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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Special Emphasis Programs

APHIS will implement Special Emphasis Programs through National Civil Rights and Diversity Advisory Committee (NCRDAC) and the Civil Rights and Diversity Advisory Committees (CRDAC). The purpose of the NCRDAC is to serve as a strategic advisor to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) in providing management officials and employees with a vehicle that enhances equal opportunity employment and program delivery issues.   The NCRDAC supports a diverse, proficient, and skilled workforce; equality of program delivery; and the civil rights of employees.  The NCRDAC also establishes lines of communication between employees and management through views on civil rights issues.  All of the programs in APHIS will have a Civil Rights and Diversity Advisory Committees (CRDAC).   

Special Emphasis Programs were established to assist agencies in assuring that equal opportunity is present in all aspects of employment and that proper action is being taken to identify and eliminate barriers for equal employment and program delivery activities.

The purpose of Special Emphasis Programs (SEP) is to provide guidance and direction on the establishment and administration of SEPs throughout the Department of Agriculture.  SEPs address the unique concerns of the following individuals: African Americans; American Indians/Alaska Natives; Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders; persons with disabilities; Veterans; Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender individuals; Hispanic individuals; and women in achieving diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity in employment activities.

  • Overall direction, implementation, and administration of the Special Emphasis Programs (SEPs).
  • Ensuring that human and financial resources are available for results oriented SEPs.
  • Ensuring clear performance requirements establish the role, responsibilities, and participation required of managers and supervisors in support of SEP efforts.
  • Commitment to and visible support of SEPs.

The Deputy Administrator, Regional Directors, and Division Directors may appoint any employee to serve as a collateral duty Special Emphasis Program Manager (SEPM) and Diversity Liaison.  There is no grade or occupational series requirement for the position.  Employees should be appointed without regard to race, gender, age, color, national origin, religion or disability. Collateral duty appointments allow employees to spend up to 20% of their official duty time implementing the goals and objectives of the  assigned program. 

The purpose of the National Civil Rights and Diversity Advisory Committee (NCRDAC) is to serve as a strategic advisor to ODI in providing management officials and employees with a vehicle that enhances equal employment opportunities and program delivery issues.   Each program in APHIS designates one HQ member to serve on the NCRDAC for a duration of two years (PPQ and VS will also have filed representatives).  The NCRDAC supports a diverse, proficient, and skilled workforce; equality of program delivery; and the civil rights of employees.  The NCRDAC also establishes lines of communication between employees and management to share information related to civil rights and diversity matters.  

APHIS National Civil Rights Diversity Advisory Committee (NCRDAC)

Name Program
Whitney Wilson Animal Care (AC)
TBD Biotechnology Regulatory Services (BRS)
Robin White International Services (IS)
Felicia Stepney Legislative and Public Affairs (LPA)
Julie Cooper Marketing and Regulatory Programs Business Services (MRPBS)
Benjamin Kaczmarski Program and Policy Development (PPD)
Aissha Hernandez Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ)
Laura Christensen Veterinary Services (VS)
Dasheba Williams Veterinary Services (VS)
Melissa Warrick Wildlife Services (WS)


Civil Rights Diversity Advisory Committee(NCRDAC) Program Chairperson

CRDAC Chairpersons are program leaders, they serve as the primary point of contact for all committee activities. Chairpersons work with NCRDAC members and recommend training or programs for their program unit that will enhance awareness of Special Emphasis Programs. They serve as a resource in the workplace and in the community for information on hiring opportunities and outreach sources. Chairpersons provide technical assistance to committees planning special observances and evaluate the effectiveness of activities and programs regarding achievement of SEP objectives.

Chairpersons

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Name
Program Location
Annette Chapman AC Riverdale
Chessa Huff-Woodard BRS Riverdale
Anna Ter IS Riverdale
Terry Henson LPA Riverdale
Julie Cooper MRPBS Riverdale
Julie Shepherd PPQ Indiana
Deric Picton PPQ Beltsville
Laura Hartmann PPQ Ft. Collins
Dan McCoy PPQ Missouri
Janet Conway-Spells PPQ Riverdale
Kerry Garcia VS VS CRDAC 1
Vicky Moore VS VS CRDAC 3
Sally Rejas & Andy Titsworth
VS Riverdale
Brandalyn Heathcote VS Ex-Officio Member
Mildred Bundy VS Ex-Officio Member
Lisa Dixon VS Ex-Officio Member
Janet Payeur VS Ames
Terry Conger & Shelley Oelkers VS VS CRDAC 4
Laura Christensen VS VS CRDAC 4
John Hollis VS VS CRDAC 2
Shane Blay VS Ft. Collins
Melissa Warrick WS Ft. Collins
Benjamin Kaczmarski PPD Riverdale


For additional information:

Office of Diversity and Inclusion Contact List
Name (Last, First) Title Telephone Email Address
Cole, La Shon Acting Deputy Director (301) 851-4193 lashon.d.cole@usda.gov
Johnson, Patrick Diversity and Inclusion Specialist (301) 851-3137 patrick.johnson@usda.gov
Spann, Shayla Diversity and Inclusion Specialist (301) 851-4198 shayla.r.spann@usda.gov
Sykes, Thelma Diversity and Inclusion Specialist (301)851-4208 thelma.d.sykes@usda.gov


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