Brenda R. Manuel, Associate Administrator for Diversity and Equal Opportunity
Brenda R. Manuel, NASA's Assistant Administrator for Diversity and Equal Opportunity, is responsible for developing and directing the agency's equal opportunity, civil rights compliance, and diversity strategies, programs and processes. In this capacity, she establishes agency-wide policies on diversity and equal opportunity to ensure statutory, regulatory and fiduciary compliance with internal and external equal opportunity laws; and ensures consistency of approach to improve functional performance across the agency and create an open and inclusive workplace.
Since her return to NASA in October 2006, Manuel has focused on carrying out her responsibilities through the development and implementation of multifaceted, comprehensive and proactive Agency-wide programs and initiatives such as the Conflict Management Program, the Agency Diversity Framework and an integrated system for equal opportunity research and risk analysis. She has also implemented a fully realized external civil rights enforcement program, including an unprecedented Title IX onsite compliance review program for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), recognized by the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division as a model for other federal agencies. The Title IX program, and other NASA external civil rights programs, e.g., Title VI, are designed to provide NASA grant recipients with a balanced approach to compliance, including meaningful technical assistance, program assessments and identification of promising practices.
As a former senior executive at NASA, she served as acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Equal Opportunity Programs and Director of the Discrimination Complaints Division. Serving in these dual roles, Manuel was responsible for managerial direction and oversight of NASA’s equal opportunity and diversity programs. She also directed and managed NASA's agency-wide EEO complaints program with responsibility for policy development and interpretation, including administration of the agency's Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Program for EEO complaints.
During her tenure with NASA, Manuel has also served as a program director and faculty member for the Public Administration Forum, a non-profit organization specializing in employment law training conferences for federal and public sector managers, attorneys and Equal Employment Opportunity and human resources subject matter specialists.
Manuel also has been a practicing attorney with the law firm of Anderson and O'Bryant, where she handled civil actions and medical malpractice litigation.
She holds a bachelor's degree in business management from Howard University, Washington, D.C., and juris doctor degree from the George Washington University Law Center, Washington. D.C., and is a member of the Pennsylvania and District of Columbia bars.