People With Disabilities - About

The Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) strives to advance diversity and inclusion at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and ensure that the civil rights of all employees are protected. The People with Disabilities Employment Portfolio is directed at ensuring that this constituency remains a successful part of a broader diversity and inclusion strategy for the NIH. This Portfolio is federally mandated, its authority grounded in Presidential Executive Orders dating back to 1998.


We recognize the talent that individuals with disabilities bring to the workplace and understand that by creating an inclusive environment for everyone, we provide universal opportunity for success. Inclusion means we are committed to equal employment opportunity, a workplace free of discrimination and harassment, and a workplace that supports reasonable accommodations.

From recruitment to recognition, from training to promotion, we are dedicated to the oversight of disability employment and actively promote the universal thinking that attracts and retains a skilled and diverse workforce. EDI works in partnership with the Office of Human Resources (OHR), the Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity (COSWD), and NIH leadership across the NIH to support the People with Disabilities Employment Portfolio. Together, we develop collaborations to advance the representation of our employees with disabilities in all occupations of the NIH workforce and to support this constituency in achieving their fullest potential.

At NIH, we understand that our responsibility to diverse groups extends well beyond federal mandates. We define diversity broadly to include all elements of our human identities and encompass every aspect of difference. Within EDI, we are interested in leveraging the ideas of each NIH employee to fuel innovation and drive health discovery. The disability constituency is a critical piece of our overall diversity strategy.

“Disability need not be an obstacle to success.” – Stephan W. Hawking


Donna Gregory

Donna Gregory, Ph.D.

Donna Gregory is the Acting Principal Strategist for the People with Disabilities Employment Portfolio in the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In this role, Donna works to ensure equitable and inclusive employment experiences for people with disabilities at NIH.

Prior to joining EDI, Donna worked as the Chief of the Recreation Therapy Section in the NIH Clinical Center. Before joining NIH, Donna worked extensively with people with disabilities in a variety of community-based, clinical, and research settings. She has collaborated with employers and academic institutions to enhance accessibility and implement accommodations for successful return to work and school for individuals with disabilities. She is passionate about breaking down barriers (environmental, personal, and social), promoting equity and inclusion, and advocating for universal design.

Donna received a B.S. from the University of Maryland, an MBA from the Pennsylvania State University, and a Ph.D. from Clemson University. Donna has spent her career learning from individuals with a variety of disabilities and critical health conditions. Her experiences have reinforced the importance of meaningful engagement as a path to health, well-being, purpose, and personal growth.

> Contact Donna


The committee recommends strategies to eliminate barriers to the employment, promotion, and advancement of individuals with disabilities. Below are the members of the committee of the Portfolio for People with Disabilities.

Lisa Yuan, M.S.
Press Officer
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease

Kimmo Virtaneva, Ph.D
Staff Scientist, Genomics Unit
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Kathy Mann Koepke
Director, Math & Science Cognition, Reasoning, & Learning - Development & Disorders Program
Child Development and Behavior (CDB) Branch
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development

Kelli Van Zee
Project Support Assistant
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Gary M. Morin
Section 508 Coordinator
National Cancer Institute

Elaine Estrella
Purchasing Team Lead
National Eye Institute

Benjamin Reyes
Management Analyst
Office of Research Services

Kate Tepas
Legislative Coordinator
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Toni Calzone
Computer Scientist and IC Section 508 Coordinator
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Professional Members

Sheila Monroe
NIH Selective Placement Coordinator
Office of Human Resources

Soussan Afsharfar
Senior Architect
Office of Research Facilities