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Renee King: Ensuring Space for Everyone

Renee King calls herself Goddard Space Flight Center’s conscience: She helps make sure that at NASA Goddard, there truly is space for everyone.

Name: Renee King
Title: Deputy Director of Equal Opportunity
Formal Job Classification: Supervisory, Equal Employment Opportunity Specialist
Organization: Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity (Code 120)

What do you do and what is most interesting about your role here at Goddard? How do you help support Goddard’s mission?

I provide oversight and manage the Equal Opportunity (EO) program, which consists of the complaints, reasonable accommodation, Affirmative Employment (MD 715) and special emphasis programs. I serve as the conscience of the center, ensuring fairness and equity for all employees. My most interesting role here at the center is building relationships with the people and forming partnerships with community, local and national groups, and organizations, while I support the mission of attracting and developing a talented and diverse workforce.

What is your educational background? What attracted you to EO?

I have a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore.

I value people and processes and  believe in equality and fairness. Being part of something that is bigger than me, as I love to help people and want to be the change agent that empowers DEIA – diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility – and it’s the right thing to do.

What brought you to Goddard?

I came to Goddard because it was ranked the number one agency to work for in their category. I started as an EEO specialist and evolved in 2022 into my current position.

What are your goals for Goddard’s EO programs?

I want to ensure that we are acknowledging the underrepresented groups and understanding the data around these groups and how they represent Goddard. For example, if there is a lack of women engineers at Goddard, we can look at the data and do more outreach to encourage more women engineers to work at Goddard.

We are focused now on identifying and collecting data about these unrepresented groups.

How do you use the data to implement change?

We effect change through outreach to build awareness. One way is to look at more diverse universities and colleges, such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-serving institutions, and tribal universities, to see how they could assist us in the goal of getting more diverse talent in the workplace.

What is your involvement with Goddard’s employee resource groups (ERGs)?

I oversee the Women’s ERG, which addresses issues surrounding women at Goddard and in general. The group allows us to promote education and training through observances, mentoring, and program activities.

I also oversee the program managers for most of Goddard’s ERGs to include the African Diaspora ERG, the Equal Accessibility ERG, the Hispanic Advisory Committee for Employees (HACE) ERG, the Native American ERG, and the Asian American ERG. All of the ERGs are vital to the center and the people.

How do you communicate Goddard’s EO program needs to management?

I assist the Goddard Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity director as a consultant, and as an adviser to the center director, deputy center directors, associate center director, and other management officials on all equal opportunity matters. Partially related to DEIA, I meet bi-weekly with senior management, which allows me to feel connected with and believe that they deeply care about our program. EO has a definite place in Goddard’s organization and we feel very supported.

I thank Veronica Hill, Goddard’s EO director, for putting our office in a place where we are seen and heard. I thank senior management for listening and caring.

Who inspires you?

My mom! She is the strongest woman I know. I stand on the shoulders of three generations of strong black women. She was the matriarch of our family. I saw her strength and her will as she fought for everything that she thought was right, even against her cancer. The lesson I learned is to never give up. Family is everything.

What are your hobbies?

I like shopping. I enjoy home decorating. I also love event planning, especially family reunions.

What is your “six-word memoir”? A six-word memoir describes something in just six words.

Resilient. Loyal. Diligent. Professional. Kind. Supportive.

By Elizabeth M. Jarrell
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Conversations With Goddard is a collection of Q&A profiles highlighting the breadth and depth of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center’s talented and diverse workforce. The Conversations have been published twice a month on average since May 2011. Read past editions on Goddard’s “Our People” webpage.

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