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Janice Underwood, Ph.D.
Personal Pronouns
Executive Director, Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (ODEIA)
U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
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Janice Underwood, Ph.D. joins the Biden-Harris administration having most recently served as the inaugural Virginia Chief Diversity Officer in Governor Ralph Northam’s cabinet, leading the DEI agenda and the COVID-19 equity leadership task force. As a national expert in diversity leadership across multiple sectors, Dr. Underwood has worked for 20+ years to make structural inequity visible in government and education as a state official, teacher educator, a nationally certified special education teacher, academic researcher, higher education administrator, and diversity trainer. Most notably, she has been nationally recognized for her contribution to advancing equity initiatives at the intersection of government and politics, including launching the first statewide DEI strategy across 100+ state agencies in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

Dr. Underwood has been appointed to the role of Executive Director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility at OPM, where her primary responsibility will be to lead the government-wide White House initiative on DEIA. 

Janice is a graduate of Hampton University and Old Dominion University.