusion, Harvard University, The University of Denver, The University of Malta, and Johns Hopkins University. She is an in-demand panelist and moderator at some of the most respected international think tanks including The German Marshall Fund, CSIS, The Brookings Institution, The World Affairs Council, and The Council on Foreign Relations on issues ranging from U.S. Mid-East Policy, how diversity and inclusion improve U.S. foreign policy making, cyber security challenges, and counterterrorism. She is a strong proponent of excellence through inclusion across organizations and strives to break down barriers to the full participation of women and minorities. She was Ambassador-in-Residence at Oberlin College for 2020 and served as the Co-Chair of the Diversity in National Security working group for the Biden-Harris campaign.

Ms. Abercrombie-Winstanley, a Cleveland native, has degrees from The George Washington University and The Johns Hopkins University and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She has been an active Board member on several organizations committed to excellence in educating and leadership development including the Forum for Education Abroad, College Now Greater Cleveland, and the International Career Advancement Association. She also served on the boards of the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art and the Middle East Policy Council. She sings with the Washington Performing Arts Society and has been published in the New York Times Opinion and The Foreign Service Journal. She is the co-author of two papers published in the New York Review of Science Fiction on “Diplomacy in Star Trek” and “The Representation of Disability in Star Trek.” In 2019, she was voted into the American Academy of Diplomacy.


Photo of Janice L. deGarmo
Janice L. deGarmo, Director of the Office of Management Strategy and Solutions (M|SS)

Janice deGarmo serves as the Director of the Office of Management Strategy and Solutions (M|SS) focused on providing strategic insights and solutions to help improve the State Department’s management platform and advance foreign policy goals. In this capacity, Janice oversees the Policy and Global Presence (PGP), the Center for Analytics (CfA), and Consulting and Advanced Projects (CAP) directorates.

Janice was previously the Deputy Director for M|SS, as well as the Department’s first ever Acting Chief Data Officer where she created the CfA and worked to elevate data-informed diplomacy. Prior to that, Janice was the Executive Director for the Bureau of Administration (A) and the Bureau of Information Resource Management (IRM). The Executive Office provided management operations to include strategic planning and evaluation, budget execution and formulation, contract support, personnel and human resources, and application IT development for the enterprise, specifically focused on business process management.

Prior to serving as the Executive Director Janice served in a variety of roles within the Department of State, including work in the A Front Office (A/FO) as a Senior Advisor overseeing the Congressional and public affairs portfolio. She previously worked for the Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics as both a budget analyst and a Senior Advisor, along with various positions in the private sector. Janice earned an MBA from the University of Maryland and a BS in Economics and Business from Tulane University.


Photo of Senior Partner, Washington DC
Nora Gardner, Senior Partner, Washington DC

Nora Gardner serves as managing partner of McKinsey’s Washington, DC, office, specializing in organizational change and talent management. She supports clients across the public, private, and social sectors, including healthcare, pharmaceuticals, scientific agencies, and defense.

Nora combines technical expertise with a passion for people, as a client leader and sought-after mentor within McKinsey. With a PhD in biochemistry from Duke University and a BS in biochemistry from North Carolina State University, she brings a unique blend of scientific rigor and organizational expertise.

Nora is deeply committed to community engagement and founded the office’s social-impact group, which connects consultants to pro bono work and other service projects at local not for profits.

Nora was named “Working Mother of the Year” by Working Mother magazine in 2015.




Photo of Megan McConnell
Megan McConnell Partner, Washington DC

Megan McConnell advises government leaders and executives across the public and private sectors, especially in defense and healthcare, on complex issues involving human capital, organizational change, and operational performance. With strong experience in strategic human resources and a passion for people, she helps organizations create world-class talent systems, seize scarce talent pools, and support workers adapting to rapid technological change—such as automation, digitization, and remote work.

Megan has an in-depth understanding of the unique challenges facing the civil service. She leads the firm’s outreach on diversity, equity, and inclusion to the US government, bringing the latest research and private-sector innovations. She also supports government leaders as they reimagine how and where people will work post-pandemic.





Photo of Cheryl Harris Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Advisor in the Office of Management Strategy and Solutions (M|SS)
Cheryl Harris Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Advisor in the Office of Management Strategy and Solutions (M|SS)


Cheryl Harris is the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Advisor in the Office of Management Strategy and Solutions (M|SS).  Cheryl is a Public Diplomacy-coned Foreign Service Officer and has served overseas in Tunisia, Slovenia, and Iraq and domestically in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration and the Bureau of Global Talent Management.  Before joining the Foreign Service, Cheryl served in the Civil Service in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.  Cheryl is currently a co-chair of the employee organization Balancing Act@State, which advocates for innovative workplace flexibilities, and is a participant in this year’s Secretary’s Leadership Seminar.