Department Of Defense Visits Arizona State University To Recruit Diversity Hires

September 12, 2023

By Corinne Murdock |

The Department of Defense (DOD) headed to Arizona State University (ASU) this week to seek out more diversity hires.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Biden administration’s DOD came through its Taking the Pentagon to the People Program (TTPTTP) initiative. The program was created by the DOD’s Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI).

In a press release, ASU advised students that the DOD was seeking out a “diverse workforce.” ASU executive vice president and chief operating officer, Chris Howard, said that the Pentagon was aiming for “inclusive excellence.” 

According to a DOD Equity Action Plan from last April, TTPTTP’s express purpose is to “improve racial equity in the U.S., and bolster the ranks and presence of minorities working in DOD.” 

The following includes the speakers and recruiters present at the event:

  • Air Force Civilian Services: Kristine Billings, Affirmative Employment program manager;
  • Air Force Personnel Center: Ed Bujan, Force Renewal Programs chief recruiter; Crystal Garza, Force Renewal Talent Management Branch Diversity and Inclusion program manager;
  • Arizona Army National Guard HQ: Lance Leon, executive officer;
  • Army Combat Capabilities Development Command: Michael Bailey, acting director; Ja-Neen Owens, Technology Integration and Outreach Branch HBCU/MI program manager;
  • Army Intelligence and Security Command HQ: Michael Nilius, senior exploitation analyst;
  • DOD Civilian Personnel Advisory Service: Desiree Seifert, associate director; Bruce Bixby, HR Specialist;
  • DOD Counterintelligence and Security Agency: Israel Sanchez, recruiter; Kevin Lukacs, Developmental Division Team Chief; 
  • DOD Diversity Management Operations Center: Victoria Bowens, Diversity & Inclusion associate director;
  • DOD Finance and Accounting Service: Maylene Vazquez de Jesus, DFAS Limestone career programs coordinator; Michelle Lugo-Bonet, DEI program manager;
  • DOD Human Resources Activity: LaTasha Dawkins, Senior Disability Program manager; Sam Drummond, Workforce Recruitment Program director; 
  • DOD Institute of International Education: Michael Saffle, Boren Awards Program specialist;
  • DOD Language & National Security Education Office: Larry Rentz, principal consultant with Rentz Group;
  • DOD Logistics Agency: Honney Barner, PEO Strategic Communications & Collegiate Partnerships director; Martina Miles Johnson, R&D operations integrator; 
  • DOD Office of Force Resiliency: Olivia Logan, Violence Prevention Cell communications specialist; 
  • DOD Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness: Charmane Johnson, ODEI;
  • DOD SMART Scholarship Program: Corinne Beach, deputy program manager;
  • DOD Threat Reduction Agency: Daisy Valentin, Outreach Program manager; Rudy Chavez, Test Diagnostics Branch engineer; Kiran Shah, Test Diagnostics Branch chief; Jesus Elias, Human Resources Division ABQ chief; Sharon Morrow, small business director; MiChele Stevenson, Mentor-Protege Program manager;
  • Department of the Air Force: Ed Bujan, Force Renewal Programs chief; Crystal Garza, Diversity and Inclusion program manager;
  • Department of the Navy: Cache Carter, FA Staffing and Classification section head;
  • National Guard Bureau: Jacqueline Ray-Morris, DEI Special Emphasis Programs Equal Employment Opportunity manager;
  • Naval Audit Service: Brittany Toy, auditor-in-charge;
  • Naval Criminal Investigative Service: Shelagh Hopkins, intern program specialist; Sam Tubb, NCIS Pacific Operations desk officer; Eric Powers, field training agent/investigator; 
  • Office of the Secretary of the Air Force: Jenise Carroll, Office of Diversity and Inclusion deputy director;
  • Office of Naval Research: Michael Simpson, Naval STEM Grants Program Officer;
  • Prevention Workforce Representative: Elizabeth Gaylor, prevention researcher; Laura Neely, senior research psychologist; Olivia Logan, communications specialist; 
  • U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command HQ: Rita Scamurra, HR specialist; Ken Schimpf, offensive cyber capability developer; Michael Nilius, senior exploitation analyst; 
  • Washington Headquarters Services: Mary Michelle Eveleigh, Human Services Directorate Talent Acquisitions and Outreach Branch chief recruiter;
  • White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics: Melody Gonzales, executive director; Emmanuel Caudillo, Management and Program analyst; Kevin Lima, deputy director; Jasmin Chavez, confidential assistant
  • Work-Life and Special Programs Division: Mininia Hawkins, Work-Life and Special Programs Division chief

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

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