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The NIH Director’s Award Recipients for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion 2022

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The Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion is excited to announce the following award recipients for the NIH Director's Award. Each award acknowledges employees for their commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility across the National Institutes of Health.

The NIH Directors Awards are important because these awards highlight EDI’s mission and vision for excellence for the agency and underscore need to collectively align our actions to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility at every level throughout the NIH. The recipients of these awards demonstrate a variety of ways that we can all amplify our commitment to workplace diversity and inclusion by expressing our individual support openly with courage and conviction.

The recipients of these awards embody a commitment to DEIA that goes beyond saying it but meaning it and doing it as well. For example, it’s not only saying out loud that you denounce racism, but also acting if someone on your team uses a racial slur. It’s not only saying that inclusion is important to you, but also inviting new people to the table to share their opinions.

The power of deliberate action is by far the best way to set an example and inspire others to do the same. EDI is pleased to bestow these three individual awards for the dedication shown by this year’s awardees.

The Harvey J. Bullock Jr. Award was established to recognize employees who champion the ideals of equity, diversity, and inclusion. This award was specifically designed to recognize the achievements of those employees who are not at the senior level.

The Yvonne Thompson Maddox Award was established to encourage significant and continued efforts in promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion at the NIH. This award was specifically designed to recognize non-supervisory employees' achievements at grades 13 and higher or the equivalent who exemplify the spirit of the award.

The NIH Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Award of the Year was established to recognize executives, supervisors, or managers who have excelled in furthering NIH's equity, diversity, and/or inclusion efforts. This award is granted to leaders who exemplify the ideals of equity, diversity, and inclusion.


Tammy Reddick Lockett, National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)

Tammy Reddick Lockett
Tammy Reddick Lockett, National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)

Mrs. Reddick Lockett continually seizes opportunities to take up the charge of advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion. She has been a pioneer in her pursuit of providing opportunities for everyone, particularly racially and ethnically diverse women at NIH.

Mrs. Reddick Lockett was one of the first individuals among more than 250 NIH employees who volunteered to serve on the Anti-Racism Steering Committee (ARSC) when NIH first sought participants to address structural racism. Her contributions led to additional roles on ARSC such as Co-Chair of Recruitment Recommendations for Non- Scientific Staff and membership on the Executive Committee. Her service on other collaborative efforts includes UNITE I, the NIMHD Racial Ethnic Equity Plan, and EDI’s Special Emphasis Portfolio Engagement Committee. Mrs. Reddick Lockett applies best practices to ensure our agency supports equity by including staff at all levels in addressing challenges and identifying viable options.

Mrs. Reddick Lockett exemplifies the principles of inclusion in her work at NIMHD. She is a supportive voice for the Institute on sensitive and sometimes controversial issues that others may be uncomfortable raising with supervisors or leadership.


Melanie Reagan, Acting Executive Officer with the NIH Office of Administrative Management

Melanie Reagan
Melanie Reagan, Acting Executive Officer with the NIH Office of Administrative Management

Ms. Reagan has led change at the National Eye Institute (NEI) by establishing and leading NEI’s first Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Council made up of federal employees and trainees from across the Institute. The council’s mission is to help create strategies, frameworks, policies, and support to accelerate achievement of NEI’s DEIA goals.

Ms. Reagan led the development of four NEI DEI Council Subcommittees by assisting in the creation of monthly DEI and Observance messages to all staff from the NEI Director and Executive Officer. To better understand the needs of her Institute, she initiated the NEI DEIA Pulse Survey which generated a nearly 50% response rate providing stakeholders with a clear understanding of current employee perceptions about DEIA across NEI.

Ms. Reagan supported the NEI Racial Equity and Social Justice listening session; an open forum for NEI employees to share stories and perspectives about current events, as well as raise workplace issues requiring attention. The forum engaged over 200 participants in real-time dialogue and feedback. Her dedication to creating safe spaces for discussion extends to her “Coffee Circles,” a group designed to provide opportunities to talk about DEIA at NEI. She then used these unique reflections to generate DEIA engagement activities for the Institute. Currently, Ms. Reagan and her team are building the NEI DEIA Strategic Plan to establish mechanisms for upholding equity across all stages of employees’ work life from hiring, developing, and promoting to conducting exit interviews. It’s evident that Ms. Regan is on a path of positive cultural change for her Institute.


Dr. Kenneth Gibbs from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

Dr. Kenneth Gibbs
Dr. Kenneth Gibbs from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

Dr. Gibbs has contributed to the advancement of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) in the biomedical research community through his contributions to the UNITE Initiative and the Maximizing Opportunities for Scientific and Academic Independent Careers (MOSAIC) program. MOSAIC is a transformative program supporting independent organizations that provide mentoring, network-building, and career development activities to cohorts of scholars. Dr. Gibbs reduced barriers affecting diverse groups by delivering essential resources to talented, yet underrepresented scientists seeking to advance their careers in the biomedical research workforce. He demonstrated exemplary commitment to collaboration by actively recruiting other NIH Institutes and Centers to participate in MOSAIC. As a result, 75% of the first NIGMS MOSAIC cohort was comprised of diverse community members with 75% of them being women.

Dr. Gibbs also played a pivotal role on the UNITE Initiative, a trans-NIH program tasked with identifying and addressing structural racism within the biomedical research enterprise. As a founding member of the UNITE I committee and two additional implementation teams, Dr. Gibbs applied his abilities as a change agent to promote DEIA as an organizational culture. One example of this is Dr. Gibbs’ incorporation of NIGMS MOSAIC language into the parent National Research Service Award as well as other DEIA focused funding announcements and award decisions.

Congratulations to the 2022 NIH Directors Awards recipients. Your actions and commitment will inspire others to lead as change agents for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. Challenging yourself – and those around you – in those everyday moments is one of the most powerful ways that we can support and advance the DEIA efforts at the NIH.

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