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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Federal Women's Leadership Summit, September 23, 2013

Speaker Bios

Veronica E. Villalobos

Ms. Villalobos was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in October 2010. She currently holds the position of Director, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). In that capacity, she manages OPM’s government-wide diversity effort to develop, drive and monitor strategies and initiatives designed to create a more diverse and inclusive Federal workforce.

Prior to her current position, Ms. Villalobos was employed at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC or Commission), as one of the agency’s first Honor Program Attorneys. From 2008 through 2010, she served as the Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity where she was responsible for EEOC’s EEO Complaint Processing and Affirmative Employment Programs. In spring of 2010, she detailed to OPM as Special Counsel to Christine Griffin, OPM Deputy Director and Chair of the Inter-Agency Work Group on Diversity (Work Group). She coordinated the Work Group’s efforts to develop a Government-wide Strategic Plan to create a Federal workplace that represents all segments of society.

In 2008, she served as the Chair of the Federal Hispanic Work Group, which was charged by the EEOC Chair with examining the Hispanic community’s systemic concerns about federal sector employment and executive development. From 2000 through 2008, Ms. Villalobos was assigned to the Office of Federal Operations where she issued decisions in cases covering the entire spectrum of legal bases of alleged discrimination, including race, color, sex, national origin, age, disability, religion, and reprisal. In 2006 and 2008, she served as a supervisory attorney and was responsible for reviewing the appellate decisions drafted by attorneys on appeals from agency and EEOC Administrative Judge decisions issued on federal sector discrimination complaints.

During a detail in 2002, Ms. Villalobos worked in the EEOC’s Office of Legal Counsel, where she litigated Equal Employment Opportunity and Merit System Protection Board cases on behalf of the Commission and provided legal advice to the Chair and Commissioners regarding complex disability cases, as well as administrative and union matters. In 2003, she detailed to the National Labor Relations Board, where she worked in both the Chairman’s Office, drafting Board decisions, and the General Counsel’s Contempt Litigation Division.

Ms. Villalobos was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. She graduated from Saint Mary’s College in South Bend, Indiana in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Psychology. After graduation, she received the Telecommunications Fellowship with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, through which she gained hands-on experience at the non-profit Public Technology, Inc. From 1997 to 2000, she attended American University’s Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C., where she earned her law degree. Ms. Villalobos is a member of the Maryland and Michigan Bars.

Jen Mason

Jen Mason serves as the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Ms. Mason’s primary responsibility includes overseeing the Government-wide Veterans’ Employment Initiative. In addition, she is responsible for managing the efforts of the Administration’s Hiring Reform Initiative which is aimed toward improving the timeliness and effectiveness of the federal hiring process. Jen Mason serves on the Government-wide Equal Pay Task Force and works closely with the Diversity and Inclusion Initiative as a member of the Sustainability Sub-committee.

Ms. Mason is also the OPM representative on the White House Council on Women and Girls and has led the team to develop Government-wide Guidance to Address Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault in the Federal Workplace. Prior to joining OPM, Ms. Mason served on the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee as the Illinois Liaison. She previously served as the Acting State Director and the Director of Constituent Services for then-Senator Barack Obama from 2005 to 2008.

Ms. Mason began working for President Obama as his District Director when he was Illinois State Senator of the 13th Legislative District in 1998. Ms. Mason was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and attended Northern Illinois University where she studied Education and History.

Bonnie St. John

For over twenty years, Bonnie St. John has circled the globe as a keynote speaker and leadership consultant for over five hundred different companies, non-profits and associations. From Fortune 100 C-suites to front line management, Bonnie’s initiatives (both live and web-based), have inspired leaders at every corporate level to improve their skills, hone their thinking, and expand their horizons to new levels of performance.  Her flexible, individually tailored, highly impactful, yet entertaining presentations are designed to provide insightful and inspirational solutions to the global, ever changing challenges of the 21st Century workplace.

Bonnie has risen to the highest levels of achievement in a variety of endeavors throughout her life.  Despite having her right leg amputated at age five, she became the first African-American ever to win Olympic or Paralympic medals in ski racing, taking home a silver and two bronze medals in downhill events at the 1984 Paralympics in Innsbruck, Austria.  In recognition of this historic achievement, Bonnie was quoted on millions of Starbucks coffee cups and was honored at the White House by President George W. Bush.

Bonnie graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University and earned a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, taking an M.Litt. in Economics.  After returning to the US, she began her business career at IBM where she won awards as a sales rep.  Soon, though, Washington came calling and Bonnie was appointed by President Bill Clinton as a Director for Human Capital Policy on the White House National Economic Council.

The celebrated author of six books, Bonnie co-authored her most recent #1 bestseller, How Great Women Lead, with her teenage daughter, Darcy.  Together they traveled around the world on an extraordinary mother-daughter journey into the lives, and life lessons, of fascinating women leaders including Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, fashion designers, CEOs, women’s rights activists, and many more. 

Bonnie also enjoys “giving back.” She frequently donates personal appearances to schools, homeless shelters, community groups, and other organizations in hundreds of locations while traveling for corporate clients. During the winter, she coaches disabled ski racers for the Adaptive Sports Foundation in Windham, NY.  In 2010, Bonnie once again represented the USA as a member of President Obama’s official delegation to the Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver.

Bonnie has been featured extensively in both national and international media including: The Today Show, CNN, CBS Morning News, NBC News, PBS, NPR, and The New York Times, as well as People, “O”, and Essence magazines, to name just a few.  NBC Nightly News called Bonnie, “One of the five most inspiring women in America.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhowH4QK2FQ

Linda D. Datcher

Linda D. Datcher is a Workforce Development Manager for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) responsible for Government-wide Mentoring, College and University Partnerships, Training Policy and Outreach for occupational training and HR University.  Linda is a highly qualified senior human resources director with over 30 years of progressive strategic human resources/capital management professional in the public, private and non-profit sector.  Linda has developed, designed, implemented and evaluated full service human resource organizations with an emphasis on providing strategic value.  Throughout her career, Linda has successfully identified organizational weaknesses and recommended strategies to correct and sustain improvements.   

Recognized for her effective communication skills and proven interpersonal abilities, Linda successfully interfaces with all levels of an organization.  Her greatest pleasure as an HR professional is to unveil hidden strengths in employees, motivate them to want to explore these strengths, and coach them to further the advancement of the organization as well as their individual careers.  A proud Hampton Institute graduate and native Washingtonian, Linda currently resides in Sterling, Virginia with her husband Derrick. 

E. Vivian Spathopoulos, ACC

Vivian has over 25 years of experience in executive coaching, organizational development, leadership performance, and international business and development.  She works with senior executives assisting them in strategic thinking and planning, organizational effectiveness, and continuous improvement initiatives. 

Vivian currently works as an Executive Coach and Organizational Development Consultant for the Federal Housing and Finance Agency’ Learning Academy.  Prior to joining FHFA, she worked at the Securities and Exchange Commission where she ran the agency’s Executive Coaching Program and served as an organizational development specialist. She also worked as an executive coach and organizational development consultant for SRA International where she founded SRA’s Executive Coaching Practice and Leadership Development service offerings.  While at SRA, Vivian managed large scale organizational change efforts and developed and implemented leadership learning and executive coaching programs to serve her federal government, World Bank, and IMF clients.

Vivian held positions within the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. During her tenure as Deputy Director for Europe for the US and Foreign Commercial Service, she established and operated 20 Commercial Service Offices and American Business Centers in the former Soviet Union.  As a senior international trade specialist, she provided business coaching services to companies entering markets in Asia, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

Vivian has a Certificate in Corporate Coaching from Corporate Coach University and is ACC certified by the International Coach Federation. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Organizational Development from Marymount University, a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Fordham University.    She holds certifications in Myers-Briggs Personality Type, the Personal Coaching Styles Inventory and The Team Diagnostic Assessment Tool.  She is certified to teach the Coaching Clinic and has developed and taught courses in communications styles, change management, situational leadership and conflict management. She is a member of the International Coach Federation as well as a member of the Society for Human Resource Management.

Timothy P. Groh

Mr. Groh began his career as a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in February 1996.  His first assignment was to the Miami Division where he specialized in counterterrorism investigations.  On September 11, 2001 he was assigned to Miami International Airport as the division’s counterterrorism aviation liaison and hijacking coordinator.  In January 2002 he was appointed as the FBI’s first case agent at Camp X-ray in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  In 2003, he was promoted to Supervisory Special Agent where he led the Joint Terrorism Task Force in the Palm Beach County Resident Agency.  He moved to FBI headquarters in 2007 when he was promoted into a Unit Chief position in the Human Resources Division’s Executive Development and Selection Program where he oversaw all Special Agent mid-level management promotions.  After serving in that position for three years, Mr. Groh was named Assistant Special Agent in Charge for the Washington Field Office’s Administrative Division. 

 In March 2011 Mr. Groh was appointed to a Senior Executive Service position as Executive Program Manager of the FBI’s Leadership Development Program.  In that position he leads an interdisciplinary team developing and deploying a comprehensive, state of the art, leadership program for all FBI employees.  In 2011, he received the Director of National Intelligence’s Human Capital Outstanding Leadership Award.  Since July, 2013 he has served as the Acting Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI’s Human Resources Division.

Prior to joining the FBI, Mr. Groh served in Canton, New York as a Protection and Advocacy attorney representing individuals with disabilities.  Mr. Groh earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Emory University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Miami. He is a member of the Florida and New York Bars.  He is originally from Tampa, Florida, is married, and has two sons.

Mary Ann Fresco

Ms. Fresco was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in November 2002. She currently is on detail to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).  In that capacity, she has been instrumental in executing the President’s Executive Order 13583, “Establishing a Coordinated Government-wide Initiative to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Workforce.”  She has served and continues to serve as the co-architect of a three phase process by which all agencies government-wide focus on workforce diversity, workplace inclusion and sustainability.

Prior to her current position, for more than ten years, Ms. Fresco held the position of Director, Office of Diversity and Outreach, National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) where she managed diversity efforts and programs to develop, drive and monitor strategies and initiatives designed to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce. In that position, she served as principal advisor to the NNSA Administrator on all matters relating to the management of diversity issues.

From 1997 through 2002, she served as the Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Civil Rights Compliance, Small Business Administration (SBA) where she was responsible for SBA’s nationwide Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint Processing and Affirmative Employment Programs.  In spring of 1998, she detailed to the White House Task Force as Executive Director of Empowerment Programs where she led the evaluation of over 160 community and economic strategic plans; implemented five rural Empowerment Zones (EZs) and 20 Enterprise Communities (ECs); and, established EZ/EC development training and benchmark system. In 1994, she detailed to the White House Task Force as Special Assistant to the Director for Program Liaison where she served as task force team leader, SBA Economic Development liaison, and representative to the White House Conference on Small Business.  From 1992 through 1994, Ms. Fresco served as Director, Consumer Affairs, SBA where she managed SBA’s nationwide Consumer Affairs Program. She served as SBA’s liaison to the Federal Consumer Affairs Council and to non-government consumer organizations serving as an advocate for small business. From 1990 through 1992, Ms. Fresco served as the Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Administration (SBA) where she managed a wide array of administrative management programs. Ms. Fresco also served as Director of Administrative Services, General Services Administration (GSA).  She is also a graduate of GSA’s Management Intern Program of the Public Buildings Service. 

Ms. Fresco was born and raised in northeastern Pennsylvania.  She graduated from Heidelberg College, Tiffin, Ohio with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish.  Ms. Fresco also attended Cornell University in New York City, New York where she earned the Cornell Certified Diversity Professional Advanced Practitioner Certification (CCDP/AP) in 2010. Ms. Fresco resides in northern Virginia with her family.

Pamela Gibbs

Pamela A. Gibbs joined the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in January 2012 as the inaugural Director of the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI).   Created by Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Act, OMWI is responsible for all matters relating to diversity in management, employment, and business activities at the SEC.  As Director for OMWI, Ms. Gibbs is responsible for developing standards to ensure diversity and inclusion within the SEC workforce and senior management, and assessing the diversity policies and practices of entities regulated by the Agency.  She is also responsible for increasing the participation of minority-owned and women-owned businesses in programs and contracts at the SEC.  This includes developing procedures to ensure, to the maximum extent possible, the fair inclusion and utilization of minorities and women in the workforce, as well as minority-owned and women-owned businesses as contractors and sub-contractors.

Prior to joining the agency, Ms. Gibbs served as the Director for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, where she was responsible for developing and coordinating initiatives to attract a diverse workforce, overseeing the implementation of  the Commission’s Federal administrative complaint process, and initiating internal policy and guidance to ensure an inclusive workplace.  Ms. Gibbs began her career at the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Solicitor, as a trial attorney enforcing the affirmative action obligations of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and as an agency representative on internal employment discrimination and labor relations matters.  Ms. Gibbs is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the Georgetown University Law Center. 

Laura Stomski

Laura Stomski currently serves as the Deputy Director for the Office of Minority and Women at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  This Office was established in July of 2011, as required by Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.  The mission of this new office is three-fold.  OMWI is focused on increasing the participation of minorities and women in SEC’s workforce and business activities, and developing standards to assess the diversity policies and practices of the entities that are regulated by the SEC. 

Prior to joining OMWI, Ms. Stomski worked as the SEC’s Disability Program Officer, managing the reasonable accommodation needs primarily of SEC’s staff and on disability hiring initiatives.

Ms. Stomski worked at the U.S. Department of Labor’s, Civil Rights Center, where she was involved in all aspects of processing discrimination complaints filed against the Agency.   In addition, Ms. Stomski worked in the U.S. Department of Labor’s, Office of the Solicitor, as a trial attorney litigating labor and employment issues and as an appellate attorney on issues involving federal workers’ compensation. 

Ida Abbott

Ida Abbott has been helping employers develop, manage and retain legal talent since 1995.  She also serves as a mentor and coach to high achieving individuals seeking professional success. Ida has long been recognized as a leader in the fields of mentoring and sponsorship, leadership development and professional development, and is a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management.

For many years, Ida has been at the forefront of efforts to promote women in the legal profession. She is co-founder and Director of the Hastings Leadership Academy for Women at the University of California Hastings College of the Law, where she is also a Faculty Fellow. She serves on the Advisory Boards of the New York Women’s Bar Association Foundation and the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia Initiative on Retention and Advancement of Women, and was Bay Area Co-Chair of the Women in Law Empowerment Forum.

The other aspects of Ida’s practice involve lawyers’ professional development, particularly mentoring and leadership development. Ida serves on the Executive Committee of the National Legal Mentoring Consortium. She is a founder and former board member of the Professional Development Consortium, served as Vice-Chair of the Academic and Professional Development Committee of the International Bar Association, and has held many other leadership positions in bar associations and legal organizations. One of the ways Ida promotes effective law firm management and leadership is by bringing leaders together on a regular basis to learn, share and network with each other. She operates Roundtables for women law firm leaders and for professional development leaders in global law firms.

Ida’s clients are located throughout the world. They include firms and companies of varying size and complexity, from small and mid-size local offices to global law and accounting firms.

Before starting her consulting firm, Ida practiced law for 20 years. She specialized in complex litigation at Heller Ehrman LLP, where she also ran the firm's professional development and pro bono programs. She often served as a judge pro tempore in the San Francisco Superior Court and as a private and court-appointed mediator and arbitrator.

Ida has authored dozens of articles and numerous resource materials, as well as several highly acclaimed books, including Women on Top: The Woman's Guide to Leadership and Power in Law Firms, Lawyers’ Professional Development: The Legal Employer’s Comprehensive Guide, and The Lawyer's Guide to Mentoring.  She has been a columnist for Diversity & the Bar Magazine and serves on the Editorial Board of Women in Law International. Her electronic newsletter, Management Solutions, can be found on her website, www.IdaAbbott.com.

Ida has been featured and quoted in numerous publications and is a popular speaker at national and international professional conferences. 

Ida received her J.D. from Hastings College of the Law, M.A. from the University of Miami, and A.B. from Smith College.




Modified: 09/20/2013