REI - Leadership

Assembling and engaging a committee of established leaders who will help inform strategies, programs, and outcomes of the initiative, and will provide thought leadership on racial equity to the entire military- and veteran-family support sector.

See the extraordinary group of individuals on our Racial Equity Committee below:

Lieutenant General Gwen Bingham, U.S. Army (Ret.) Co-Chair

Former Army Staff Principal for Installation Management

Staff Sergeant Charles Eggleston, U.S. Army (Ret.) Co-Chair

President & CEO, Three Seven Consulting, The Military Order of the Purple Heart

Ingrid Herrera-Yee, Ph.D. Co-Chair

Military Spouse and Suicide Prevention Expert

Kathy Roth-Douquet

Blue Star Families, CEO and Board President

Sheila Casey

Chair, Blue Star Families Board of Directors | Chief Operating Officer, The Hill

Lt. General Thomas P. Bostick, U.S. Army (Ret.)

53rd Chief of Engineers of the United States Army, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Sergeant Major John Estrada, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.)

Former Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, Former Sergeant Major of the U.S. Marine Corps

Colonel Robert Gordon​, U.S. Army (Ret.)

Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy

Rear Admiral Sinclair Harris, U.S. Navy (Ret.)

Former Vice Director for Operations to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Emil Hill

Senior Vice President/Management Supervisor at Powell Tate Weber Shandwick

Steve Hilton

Principal at Hilton Advisors, LLC

Koby Langley

Senior Vice President, American Red Cross

Reta Jo Lewis Esq.

Senior Fellow and Director of Congressional Affairs, The German Marshall Fund of the United States

Val Nicholas

Senior Vice President Creative Director at SummitMediaCorp

Patricia Ochan

Senior Consultant Cyber Policy and Military Spouse

Sergeant Major James K. Sims, U.S. Army (Ret.)

Former Army Materiel Command, Command Sergeant Major

General Larry Spencer, U.S. Air Force (Ret.)

Former Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force

Master Sergeant Rob Wilkins, U.S. Air Force (Ret.)

Military Evangelist/Community Outreach at MilitaryTimes

Karla Ballard Williams

CEO & Co-Founder, YING, Inc.

Anthony Woods

Iraq War Veteran, Army Reservist

Tonya Wright

Spouse of Chief Kaleth O. Wright, the 18th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Senior Project Manager at Belcan

Lieutenant General Gwen Bingham, U.S. Army (Ret.) Co-Chair

Former Army Staff Principal for Installation Management

Gwen Bingham is a retired US Army Lieutenant General (3-star) with more than 22 years of senior executive experience in every facet of strategic leadership and planning, talent management and resource management while directing increasingly complex logistics, life-cycle management and installation management organizations.LTG Bingham has served in a myriad of staff and leadership positions throughout her career from Platoon Leader to Two-Star Commanding General. She has deployed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, and has served in assignments both in CONUS and overseas. LTG Bingham served as the 51st Quartermaster General of the United States Army and Commandant of the U.S. Army Quartermaster School, Fort Lee, Virginia; Commanding General, U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, and Commanding General, Tank-automotive and Armaments Life Cycle Management Command, Warren, Michigan.

Staff Sergeant Charles Eggleston, U.S. Army (Ret.) Co-Chair

President & CEO, Three Seven Consulting, The Military Order of the Purple Heart

Charles Eggleston served in the U. S. Army for sixteen years and is a Wounded Warrior in Transition (WIT). He received treatment at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) for over three years for wounds of war. While at WRAMC he advocated for his fellow wounded servicemen from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Staff Sgt. Eggleston incurred several injuries during multiple tours of duties in Iraq and as a result he is a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient. Staff Sgt. Eggleston’s civilian career has been based in IT communications for over 10 years – managing contracts with the Pentagon, White House Communications, the U.S. Senate, and the U.S. Postal Service. He is currently President and CEO of Three Seven Consulting, a service-disabled veteran-owned small business.

Ingrid Herrera-Yee, Ph.D. Co-Chair

Military Spouse and Suicide Prevention Expert

Dr. Ingrid Herrera-Yee received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in trauma from the University of Vermont and served as a clinical fellow for several years at Harvard University. Her pre- and post-doctoral work with Harvard University's mental health team allowed her to sharpen her skills in trauma-focused-therapy, in both Spanish and English, with a diverse community. Since that time, with her family's frequent military moves, she has worked as an educator, speaker, policy wonk, writer, and researcher. Her research has focused on preventing suicide among military service members as well as in resiliency among domestic violence survivors.Ingrid is a military spouse and the founder of Military Spouse Behavioral Health Clinicians (MSBHC). MSBHC connects military spouse mental health clinicians with information and resources to support them through their journey toward their career in mental health. She was named the National Guard Spouse of the Year in 2014 and received the Edith Hendley Award for outstanding contributions to the lives of women through her clinical work, teaching, research, and advocacy. She serves on several advisory boards, including those for Give an Hour, Blue Star Families, and the Military Family Advisory Network. She has been published extensively and has been asked to speak on military and family mental health issues.

Kathy Roth-Douquet

Blue Star Families, CEO and Board President

Kathy Roth-Douquet is an advocate for the role of the military in civil society; she is an author, nonprofit leader, attorney, and former government official. Kathy is the CEO of Blue Star Families, the largest Chapter-based nonprofit organization serving active duty of all branches, Guard and Reserve, wounded, and transitioning veterans and their families. Blue Star Families mission is to strengthen military families and our nation by connecting communities and fostering leadership to millions of people.Kathy Roth-Douquet received her B.A. from Bryn Mawr College, her MPA in International Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University where she held a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, and a JD from the University of San Diego School of Law, Magna Cum Laude and the Order of the Coif. While serving at the Pentagon as Principal Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Acting) she received the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service for her work on defense reform. She is also a recipient of President George H. W. Bush’s Daily Point of Light Award, and most recently received the Chief of Staff of the Army Outstanding Civilian Service Award.Kathy is a commentator on patriotism, civil-military affairs, the value of service, and the experience of military families. She has appeared on the Today Show, Fox and Friends, CNN, NPR, has been a frequent contributor to USA Today, and is a frequent public speaker. She is an author, most notably of “AWOL: The Unexcused Absence of America’s Upper Classes from Military Service and How it Hurts Our Country” (Collins, 2006). She is a practicing attorney, a member of the Small Business Association Advisory Board, and is Co-chair of the Bipartisan Policy Center Defense Reform Task Force. She is a military spouse of 18 years, four deployments, and 9 moves. She lives with her husband and two children in Northern Virginia.

Sheila Casey

Chair, Blue Star Families Board of Directors | Chief Operating Officer, The Hill

Sheila Casey is the Chief Operating Officer of The Hill, a top U.S. political publication available in print and online with a focus on The White House, Congress, policy, campaigns, lobbying, business and international news.  It is widely recognized as the leading source of congressional news. Prior to joining The Hill in 1997, she was the Director of Finance at the Texas Council on Family Violence in Austin, Texas.  Additionally, Sheila spent 7 years at Grant Thornton, a national CPA firm, where she was an audit manager.  She graduated with honors in accounting from the University of Colorado.

Sheila was a military spouse for over 41 years. She has lived throughout the United States, Europe and Egypt and had been an active member of military spouse organizations throughout her husband’s military career and since his retirement.

Sheila is the Chair of the Board of Governors of Blue Star Families, and the Washington Press Club Foundation. Additionally, she is a member of the Board of Advisors for ThanksUSA, The Bob Woodruff Foundation, and The Military Child Education Coalition.  She is published in several national news outlets and speaks to audiences on military spouse and family issues.

Lt. General Thomas P. Bostick, U.S. Army (Ret.)

53rd Chief of Engineers of the United States Army, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Sergeant Major John Estrada, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.)

Former Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, Former Sergeant Major of the U.S. Marine Corps

John L. Estrada served as the Ambassador to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago from March 2016 to January 2017. Prior to his confirmation, Sergeant Major Estrada was Senior Manager for Lockheed Martin Training Solutions. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 34 years, most notably as the 15th Sergeant Major of the United States Marine Corps – the nation’s highest-ranking enlisted Marine, from 2003 to 2007, during the height of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.Ambassador Estrada has served as a Presidentially-appointed Commissioner on the American Battle Monuments Commission, an independent agency of the U.S. government that oversees permanent U.S. military cemeteries, memorials, and monuments around the world. He also served as a Committee Member of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services, a member of the national Board of Directors for Operation Homefront, and on the Executive Committee for the United Services Organization. Ambassador Estrada received a B.S. in Business Management from the University of Phoenix. Sergeant Major Estrada was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, and immigrated with his family to the United States at the age of 14.

Colonel Robert Gordon​, U.S. Army (Ret.)

Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy

An airborne ranger, Rob served in command and staff positions as an artillery officer in installations across the United States and Europe. After completing a 26 year career and retiring at the rank of Colonel, his subsequent opportunities included both senior government and corporate high tech positions, including Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (MCFP) in the Department of Defense; Special Assistant to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs; Chief Strategy Officer for an augmented reality company, Chief Global Officer of a technology and services company; and consultant for an advanced artificial intelligence company. His experience includes creating, managing and overseeing both entrepreneurial ventures and large scale, multi-billion dollar initiatives.

Rear Admiral Sinclair Harris, U.S. Navy (Ret.)

Former Vice Director for Operations to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Sinclair Harris serves as LMI’s director of business development for the Department of the Navy. He retired as a rear admiral after a 34-year career in the U.S. Navy. His service culminated as the vice director for operations to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. During his distinguished career, he led joint, combined, multinational, and interagency organizations both at sea and ashore across all aspects of defense, including full spectrum operations, program management, strategic planning, and execution. He was also commander of the U.S. Fourth Fleet, leading U.S. Naval forces assigned to U.S. Southern Command.Mr. Harris has been published in numerous journals on the topics of surface warfare, combat logistics, irregular warfare, and leadership. He earned a BS in economics from James Madison University, an MS in operations research from the Naval Postgraduate School, and an MS in defense and strategic studies from the University of Madras, India.Mr. Harris voluntarily serves as president of the National Naval Officers Association, national vice president of the Navy League of the United States, past chairman of the National Defense Industrial Association Expeditionary Warfare Division, member of the board of directors for the Surface Navy Association, and member of the Northern Virginia Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association.

Emil Hill

Senior Vice President/Management Supervisor at Powell Tate Weber Shandwick

Emil has more than 18 years of corporate communications, integrated marketing and public affairs experience. His expertise includes crisis communications and issues management for a variety of business sectors including defense, technology, healthcare, education, foreign government and legal. Currently, Emil serves as senior counsel to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the U.S. Army and the U.S. Army Reserve. In each instance, Emil is responsible for generating awareness, facilitating engagement and mobilizing support among a wide range of constituencies. Before joining the firm, Emil worked with Manning Selvage & Lee where he directed comprehensive and integrated communications programs for corporate, nonprofit and government clients, including Verizon, National Geographic Foundation, the U.S. Army and George Washington University.

Steve Hilton

Principal at Hilton Advisors, LLC

Steve, an attorney, currently leads his firm, Hilton Advisors LLC, a management and publicaffairs consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. He has served in senior positions in severalprivate sector entities including as Vice President of Global Government and Public Affairs for McDonald’s Corporation where he was responsible for advocating on behalf of McDonald’s before legislators, regulators, and third-party influencers. Throughout his career, Steve has been a part of, or worked closely with, senior government leadership including, membership on President Obama’s transition team in 2008, and serving as Deputy Assistant to the President/Chief of Staff in the White House Office of Public Liaison under President Clinton. He also served as a Senate Judiciary Committee Chief Counsel. A 25-year veteran, Steve achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve and also served as a Commissioner on the American Battle Monuments Commission during the design and construction of the WWII Memorial on the National Mall.

Koby Langley

Senior Vice President, American Red Cross

Koby Langley serves as a Senior Vice President at the American Red Cross, overseeing worldwide operations of Services to the Armed Forces. He previously served as the Director of Wounded Warrior, Veteran and Military Family Engagement at the White House and the Senior Advisor for Wounded Warrior, Veteran and Military Family Initiatives for CNCS, leading their largest expansion of services to veterans and military families. In 2010 he was appointed to the Senior Executive Service at DoD, where he worked as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary and Senior Advisor for the Office of Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy. In 2009, Langley worked as a Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Department of Veteran Affairs, leading strategic communication and strategic planning portfolios for offices reporting directly to the Secretary.

Reta Jo Lewis Esq.

Senior Fellow and Director of Congressional Affairs, The German Marshall Fund of the United States

Reta Jo Lewis is GMF’s director of congressional affairs. Previously, she served as the State Department’s first-ever special representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs, under secretaries of state Hillary Clinton and John Kerry from 2010-13. Lewis led the office charged with building strategic peer-to-peer relationships between the U.S. Department of State, U.S. state and local officials, and their foreign counterparts. Prior to the State Department, Lewis served in senior positions in the public and private sectors, including political appointments in the Clinton administration. She was the director for business outreach for the Obama-Biden Transition Team. She served as the vice president and counselor at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and director of the Chamber’s effort focused on small business and outreach to women and minority-owned businesses. Lewis was the special assistant to the president for political affairs in the Clinton White House from 1993-95 and the director of the Northeast and Southern Regions.

Val Nicholas

Senior Vice President Creative Director at SummitMediaCorp

From his start in local television to his two decades at NBC Entertainment and NBC News, Val Nicholas has extensive experience in all aspects of media and marketing, with a unique talent for creative innovation designed to fit the audience, the product, the time and the place. Nicholas is known in the industry for his vision and craft and his use of various media to attract attention in unique ways. He has produced a wide range of programming including news, talk shows, news magazines, syndicated programs, sporting events and live primetime specials for television on both the local and national level.

Patricia Ochan

Senior Consultant Cyber Policy and Military Spouse

Patricia Ochan is a Senior Consultant for Cybersecurity Policy at Booz Allen Hamilton. Before she joined Booz Allen, Pat was a full-time caregiver to her husband—a veteran who was severely injured in combat. A cybersecurity expert with a law degree, she had to give up her career to care for him. She’s one of millions of “hidden heroes” across the U.S.— the spouses, parents, family members, and friends who care for our nation’s wounded, ill, or injured veterans.

Sergeant Major James K. Sims, U.S. Army (Ret.)

Former Army Materiel Command, Command Sergeant Major

James K. Sims retired as a Command Sergeant Major in the United States Army. Under his tutelage, he has accumulated over 33 years of active military service, which included more than 5 combat deployments. During his position as Command Sergeant Major, James never shied away from his duties and in fact, ensured that they were executed on every level. This included culminating as the former Senior Enlisted Advisor for the Commanding General of the Army Materiel Command, a multi-billion dollar enterprise, and the Army’s Senior Enlisted Logistician. His extensive strategic leadership and logistics experience afforded him the ability to align personnel and resources with organizational initiatives. These initiatives delivered top-notch supply chain management and distribution solutions to improve standards in productivity, efficiency, and quality. James is the first Command Sergeant Major in the history of the Quartermaster Corps to rise from private E-1 to E-9 at the four-star level. His notable assignments ranged from 3rd U.S. Infantry “Old Guard”, 82nd Airborne Division, and 7th Special Forces Group.

General Larry Spencer, U.S. Air Force (Ret.)

Former Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force

Larry Spencer spent more than 40 years in the Air Force, beginning his career in the enlisted ranks and rising to become a four-star general. General Spencer’s last assignment was as the Vice Chief of Staff of the US Air Force where he assisted the Chief of Staff in organizing, training and equipping 690,000 active-duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian forces. After retiring from the Air Force in 2015, General Spencer served as President of the Air Force Association until 2019. General Spencer received his Bachelor of Science Degree in industrial engineering technology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and has two Master of Science degrees. He currently serves on the boards of Whirlpool Corporation, Triumph Group, Inc., and Haynes International, Inc. General Spencer became a member of the AFBA Board in February 2020. He was named AFBA President in March 2020 and 5Star Life Insurance Company President in June 2020.

Master Sergeant Rob Wilkins, U.S. Air Force (Ret.)

Military Evangelist/Community Outreach at MilitaryTimes

The Honorable Rob Wilkins, appointed by President Donald J. Trump to the President's Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition (PCSFN) is a retired US Air Force Master Sergeant and a fitness expert. A native of Linden, New Jersey, Wilkins serves as the Military Evangelist at Sightline Media Group, the leading news organization covering military, defense, public sector, federal technology, C4ISR and cyber defense. Some of his key military assignments included serving on the staff of The Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) and Legislative Liaison Office, Secretary of the Air Force, where he was responsible for organizing, coordinating, and escorting Congressional delegations worldwide. An avid advocate for military veterans, Wilkins is a lifetime Air Force Association member, lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), lifetime member of the American Legion and serves on military focused boards to include the American Veterans Center, Boulder Crest (retreat for military veterans) and Blue Star Families. In addition, he is the President of Rolling Thunder Washington, DC and President of the RedCon1 Foundation, focused on assisting military families in need of financial assistance.

Karla Ballard Williams

CEO & Co-Founder, YING, Inc.

Karla Ballard Williams is Co-Founder and CEO of YING, a peer to peer skill sharing and global time sharing platform (IOS /Android App) engaging members and organizations in a complimentary currency that supports community and individual benefits. YING helps groups and communities to facilitate on demand skill exchanges to assist with tasks between members. The platform has a b2b enterprise engagement for NGO's and Corporations as well creating a plug in play skill-sharing ecosystem for any affinity group. Many have compared it to the VENMO for skill sharing transactions backed by social capital.

Anthony Woods

Iraq War Veteran, Army Reservist

Tony Woods is the Director and Head of Talent for Schmidt Futures. In this role he is overall responsible for identifying and recruiting top talent, creating robust learning and development opportunities, and overseeing the organization’s Human Resource function. Tony also leads Schmidt Futures’ Center for Digital Talent whose mandate is to expand and enrich the US National Security technical workforce so it is able to confront the threats posed by emerging technologies. Previously, he worked for The Boston Consulting Group and served as a White House Fellow in the Obama Administration. He served as an aide to the Governor of New York, ran for Congress, and worked to develop volunteer driven solutions for American cities at ServiceNation.As an officer in the Army, Tony deployed twice to Iraq and earned the Bronze Star for his service. He currently serves as an intelligence analyst in the Army Reserves assigned to the Joint Staff at the Pentagon. Tony holds an Executive MBA from the University of Maryland, MPP from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and B.S. from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Tonya Wright

Spouse of Chief Kaleth O. Wright, the 18th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Senior Project Manager at Belcan

Tonya Wright is married to Chief Kaleth O. Wright, the 18th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. Mrs. Wright was raised in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and joined the Air Force in 1995 as a materiel management specialist. Throughout her career, she served in a variety of roles within the materiel management career field at various stateside assignments as well as overseas in Korea, Japan, Germany and Guam. Tonya deployed in support of Operations IRAQI and ENDURING FREEDOM before she retired from active duty in 2014. Following her retirement, she continued to serve her country as a civil service employee, most recently as a staff support analyst with the Defense Logistics Agency – Europe and Africa.