Janice Underwood, Ph.D.
Dr. Janice Underwood serves as Governor Northam's Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. As the Commonwealth’s first Chief Diversity Officer, she is committed to addressing racial, ethnic, disability, gender-based, and other cultural inequities in formal and informal policies and practices in Virginia state government.
Prior to her appointment, Dr. Underwood served as Old Dominion University’s Director of Diversity Initiatives and as the chair of the President’s Task Force on Inclusive Excellence. She previously served as the Executive Director and Co-Principal Investigator for the Old Dominion University Teacher in Residence master’s program. Dr. Underwood also served for a number of years as a national board certified teacher for students with exceptionalities in Hampton City Schools. During her time as a classroom teacher, she served for two terms on the Virginia Advisory Board for Teacher Education and Licensure (ABTEL). As a national expert in the cultural contexts of public education, change management and leadership, and professional development/training, Dr. Underwood works to make the public and private sectors more culturally relevant. In doing so, she prepares professionals from a myriad of fields to meet the demands of working in diverse environments and address difficult truths, such as the school to prison pipeline, the lack of diversity in the workforce, and systemic and institutional bias.
She earned her Bachelor’s (1998) and Master’s (2002) degrees from Hampton University in Psychology and Behavior/Learning Disorders, respectively. In 2015, she earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Old Dominion University, where her research focused on culturally relevant pedagogy.
Ron Carlee, D.P.A.
After a career as a local government executive, Dr. Carlee now works in academia, fulfilling his commitment to recruit and train the next generation of government leaders and to provide support to current government professionals. He provides classroom instruction and conducts workshops for governments and professional associations, nationally and internationally.
Dr. Carlee's work is informed by his executive experiences as City Manager in Charlotte, North Carolina, Chief Operating Officer for the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), and as County Manager for Arlington, Virginia.
Dr. Carlee is a Fellow in the National Academy of Public Administration and holds a Doctorate in Public Administration. He is a full-time faculty member at Old Dominion University and conducts workshops for the Center for Excellence in Public Leadership at George Washington University, Washington, DC. He previously taught in the public administration and public policy programs at GWU.
John Hawley was born into a Navy family in Portsmouth, Virginia. He began his own military career after graduating from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Science in Building Construction and a minor in Leadership, commissioning as a Nuclear Surface Warfare Officer.
After his initial tour in Japan on the USS McCampbell (DDG 85), he headed to nuclear power school in Charleston, South Carolina. Upon graduation, he completed nuclear prototype training in Saratoga Springs, New York, and was stationed aboard the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) in Norfolk, Virginia, as the Reactor Controls Division Officer. His follow-on shore tour sent him to Naval Information Forces Command in Suffolk, Virginia, where he served as the Cybersecurity Officer. An entrepreneur at heart, John knew he wanted to operate his own company and began preparations to transition out of the Navy.
Prior to leaving active duty, he found his true calling as a facilitator as well as his love for innovation and human centered design. He created the illuminate Thinkshops, the Navy’s premier design thinking course, and facilitated Thinkshops across the Department of Defense for both military and civilians.
Simultaneously, John started JWH Enterprise, delivering personally tailored workshops to corporate clients. He loves creating confidence so others can grow, and enjoys providing the tools and environment necessary for others to succeed in their own arena. John’s list of certifications, experience, and network is extensive and can be found at his LinkedIn page.
CONTACT: Susan Johnstad,
Virginia Tech Richmond Center
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