Youlanda M. Gibbons, PhD

Author, Scholar and Thought-Leader

Dr. Youlanda M. Gibbons 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 having served as a diversity strategist for the Department of Commerce Census Bureau from 2013 to 2020. She is also a former faculty member at Georgetown University as an assistant professor, an appointment she accepted in 2005, and in 2009, the university recognized her for instructional excellence. She was appointed to serve as an affiliated Georgetown University Scholar because of her visionary work with the Federal Government. Her own academic credentials are impressive and include a PhD 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 University of Massachusetts Amherst. While at Boston University she also 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 Barack 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. For example, between 2009 and 2011, she was a diversity and inclusion subject matter expert for Curtis Lewis & Associates PC, and from 2007 to 2009, she acted as a senior consultant and social scientist at the same firm. In both roles, she exercised her passionate commitment to advancing society, and in 2011, Dr. Gibbons founded 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 diversity and inclusion principles, values and topics. As an advisor, she has proudly made recommendations to the Secretary of Defense to prioritize certain instructional policies, and she has contributed to the realignment of military education and training protocols, which impact personnel from cadets and officers to the staff at the Department of Defense. Moreover, Dr. Gibbons has introduced competency-based approaches to redefine military leadership training and development, helping refine the vision, mission and governance of the Department of Defense Center of Excellence.

Numerous commendations have marked Dr. Gibbon’s broad contributions to her field. For example, Dr Gibbons has been inducted in the 2023 prestigious Biography of Marquis Who’s Who in America as well as the Marquis Who’s Who Distinguished Humanitarian Award 2023.  She is also 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 as well as Women 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 proudly accepted the Women’s Education Research Institute Congressional Fellowship in 2003 and the American Sociological Association Fellows Award in 2002.

Dr. Gibbons maintains critical memberships in both the American Sociological Association and the Association of Black Sociologists. She has also contributed to the ongoing scholarly conversation with her 2011 publication, “The Business of Diversity: A View from the Corporate Suite.” 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.