Terri A. Dickerson a member of the government’s Senior Executive Service since 2000, joined the Coast Guard in 2006 as Civil Rights Director, a position in which she ensures equality of opportunity, and leads equity programs for a 58,000-member workforce. Prior to this position, she was Assistant Staff Director at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. She led teams investigating and producing reports to Congress and the American public on issues across the civil rights sphere including voting, equality in education, access to health care, and equal employment. She also was Associate Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration where she worked on minority enterprise development.
Dr. Dickerson began her career in the private, non-profit sector, eventually becoming Executive Director of American Women in Radio and Television. Before that, she served as diversity director for a newspaper trade association and its foundation.
Dr. Dickerson has written articles for industry and national publications including The Washington Post, USA-TODAY, and The Ladies' Home Journal. Her book on diversity training (1993) was a bestseller for its publisher. She has been responsible for researching and publishing reports that bear the U.S. Government seal. She has testified before the U.S. Congress, House Sub-Committee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. She was named a Presidential Meritorious Executive in 2008, which honors the top 5% of senior Federal employees for “sustained extraordinary accomplishment.” In 2014, she received the Benjamin Hooks Distinguished Service Award from the NAACP for forming, implementing, and facilitating policy which promotes fairness and equity.
Dr. Dickerson serves in governance roles including membership on the: Board of Advisors, Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute; Security Appeals Board, Department of Homeland Security; Institutional Review Board, U.S. Coast Guard. She served on the Coast Guard Academy Board of Trustees; she also taught Negotiation and Conflict Management at the Academy. She is an Adjunct Professor at George Mason University’s Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, one of the nation’s few schools dedicated to social justice and peace. A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, she is among students who were the first to integrate the New Orleans Catholic school system.