Janelle Johnson-Lester is a change agent in human resources and definitive leader in diversity and inclusion. Her 25 years of combined experience spans the private, federal and local government sectors bringing innovative approaches to leading organizational and cultural change.
She designed, developed and led the DEIA strategy in response to Executive Order 14035, a federal government-wide initiative to promote diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA), and is regarded by the Department of Labor (DOL) as a leading voice, having served as the DEIA officer for the DOL Employment and Training Administration (ETA). She played a key role in launching the DOL Divine 9 Affinity Group advocating and creating opportunities for the advancement of historically underserved communities with an emphasis on HBCUs to build a pipeline of talent from HBCUs to DOL. In response to Executive Order 13985/14091, she served on DOL Equity Committees to affirmatively advance equity, civil rights, racial justice and equal opportunity in the way the agency serves the American people.
Her experience also includes the Department of Transportation, where she served 12 years in the Office of the Secretary leading the human capital strategy, strategic workforce planning, diversity and inclusion, and organizational effectiveness strategies.
In the private sector, she worked for several technology companies including a seven-year tenure at Lockheed Martin Corporation. She was promoted several times and served as a corporate diversity manager leading a diversity and inclusion strategy as the SME for a statistical model and corporate initiative for 140,000 employees.
In 2014, her commitment to social justice, education and equality led to her appointment as a commissioner by the county executive to the Prince George’s County Human Relations Commission, now the Office of Human Rights, to investigate and enforce all federal discrimination laws within its jurisdiction. She was elected as vice-chair of the same commission in 2017 and served until October 2019. Currently, she serves with the Prince George’s County Human Trafficking Task Force as the chair of the Legislative Committee.
As an advocate, she moderated a panel discussion at the 2019 Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) Annual Legislative Conference.
As a part of her commitment to continuous learning, she earned a certificate in theology and ministry from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2017.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from George Mason University, a Master of Science degree in business from Johns Hopkins University, and a Master of Studies in Law from George Washington University School of Law.
She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.