PhD in Leadership and Change alumna Dr. Stefanie Watson has published her dissertation entitled, Experiencing Race in the Workplace: Understanding How African American Male Leaders Make Sense of Their Race at Work. Her research aims to understand how African American male leaders experience and make sense of their race in the workplace. The knowledge and skills acquired from being an African American male leader in the United States includes navigating a multifaceted intersection of domains such as racial identity, masculinity, and leader development, which encompasses personal and professional lives. This research asserts that African American males’ understanding of race affects their professional relationships and leadership experience in the workplace. This study explores how African American males’ perceptions of race influence their interactions and leader development at work, including barriers and bridges to communication, stereotype threat, and perceived prejudice and discrimination.
Dr. Watson is the United States Census Bureau’s Chief of Diversity & Inclusion. In this role, she focuses on leading the research, development and implementation of strategic approaches to lead diversity and inclusion efforts. She can see the bigger picture and is driven by her intellectual curiosity to find answers to the most pressing equity and inclusion challenges. Prior to joining the United States Department of Commerce, she served as the Director for the Office of Employee Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Benefits Administration. Dr. Watson began her career in the federal government with the United States Department of Agriculture in 2008 as a federal career intern. She is a highly regarded civil rights, equity & inclusion practitioner.