Advisory Board

Editor-in-Chief Deborah J. Levine

Many thanks to the ADR Advisors for helping make the American Diversity Report an exemplary inclusion resource. Scroll down to see their profiles.


Ashton ADR Advisor: Deborah P. Ashton, Ph.D., CDM 

Dr. Deborah Ashton is a HR and DEI executive with 30+ years of global and Fortune 500 experience. She led DEI at Medtronic, Darden Restaurants, Harley-Davidson, Argonne National Laboratory and Novant Health. She has published in the Harvard Business Review, American Diversity Report, for American Hospital Association, etc. She is an Inclusion Magazine’s 2021 D&I Hall of Fame inductee and one of Savoy Magazine’s 2014 Top Influential Women in Corporate America. She has a Clarke College BA, a Harvard University PhD, and a Harvard Medical School postdoctoral fellowship. She is a licensed psychologist specializing in organizational and clinical psychology.

Advisory Board - Marc Brenman ADR Advisor: Marc Brenman

Marc Brenman is a writer, consultant, and educator on human rights and leadership through his firm, IDARE LLC. He served as Executive Director of the Washington State Human Rights Commission and as Senior Policy Advisor for Civil Rights at the U.S. Dept. of Transportation. He held positions with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Dept. of Education. He served on the Diversity Standards Task Force of the Society for Human Resources Management and ASTM and is on the Board of Advisors of The City Project of Los Angeles.  Marc is author of policy and research papers, articles, and op-eds. He has taught graduate courses on civil rights history, human rights, public policy development, advocacy, and strategic planning at Evergreen College in Olympia, Washington and the University of Utah. He recently taught in the Young African Leadership Initiative, a USAID program in Nairobi, Kenya.

Dr. Carlos CortesADR Advisor: Dr. Carlos E. Cortés

Dr. Carlos E. Cortés is the Edward A. Dickson Emeritus Professor of History at the University of California, Riverside.  For nearly thirty years he has served on the faculties of the Harvard Institutes for Higher Education, the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication, and the Federal Executive Institute. Cortés has been Scholar-in-Residence with Univision Communications and received an NAACP Image Award for being the Creative/Cultural Advisor for Nickelodeon’s award-winning children’s television series, “Dora the Explorer,” and its sequels, “Go, Diego, Go!” and “Dora and Friends: Into the City.” He was also a 2018-2019 fellow of the University of California National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement and in 2019 received the Latino Spirit Award from the California Latino Legislative Caucus.

Gail DawsonADR Advisor: Dr. Gail A. Dawson

Gail Dawson is Associate Professor of Management at U. of Tennessee at Chattanooga.  She was Sr. Consultant at Price Waterhouse Management Consultants, Scheduling/Car Distribution at General Motors. Her degrees are from: University of South Florida, Drexel University – College of Business and Administration, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. Gail has served as co-host of the ADR Town Hall.


Ainesh Dey ADR Advisor: Ainesh Dey

Ainesh Dey is a student at St Xavier’s College, Kolkata. He served as a social media marketing intern in International MUN and as a content creator for: Times of India, The Print and Youth ki Awaaz. He worked closely with the International Justice Mission, pitching solutions on issues of women trafficking, abuse of human rights and elimination of poverty.


David ADR Advisor: David B. Grinberg

David Grinberg is a strategic communications consultant, ghostwriter, and literary PR agent on issues of workforce diversity, equal employment opportunity, race and gender equity, and other social justice causes. A native New Yorker and University of Maryland graduate, David began his career in journalism. He’s a former career spokesman for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), where he managed media relations for agency headquarters and 50 field offices nationwide for over a decade. Prior to his EEOC public service, David was a young political appointee for Pres. Bill Clinton in the White House: Office of Presidential Personnel, and Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Advisory Board - Terry Howard  ADR Advisor: Terry Howard

Terry Howard is a diversity leader, corporate storyteller, and bridge-builder. His career includes 15 years in HR and Diversity at AT&T and 15 years as Global Director of Diversity for Texas Instruments, where he supported the TI Diversity Network, the black and Hispanic employee Insights groups, managed external development programs and awards processes for diverse talent and developed and delivered global learning labs across the US, in Asia and India and in Europe. His many honors and awards include the Corporate Diversity Award from the Society of Black Engineers and the UT-Dallas Diversity Champion Award, among others. He authors a periodic blog, which focused on contemporary touch societal issues. Areas of Expertise: Inclusive Leadership, Cultural Agility, Business Resource Groups, Performance Feedback across Diversities, Workplace Bullying, Unconscious Bias and Dealing with issues of race.


  ADR Advisor: Soumaya Khalifa

Soumaya Khalifa is President of Khalifa Consulting (KC), a wide network of consultants. They provide consulting, training and coaching in the areas of intercultural communication, effective global teams, expatriate training, US, Arab and Muslim cultural expertise and  destination services. Soumaya is adjunct faculty at Emory University where she offers classes on Human Resources Management. With an MBA in Human Resources, a bi-cultural background, and 20 years in corporate America, Soumaya provides her clients with customized solutions to improve their business performance.


Advisory Board - Simma Lieberman  ADR Advisor: Simma Lieberman

Simma Liebermann is “The Inclusionist” who helps organizations create more profitable and productive cultures. She specializes in implementing D&I, cultural competency, and life/work balance strategies. Her clients include: City of San Francisco, Motorola, Diageo, ABM Industries, GE, Applied Materials, Monster, Renaissance Hotels, Pillsbury Bakeries, McDonalds, Kaiser Permanente, Chevron, and the IRS. Simma is co-chair of the San Francisco Bay Area Regional Council of Out and Equal. She has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, NY Times,, Investors Business Daily,, Managing Diversity Journal, Black MBA, National Diversity Workforce Network, Cosmopolitan UK, and Newsday.

MannoneFormer ADR Advisor: Poetry Editor
John C. Mannone (Click for Poetry Archives) 

John C. Mannone is widely published in journals such as Artemis, Poetry South, Baltimore Review, and Pedestal. He won the Jean Ritchie Fellowship in Appalachian literature (2017) and served as the celebrity judge for the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (2018). He edits poetry for several other online magazines, including the Hugo-nominated semipro zine, Abyss & Apex. A retired physics professor and nuclear consultant, he lives between Knoxville and Chattanooga, TN.

Susan  ADR Advisor: Susan McCuistion

Susan McCuistion is a 20+ year D&I professional and creator of Compassionate Diversity®. She is author of, “The D Word: 12 Steps to Diversity Recovery” and is a #1 International Bestselling Business Author. Susan’s visionary approach to D&I led to the development of an online conference, New Diversity Summit™, even before online conferences were cool. Susan holds an M.S. in Statistics from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is a registered member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. 

Shalini Nag

ADR Advisor: Dr. Shalini Nag

Dr. Shalini Nag is the founder and chief culture strategist at EvidaSolve and the co-founder and CEO of ProPhounD. Creator of The Success DeltaTM and #1 international bestselling author, Shalini works with leaders globally to deliver business and competitive advantage by crafting high-performing, inclusive workplaces. Her unique approach blends business strategy, talent and culture strategy, and DEI strategy to shift organizations from ineffective band-aid solutions to sustainable success. In her 20-year career as scientist (A-Star and Yale), consultant (Boston Consulting Group) and culture strategist, Shalini has delivered measurable results at over 120 organizations worldwide.

The Rev. Dr. John Pawlikowski ADR Advisor: The Rev. Dr. John Pawlikowski

The Rev. Dr. John Pawlikowski is a Servite Friar priest, Professor Emeritus of Social Ethics, and Former Director of the Catholic-Jewish Studies Program, part of The Bernardin Center for Theology and Ministry, at Chicago’s Catholic Theological Union (CTU). Pawlikowski was appointed to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council by several presidents, chaired the council’s Subcommittee on Church Relations, served on its executive committee, the Committee on Conscience, and academic committee. He also served as president of the International Council of Christians and Jews (ICCJ) and is a member 3 key committees of the Parliament of the World’s Religions (Global Ethic, Peace and Justice, and Climate Action Task Force).

George Simons

ADR Advisor: Dr. George Simons

Dr. George Simons is the creator of the award-winning diversophy® game series for developing intercultural competence. Living in France, he delivers consultation, coaching, training worldwide. Publications include: EuroDiversity, Men and Women: Partners at Work, Seven Ways to Lighten your Life, Putting Diversity to Work, and of eight Cultural Detective® intercultural guides. He is collaborating in developing acculturation tools for migrants and the communities that receive them and applying gamified neuro-scientific for learning in organizations, cultural groups and individuals.

ADR Advisor Lorne SteedleyADR Advisor: Lorne Steedley

Lorne Steedley is the Diversity and Inclusive Growth VP at Chattanooga’s Chamber of Commerce and an accomplished professional with experience in community development, partnership building and driving strategic initiatives.
Steedley led Motus Consulting USA, LLC, a management consultancy providing services to groups engaged in transformation, including nonprofits, corporations, and government entities.
A former International Fellow of the Emerging Leaders Program in the Graduate School of Business at the U. of Cape Town, S. Africa, he’s also a former Research Fellow at M.I.T.’s Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning. Steedley received a B.A. from the U. of South Carolina, a M.S. in Human Services from the U. of Massachusetts-Boston and a M.A. in Sociology from Boston College.


ADR Advisor: Jan Levine Thal

Jan Levine Thal is a novelist (Bone Deep published in 2020), playwright (3 plays performed in Madison, WI), and editor. Jan has lived and worked around the world including Japan, China, and Mexico. She is former Managing Editor of the U. of  Wisconsin Journal of Human Resources, and former Copy Editor of the Beijing Review.  Jan co-founded and for a decade was Artistic Director of the Kathie Rasmussen Women’s Theatre. Her degrees include journalism from Harvard, the U. of Wisconsin-Madison, and Northwestern U. She is proud to be from an accomplished family of musicians, especially her son, Jeremy Thal.


ADR Advisor: Mauricio Velásquez

Mauricio Velásquez is the President & Founder of Diversity Training Group (DTG).  He is a Diversity Trainer and Consultant who has trained in every state but North Dakota and with a recent trip to Cuba. He has trained more than three quarters of a million participants in his nearly 20 year career. Mauricio is an MBA graduate of George Washington U.

Dr. Julia Wai-Yin So

ADR Advisor: Dr. Julia Wai-Yin So

Julia Wai-Yin So is Associate Professor of Sociology at UNM-Valencia Campus. In addition to teaching/writing on diversity & inclusiveness, she also provides services on culture coaching, civil mediation, and program evaluation. Before moving to New Mexico, Julia worked for the Dallas College in Texas where she successfully expanded a $30-million privately-funded endowed scholarship program county-wide. She also implemented a recruitment initiative that resulted in a 10% increase in the enrollment of Asian students of the college the first year. Julia’s passion in life is helping others to raise their cultural competency of those that look and speak differently from them.

NagwanADR Advisor: Dr. Nagwan R. Zahry

Nagwan Zahry is assist. professor of communication at U. of TN at Chattanooga (UTC).  Originally from Egypt where she was a Sr. Program Manager for U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and U.S. Midwest Universities Consortium, Nagwan got her PhD from Michigan State U. in media and information.  In 2018,  she joined UTC where she teaches social media marketing, public relations, media and diversity. Her research focuses on science and health communication and persuasive messaging.

Deborah Levine Enterprises LLC