2024 Leadership Summit Panelists

Panel: Building a More Diverse Senior Executive Service


Tyra Dent - President, African American Federal Executives Association (AAFEA)

Tyra Dent currently serves as the National President of the African American Federal Executive Association (AAFEA), a nonprofit organization, dedicated to promoting and preparing African Americans for advancement into and within the senior and executive ranks of the US Government. As a passionate advocate for diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility, Ms. Dent provides strategic leadership direction and oversight in governing AAFEA operations and programs.

Prior to joining the non-profit sector, Ms. Dent served as a distinguished career senior executive, having retired from the Senior Executive Service (SES) as the Deputy Chief Human Capital Officer (DCHO), Department of Commerce (DOC). As DCHO, Ms. Dent provided department-wide human resource (HR) policy development and operational oversight in collaboration with the CHCO. Prior to that role, Ms. Dent served as the Human Resource Division Chief at the US Census Bureau. In this capacity she led a national HR service delivery operation and advised Executive Staff and senior officials on all phases of human resource management. This responsibility included consultation on special HR efforts related to the management of census programs and research and development of policy guidance for recruiting and hiring approximately one million temporary employees nationwide to conduct the 2010 decennial census. Ms. Dent began her professional leadership journey with an appointment as a Presidential Management Fellow, at the U.S. Department of Treasury, Financial Management Services, where she coordinated and negotiated banking arrangements for federal deposits. Subsequently, Ms. Smith joined the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as Program Manager for the Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD). Ms. Dent possesses expertise in human resource management, strategic planning, change management and diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Ms. Dent holds a BA in psychology from Hampton University and an MPA from Howard University. Ms. Dent is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.


Elaine Ho - Chief Diversity Officer, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Elaine Ho is NASA’s Chief Diversity Officer. In this role, she provides executive leadership over diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) policy and programs for the entire NASA workforce. Elaine is a long-time public servant who has remained connected to DEIA throughout her career. Her previous roles include serving as the Deputy Director for NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement, and the Chief Diversity Officer at other federal agencies.   She’s held several positions in the White House, including Senior Policy Advisor for Michelle Obama’s Let Girls Learn initiative, Chief of Staff of the United States Digital Service, Deputy Chief of Staff in the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and most recently returned in 2022 from the Office of the Vice President’s National Space Council where she served as Director of the Space STEM policy.  Elaine started her career in the active duty Air Force, and continues to serve as a Colonel and attorney in the Air Force Reserves JAG Corps.

Lyle Hogue - Director, Army Strategic Outreach and Partnerships, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs

Dr. Lyle J. Hogue assumed duties as Director of Army Strategic Outreach and Partnerships on 1 November 2023. Prior to this role, Dr. Hogue served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Equity and Inclusion). In this new position, Dr. Hogue will partner with many Army organizations to synchronize and integrate Army outreach and partnership efforts. His focus areas include outreach, spouse employment, talent acquisition, development, employment, and retention of military and civilian people. Dr. Hogue played a vital role in the publishing of the Army People Strategy, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Annex, and the Expanding Diverse Talent in the Army Officer Corps Strategic Plan. Dr. Hogue has over 35 years of Army people experience. He spent his initial Army career serving in key recruiting assignments. He served as a Field Recruiter in the Boston, MA area where he converted to a cadre recruiter garnering repetitive assignments in multiple stations with increasing responsibilities. As a Recruiting Station Commander, he successfully ensured the smooth operation of all aspects of the recruiting process by leading subordinate Active and Reserve Component recruiters, managing day-to-day production, and inspiring recruiters towards mission accomplishment. Following recruiting duty, Dr. Hogue continued his people service as an Army Career Counselor. He served in increasing levels of responsibility in 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Cavazos (Hood), 2nd Infantry Division, Korea, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, V Corps, Germany, and culminated his career as the US Army Infantry Center and School Retention Sergeant Major. After his Army service, Dr. Hogue transitioned to International Business Machine, Inc (IBM) where he served as Senior Managing Consultant in IBM's Organization & People Public Sector practice (Human Capital). At IBM, Dr. Hogue led and worked on small teams focused on human resources, workforce strategies, and talent management. He supported projects across a range of workforce transformation areas including portal design and assessment of the Army Career Tracker. In 2009, Dr. Hogue accepted his first civil service position in the Army Office of Business Transformation serving as Chief, Change Management Division. Later, Dr. Hogue served on the Military Compensation & Retirement Modernization Commission where he significantly contributed to the establishment of the Blended Retirement System for over 2 million DOD service members. Dr. Hogue returned to the Army Headquarters in 2015 to serve as a senior human capital planner in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower & Reserve Affairs).

Charles Barber: Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, National Science Foundation (NSF)

Dr. Charles Barber is chief diversity and inclusion officer (CDIO) at the U.S. National Science Foundation.  

Barber was appointed to the Senior Executive Service and assumed the duties as CDIO at NSF in January 2023. In this role, he serves as NSF’s senior advisor responsible for providing vision, strategic leadership and management for ongoing agency programs and new initiatives related to diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility, or DEIA, in the NSF workplace and the STEM enterprise.  

Prior to his appointment at NSF, Barber served as director of diversity, equity and inclusion programs in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs and was a primary author on the Task Force One Navy report that led to the Operational Navy’s DE&I Implementation Strategy. He is a TEDx speaker and served as the feature speaker on DEI at the 2022 DAU TEDx conference.  

Barber has led a broad range of diversity efforts, development of culture intelligence capabilities, strategy, organizational leadership, critical data analysis and business transformation initiatives that have provided world class human resource and transformational leadership support to a dynamic range of public and private sector clients to include military service members, civilians and their families. With more than two decades of experience in human resources, diversity and inclusion, business transformation and cultural intelligence, he is a staunch advocate for efficiency, transformation and process improvement. He spearheaded development of the Army’s Soldier Record Brief while supporting the Army's Integrated Personnel and Pay System during one of the largest Army HR transformation efforts in the modern era. At the Defense Logistics Agency, he led the development of a culture intelligence framework that integrated transformational leadership principles within the DLA enterprise. As director of business transformation for the Department of Defense Vetting Directorate, he was a key contributor to the U.S. government’s security clearance and background investigation process improvement effort. He also previously served as the chief human capital officer for the District of Columbia courts.  

Barber holds a doctorate degree in transformational leadership from Bakke Graduate University and other degrees in organizational leadership and business management from Columbia Southern University and Excelsior College. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt and a previous guest lecturer at Harvard Kennedy School’s Senior Executive Fellows Program for Political Science and Government. He is a U.S. Army veteran with deployments to Kosovo and Iraq. A native of Bald Knob, Arkansas, he also starred as a sprinter on the Ouachita Baptist University and All Army track teams and achieved a personal best of 9.98 seconds in the 100-meter dash, and was recently inducted into the Arkansas Track and Field Hall of Fame (class of 2022). 

Laura Morgan Roberts: Associate Professor of Business Administration, UVA Darden School of Business

Dr. Laura Morgan Roberts is an Associate Professor of Business Administration at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. Laura’s research and consulting focus on the science of maximizing human potential in diverse organizations and communities. She has published over fifty research articles, teaching cases, and practitioner-oriented tools for strategically activating best selves through strength-based development. She has also edited three books: Race, Work and Leadership; Positive Organizing in a Global Society; and Exploring Positive Identities and Organizations. Her influential publications on diversity, authenticity and leadership development have been featured in Harvard Business Review and several other global media outlets.  

Laura earned a BA in Psychology (highest distinction & Phi Beta Kappa) from the University of Virginia, and an MA and Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from the University of Michigan. She has served on the faculties of Harvard Business School, Georgetown University McDonough School of Business, and Antioch University’s Graduate School of Leadership and Change. She has also taught courses in organizational behavior, psychology, negotiations, group dynamics, diversity, leadership and career development as a faculty affiliate of the University of Michigan, the Wharton School of Finance, Tuck, Georgia State University, UCLA Anderson, Simmons School of Management, and AVT (Copenhagen).

Panel: Enterprise Senior Executive Leadership


Marcus Hill - President, Senior Executives Association (SEA)

Marcus L. Hill is Principal of Hill Management Consultancy (HMC) LLC, a small disabled veteran-owned, minority business. HMC shares strategic advice with its clients to achieve their business priorities (see www.hillmgmtconsult.com). Hill also serves as President of the Senior Executives Association (SEA). SEA is a professional organization that promotes good government, advocates for and represents the interests of over 10,000 career senior executives across the Federal government. Hill retired from Federal civil service in January 2021, following 37 ½ years of honorable service, and the United States Air Force Reserve in 2007.  

Prior to Hill’s retirement, he served as the Senior Executive Advisor for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC), Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He provided component-level, headquarters strategic planning advice and counsel to FLETC executive leadership. He ensured an enterprise-wide, organizational focus remained on achieving the FLETC Director’s long-range, strategic priorities while operating in the midst of global pandemic. Hill also rendered executive leadership in matters related to FLETC’s mission, long-range law enforcement training plans and executive policy development. In addition, he provided advice and expertise in support of FLETC’s leadership training initiatives, and served as executive sponsor for corporate diversity, inclusion and engagement initiatives.  

Appointed under the Federal Junior Fellowship Program (FJFP), Hill began his career in 1983, as a personnel management specialist (GS-2, student trainee) with the Department of the Navy (DON), assigned to the Naval Submarine Base, Kings Bay, Georgia. Upon completing the FJFP and serving an active-duty tour in the United States Air Force (USAF), he resumed his civil service career in 1991. Prior to his transfer to FLETC, Hill served in several assignments, including Director of Workforce Relations at the Naval Submarine Base, Kings Bay; Director of the Human Resources Satellite Office and Program Management Department Head at the Naval Station, Mayport, Florida; and Director of the Organizational Management and Manpower Division of the Regional Resources Management Department with Commander Navy Region, Southeast.  

In 1999, Hill transferred to FLETC to serve as Chief of Staffing and Classification Branch in the Human Capital Division. Subsequently, he held positions as Senior Policy and Project Analyst (SPPA) for the Office of Planning and Resources and assistant to the FLETC Director. Following the tragic events of 9/11, he joined the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), serving as the Administrative Officer for the Jacksonville Field Office. He was instrumental in establishing the TSA infrastructure and screening operations at Jacksonville International and Gainesville Regional airports. Hill returned to FLETC in January 2004, assuming the SPPA responsibilities for the Training Directorate. Following this assignment, he served as the Deputy Assistant Director for the Office of Operations Support in the Administration Directorate, shortly after being appointed Assistant Director for the Mission and Readiness Support Directorate. In this role, he provided strategic leadership and executive oversight in support of the following enterprise programs: acquisitions, emergency management and continuity, facilities, human capital, assets, logistics, environmental and sustainability management, procurement, multi-media, student services, and health and safety. Hill accomplished these services through a staff of approximately 250 federal employees and 1,700 contractors, executing an annual budget of nearly $106 million. In addition, through a shared services agreement between FLETC and DHS Science and Technology Directorate’s Office of National Laboratories, Hill provided executive oversight for contracting services supporting major laboratory design, renovation and construction projects.  

Hill was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in 2006. In 2007, he retired from the USAF Reserves. Hill has received many awards and honors for distinguished service to include the 2017 Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service, the 2014 Department of Homeland Secretary’s Under Secretary for Management Partnership Award, DON Civilian Meritorious Service Medal, USAF Meritorious Service and Commendation Medals. Hill holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Valdosta State College. He completed leadership training and executive education programs sponsored by the Federal Executive Institute, John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Center for Creative Leadership, Brookings Institute, and Air University. In addition to SEA, Hill is a 2023 National Academy of Public Administration Fellow; member of the Military Officers Association of America, Reserve Officers Association, American Legion Post 511, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., Prince Hall Free and Accepted Masonic Order, The Shriners, and First African Baptist Church 


Ricardo Aguilera - Chief Financial Officer, Federal Reserve Board of Governors

Ricardo A. Aguilera has over 30 years of federal financial management experience ranging from auditing to budget in senior leadership roles in various agencies. He currently serves as Chief Financial Officer at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, where he oversees financial and related operations as well as procurement functions. Prior to this, the Honorable Ricardo Aguilera was nominated by President Barak Obama, confirmed by the Senate, and served as the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management and Comptroller. Before that, he was the Director of the Chief Financial Officer Academy at the National Defense University and a senior executive at the U.S. Department of Defense overseeing budgets for military operations overseas. He also had prior supervisory and analytic roles in the Office of Management and Budget and in the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Mr. Aguilera was recently named a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and is currently pursuing his doctorate at Georgetown University. 


Bruce Hollywood - Associate Chief Operations Officer, Space Force

Mr. Bruce Hollywood, a member of the Senior Executive Service, is currently the Associate Chief Operations Officer of the United States Space Force, the Pentagon, Washington DC. In this capacity, he supports the Chief Operations Officer in execution of overall responsibility for Operations, Logistics and Sustainment, Readiness, and Cyber and Nuclear Operations of the United States Space Force. He played a key role in the historic establishment of the United States Space Force as an independent Service in December 2019.

Prior to Space Force, Bruce was Assistant Deputy Director for Joint Strategy and Planning in the Joint Staff J5. His team led the development of the National Military Strategy, the Joint Strategic Campaign Plan, and the Global Campaign Plans. He worked with interagency partners across the government to strengthen whole-of-government approaches to National Security challenges.

Bruce was a Fellow in the first cohort of the White House Leadership Development Program. This Fellowship, sponsored by the Executive Office of the President, works to build enterprise leaders to tackle our Federal Government’s highest priority and highest impact challenges. His White House assignment was focused on improving service member and veteran mental health and suicide prevention services. Bruce served 21 years in the United States Air Force in a wide range of operational, staff, and leadership positions.

Tiffany Lightbourn, Director of Policy & Evaluation, Merit System Protection Board

Dr. Tiffany Lightbourn is the Director of Policy & Evaluation (OPE) at the U.S. Merit System Protection Board where she leads objective studies of Federal merit system policies, operations, and management practices. OPE reports communicate study findings and recommendations to the President, Congress, and diverse stakeholders to influence and analyze changes to federal workforce laws, regulations, policies, and practices. Before joining MSPB, Dr. Lightbourn served as the Executive Director of Human Resources Shared Services at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). At the IRS, Dr. Lightbourn led a high-performing team of human resources professionals providing payroll, personnel processing, benefits, retirement, and work-life services. She led numerous HR technology modernization initiatives to transform human capital service delivery and directed the agency’s Infectious Disease in the Workplace program. Prior to this position, Dr. Lightbourn served as IRS Director of Employment, Talent, and Security. 

Dr. Lightbourn is an experienced researcher and evaluator who seeks to make Government work better by utilizing performance and outcome data. Before joining the IRS, Dr. Lightbourn was a White House Leadership Development Fellow where in conjunction with the Office of Personnel Management and the Presidential Personnel Office, she led a governmentwide Hiring Excellence initiative to increase awareness and use of hiring flexibilities. As the Chief of Research and Evaluation at United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), she created an award-winning program of applied research and statistics on immigration programs and immigrant populations. Prior to USCIS she served as the Deputy Director of the DHS Presidential Transition Team in the Under Secretary of Management. Dr. Lightbourn started her Federal career at the DHS Science and Technology Directorate where she created Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics grant opportunities for scientists to contribute to the Department's understanding of terrorism, immigration, border, and maritime security. 

Dr. Lightbourn is also an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow and former professor of Psychology at Vassar College. She holds a doctorate degree in Social Psychology from the University of Michigan and bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Government from Beloit College. 

Panel: The Art of the Possible


Nancy Potok- Former Chief Statistician of The United States

Dr. Nancy Potok has over 30 years of executive experience in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. She previously served as the Chief Statistician of the United States in the Executive Office of the President, Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Census Bureau, Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Affairs at the US Department of Commerce, Chief Operating Officer of McManis & Monsalve Associates - a data analytics company, and Senior Vice President of NORC at the University of Chicago. She served as a Commissioner on the US Evidence Based Policy Making Commission, and currently chairs and serves on several Boards of nonprofit organizations and academic institutions dedicated to evidence-based policymaking, mathematics, computer science, and technology. She is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, and a SAGE at the Partnership for Public Service, where she coaches the AI for Federal Executives course. She is a former adjunct professor and current Senior Fellow at The George Washington University, and a visiting fellow at RTI International. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Arthur S. Flemming Award, Presidential Rank Award, Secretary of Commerce’s Gold Medal, AFERM Enterprise Risk Manager of the Year Award, and The George Washington University Distinguished Alumni Award. She began her career as a Presidential Management Fellow, and earned her Ph.D. at the Trachtenburg School of Public Administration and Public Policy at The George Washington University. 


Taka Ariga - Chief Data Scientist and the Director of Innovation Lab, Government Accountability Office

Taka is the first Chief Data Scientist and the Director of Innovation Lab appointed by the Comptroller General of the United States for the Government Accountability Office to help GAO adapt to the consequences of web 3.0 technologies and beyond. The mission of the Innovation Lab is to better understand inner workings of machine learning techniques, cloud services, zero trust controls, blockchains, extended reality, and other integrated cyber-physical capabilities. Taka is leading the exploration and experimentation of emerging technologies as a necessary and critical foresight function.

Taka is a current member of the federal Senior Executive Services and has over 23 years of consistent track record on delivering technology innovations sustainably and at scale by combining data science with IT competencies. He is passionate about fostering a data centricity mindset as a catalyst to address complex policy, regulatory, risk, operational, and business intelligence challenges.

Taka is natively fluent in both Japanese and Mandarin Chinese. In his spare time, he is also a serious classical chamber musician and a competitive tennis player.

Jennifer Pahlka- Author, Recoding America; Former U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer; Founder, Code for America and U.S. Digital Service

Jennifer Pahlka is the author of Recoding America: Why Government is Failing in the Digital Age and How We Can Do Better. She founded Code for America in 2010 and led the organization for ten years. In 2013, she took a leave of absence to serve as U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer under President Obama and helped found the United States Digital Service. She served on the Defense Innovation Board under Presidents Obama and Trump. At the start of the pandemic, she also co-founded United States Digital Response, which helps government meet the needs of the public with volunteer tech support. She received the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, and was named by Wired as one of the 25 people who has most shaped the past 25 years. Jennifer is a graduate of Yale University. 


Victor Udoewa- CTO, CXO, and Service Design Lead, Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) 

Victor Udoewa is Service Design Lead in the Office of Public Health Data, Surveillance, and Technology at the CDC. He previously served as CTO, CXO, and Service Design Lead of NASA Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs. Prior, he was the Director of Strategy at 18F, a civic consultancy for and inside the government. He led the digital strategy practice and served as a designer and strategist on projects. Previously, as a Global Education Instructional Designer and Training Development Specialist at Google, he designed learning products and services for people in low-to-middle-income countries around the world.