Goodwill® Names New Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

June 29, 2021

Dr. Samantha-Rae Dickenson Leads DEI Development and Strategic Planning

ROCKVILLE, MD — Goodwill Industries International (GII), the leading workforce provider in North America, announced the appointment of Dr. Samantha-Rae Dickenson. Dr. Dickenson will lead the development and promotion of DEI plans and implement workplace and initiatives and best practices. Dr. Dickenson will also support the 156 local Goodwill nonprofit organizations in the U.S. and Canada by developing and curating DEI resources and strategies to assist Goodwill organizations’ mission of supporting people through their career journeys.

Dr. Dickenson is a DEI strategist with more than 11 years of professional and educational experience in various industries, including Biomedical Science and Research, Public Health Education. Before joining GII, Dr. Dickenson served as the DEI Principal Strategist for the National Institutes of Health under the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. She managed the Black Employee Portfolio during the global crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic.

She has worked in the nonprofit sector as a DEI strategist to develop Save the Children’s first DEI three-year strategy. She has also worked as a Senior Accreditation Specialist to assess compliance with accreditation policies related to cultural competency, diversity and inclusion, and financial planning for public health graduate and undergraduate schools/programs.

“I am excited to join Goodwill Industries International in a role that aligns with my passions. Being intentional about DEI starts with developing a DEI strategy and working together to grow Goodwill’s mission of supporting people in their career journeys,” said Dr. Samantha Rae-Dickenson. “I look forward to creating DEI strategies that will allow us to seamlessly interweave DEI into Goodwill’s brand and mission.”

Dr. Dickenson is a sought-after speaker on DEI strategy development, microaggressions and creating inclusive workspaces. She has been a guest on the Washington Watch with Roland Martin show and her work has been featured in Forbes. She has also appeared on numerous podcasts and panels, including General Assembly’s Womxn at Work series and Consciously Unbiased’s series on breaking down bias.

“Goodwill’s entire mission and history has been to advance opportunities for people of all backgrounds in the workplace. Based on the rapidly changing nature of work, our commitment to DEI will entail ensuring that all people can benefit in the prosperity of our country by being equipped to compete for emerging opportunities in the workplace, “said Steven C. Preston, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “We are grateful to have Dr. Dickenson’s expertise as we continue our work to expand equitable opportunities for people in communities across our country.”

Dr. Dickenson received her certificate in diversity and inclusion from Cornell University. She also has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Winston Salem State University and a Master of Science in public health from the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, NC. Dr. Dickenson graduated from the University of New England as the youngest doctoral graduate from the Educational Leadership Program with a focus on leadership and organizational management. Her research focused on the effects of racial microaggressions on Black female government workers’ work performance and methods to reduce microaggressions in the workplace.


Goodwill Industries International is a network of 156 community-based, autonomous organizations in the United States and Canada with a presence in 12 other countries. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps people find employment, Goodwill is recognized with GuideStar’s highest rating, the Platinum Seal of Approval.

Local Goodwill organizations offer employment opportunities, job placement and training services, and other community-based programs, funded by selling donated clothing and household items in nearly 3,300 stores and at®. Last year, more than 20 million people used computers and mobile devices to access Goodwill services, and more than one million people received in-person services.

For more information or to find a Goodwill location near you, visit Follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillIntl and @GoodwillCapHill, and find us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube: GoodwillIntl.

Lauren Lawson-Zilai
Senior Director, Public Relations
Goodwill Industries International
Phone: (240) 333-5266
[email protected]