Press Release

Dorothy Hayden-Watkins Named Assistant Administrator for Equal Opportunity Programs

By SpaceRef Editor
December 5, 2002
Filed under ,

NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe has appointed Dr. Dorothy Hayden-Watkins to be Assistant Administrator for Equal Opportunity Programs, effective in early 2003.

“NASA is very fortunate to find someone that will be able to contribute immediately to our diversity programs. Dorothy has significant experience and is a proven leader in this critically important area. She has done much to create equal employment opportunities and diversity in both the private sector and government, and she appreciates NASA’s commitment to these same objectives. The NASA family will benefit from her guidance to help us strengthen our work force and expand our cultural diversity,” said Administrator O’Keefe.

Hayden-Watkins is the principal of Hayden-Watkins & Associates, an executive consulting firm providing technical advice and services in strategic planning, implementation and evaluation of diversity and equal opportunity programs.

From 1998 to 2001, she was Senior Vice President for Diversity for the Hilton Hotels Corporation, Beverly Hills, Calif. She had responsibility for leading the Hilton Corporate Diversity Initiative. During her tenure, Fortune Magazine rated Hilton among the “50 Best Companies For Minorities to Work For” in 1999. Travel Agent Magazine named Dr. Hayden-Watkins one of the Most Powerful Women in Travel in 1999.

Prior to joining Hilton, Hayden-Watkins was a District Director for the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in California and Ohio. She had multi-state responsibility for enforcing (through investigation, litigation, and mediation) federal laws that prohibit discrimination in the workplace. She also administered EEOC educational and technical assistance programs to provide private employers with proactive and voluntary measures to ensure equal opportunity.

From 1981 to 1989, Hayden-Watkins was Director of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. She managed a successful legislative effort to pass an amendment to the state’s anti- discrimination act to include a prohibition against age discrimination in employment. While in the Colorado executive branch, through the Commission’s Research and Education Department, she directed a United States Housing and Urban Development funded comparability study of discrimination in housing against Blacks and Hispanics in the Southwest. The study was the first of its kind in the nation and contributed significantly to strengthening public policy regarding fair housing and equal housing opportunity.

Hayden-Watkins was an educator and administrator in the Denver Public Schools (assisting with implementation of court ordered school desegregation efforts), the Lincoln Nebraska Public School System (administering the district’s multi-cultural education program for administrators and teachers), and was responsible for teacher evaluation and staff development in the Cherry Creek School District in Denver. She was a member of the North Central Accreditation Association Evaluation Team that evaluated schools for family members of U. S. military personnel in the Mediterranean and Middle East.

Hayden-Watkins’ career spans more than 25 years. She has published articles on diversity and education, hosted a public affairs talk show, and lectured at universities. She chaired or served as an independent director on a variety of boards and commissions including the National NAACP Board of Directors, the NAACP Education Excellence Task Force and the Southern California Leadership Network. She has received numerous awards and honors such as Outstanding Woman of the Year and the UNC Trailblazer Award. She also participated in the U.S. Government Reinvention Initiative, and the White House Conference on Welfare to Work.

She holds a Ph.D. in Community and Human Resources and a M.Ed. in Education and Administration from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

Dr. Hayden-Watkins resides in Los Angeles with her husband Thomas R. Watkins. They have three children. She will begin her NASA duties in January.

SpaceRef staff editor.