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Change Agent: Alfreda Layne

Change Agents

/CHānj/ /‘ājənt/

One who acts as a catalyst for change.

Change Agents are everyday people who do small things that have significant impact. They are cultivators who plant seeds in our lives (knowingly or unknowingly). Their presence nurtures and molds us every day, giving shape to the environment in which we work. They are fueled by their own passion to contribute, and thus, incite passion in others. They are the risk takers; the visionaries who see possibilities when others see obstacles. They are catalysts that make the Game Changing moments of an organization possible.




  • make or become different
  • to alter the terms or transform entirely
  • arrive at a fresh phase; become new


  • a new or refreshingly different experience




  • a person who acts on behalf of another
  • one who takes an active role or produces a specified effect
  • a doer of an action
Do you know a change agent?
Alfreda Layne sitting in her cubicle.

As Malcolm Gladwell observes in his book, The Tipping Point, "The success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts."  Alfreda Layne is such a person, and as such, serves as a catalyst for change at NIH.

As an Institutes and Centers (ICs) liaison in the Customer Outreach branch of EDI, she is a vital resource to the ICs in regards to concerns related to Equal Employment Opportunities and Diversity and Inclusion. Leading by example, Alfreda makes it her daily mission to help break down barriers of discrimination and enable individuals to recognize differences in the workplace. She undertakes the task of managing effective change by providing timely responses to internal and external customers, in support of both customer and program requirements.

The jubilant holiday décor at Alfreda’s workspace has transformed a sterile cubicle into an intimate exhibition of diversity and inclusion that colleagues enjoy viewing for daily inspiration. Every detail is a reflection of Alfreda’s benevolent character.  Her walls are covered with colorful prints of paintings, timeless photographs and uplifting messages from around the world.  She states, “diversity encompasses the richness of differences; understanding that diversity continues to unfold as we learn and grow in our efforts for a more inclusive community and culture." Alfreda continues to envision the future of Diversity and Inclusion at NIH.

Colorful decorations on the cubicle door of Alfreda LayneAlfreda Layne sitting in front of her cubicle.Colorful decorations on the cubicle door of Alfreda LayneAlfreda Layne working in her colorful and highly decorated cubicle.