Makeba Clay is the inaugural Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) at The Phillips Collection, America's first modern art museum located in Washington, DC. Makeba provides leadership, vision, and strategy for implementing an institution-wide inclusion plan that will develop cultural competency and build an equity mindset among museum staff and trustees in order to drive organizational culture change.
Makeba is a dynamic and engaging global leader who has had a distinguished career that has garnered accolades from professional associations, international organizations and national publications. She was bestowed the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award by INSIGHT Magazine in 2015 and has been featured in “Diverse Issues in Higher Education” and seen on CNN and ABC News. A nationally recognized diversity and inclusion expert and leadership strategist with more than 20 years of experience in the field, Clay has developed a significant track record of transformational contributions toward organizational equity, diversity, and inclusion goals in higher education and cultural organizations, including American University, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, American Alliance of Museums, College of Southern Maryland, Princeton University, University of Maryland, and others.
Makeba has presented keynote addresses, lectures and workshops at local, state, national and international conferences on issues related to diversity and inclusion, educational equity, women’s leadership and empowerment, social justice, and organizational change.
She currently maintains Board leadership and/or professional affiliations with numerous organizations; among them, United States Women Chamber of Commerce (USWCC), Women Business Owners of Montgomery County, The Maryland Black Chamber of Commerce, The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Hostelling International (HI USA) and the National Speakers Association (NSA), The Maryland Humanities for the Arts, Museum Hue, DC Commission on Arts and Humanities, Art Table DC, Arts Administrators of Color.
Makeba received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University at Albany, a Master of Arts degree from Bowling Green State University and has completed post-graduate coursework at the University of Maryland. She is a certified mediator and holds professional certificates from Development Dimensions International (DDI) and also from the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. She is founding director of both the Diversity Institute of Charles County and the Community Mediation Center of Charles County.
Makeba enjoys international travel, culinary arts, interior design, event planning, mentoring young girls and women, and reading on a wide range of topics. She resides in Montgomery County, Maryland with her spouse and daughter.