Youlanda M. Gibbons, PhD

Author, Scholar and Thought-Leader

Youlanda M. Gibbons, PhD is a visionary educator and proponent of DEI advancement. She is the Chief Executive Officer of the Partnership for Inclusion Leadership, a Women-Owned business she founded after serving as an advisor and strategist for DEI throughout the federal government. She is also a former faculty member of Georgetown University as a Professor of Sociology and was recognized for instructional excellence. She has been appointed to serve as an affiliated Georgetown University Scholar because of her visionary work with the federal government. Her academic credentials include a Ph.D. in Sociology and a Master of Arts in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She also holds a Master of Science in Public Health and a Master of Education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. While at Boston University, she earned a master’s degree in social work. Finally, Dr. Gibbons earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and Human Development from Mercer University, where she graduated cum laude.

Dr. Gibbons was inspired by former President Obama’s proclamation that required the federal government to implement a strategy to increase diversity and inclusion.  Her experience is varied, yet she senses a remarkable synergy among her professional appointments. As a social scientist and DEI strategist, Dr. Gibbons matured NASA’s vision to sustain an inclusive workforce to advance space exploration and discovery. The influence of Dr. Gibbons’ work led her to establish the Diversity, Inclusion, and Innovation in government initiative.

Dr. Gibbons remains wholly convinced about the immense significance of her mission, which is built on a platform of inclusive principles, values, and topics. As an advisor, she has proudly recommended to the Secretary of Defense to prioritize specific instructional policies, and  recommended approaches and frameworks to realign military education and training protocols to inclusive principles and topics that impact personnel from cadets and officers to the civilian workforce at the Department of Defense.

Numerous commendations have marked Dr. Gibbons’ broad contributions to her field. For example, Dr Gibbons has been inducted into the 2023 prestigious Biography of Marquis Who’s Who in America and the Marquis Who’s Who Distinguished Humanitarian Award 2023.  Dr. Gibbons is featured in the annual publication of Fortune Magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Women, October/November 2023, and The Wall Street Journal, November 2023. She has also been nominated for the Washington Business Journal Award and is a recipient of the Women Worth Watching Award from the Profiles in Diversity Journal. That same publication recognized her with the Black Leadership Award in 2022, and she has won Stevie Awards for Women in International Business, and Woman of the Year in Government. In 2021, she was awarded Power the Future Award from the Historic Forum on Workplace Inclusion organization. Furthermore, Dr. Gibbons received the Women’s Education Research Institute Congressional Fellowship and served in the office of Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D Massachusetts).

Dr. Gibbons maintains critical memberships in the American Sociological Association and the Association of Black Sociologists. Her publication, The Business of Diversity: A View from the Corporate Suite, has captured the attention of students, faculty, and practitioners throughout the country. Dr. Gibbons’ passion for the performing arts and sciences has inspired her to establish the Wilson Foundation for the Performing Arts and Sciences. She believes that the performing arts and sciences are uniquely poised to shape the values and traditions that give rise to freedom, thought, imagination, and inquiry. Committed to the priorities of greater access and acceptance, health and well-being, community engagement, and arts learning, Dr. Gibbons is confident that the performing arts will continue to transform perspectives that lead to a more equitable and just society. In 2024, the Wilson Foundation announced its Artist-in-Residency program focused on recognizing Gospel music as an American art form.  Recognizing and celebrating the legacy of the Harlem School of the Arts, NYC, NY, Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Washington, DC, and the John F. Kennedy Center, the Wilson Foundation serves as a conduit for shared vision, collaboration, and innovation to bolster arts learning and professional development for artists across the lifespan. Of particular importance is that the Wilson Foundation supports the US military and their families, by providing musical and arts participation at national observances and ceremonies in the Washington, DC area.

Looking ahead, Dr. Gibbons anticipates exciting travel, research, and consultancy opportunities via a Fulbright award, which will take her to the University of Cape Town, South Africa.