Elizabeth Kolmstetter is the Director of Workforce Engagement for NASA and works from headquarters in Washington, DC. She has broad responsibilities for talent strategies and programs that support employee engagement, future of work, development, and collaboration, leadership development, awards and recognition, and HC systems, data, and technology.
Dr. Kolmstetter is an Industrial and Organizational (IO) Psychologist and has been a member of the Senior Executive Service for 14 years. Dr. Kolmstetter has over twenty-five years of public service in which she has pioneered innovative talent management programs across seven agencies: NASA, USAID, CIA, FBI, Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and National Skill Standards Board/Department of Labor.
In addition, Dr. Kolmstetter was selected to serve on special assignment in 2015 to the Executive Office of the President of the United States as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Performance and Personnel Management. Her work contributed to President Obama’s Executive Order on Senior Executive Service reform, various legislative reform efforts, and the largest civil service pay increase during the eight-year administration.
Prior to joining NASA in 2016, she served as the Chief Human Capital Officer at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). While at USAID, she launched successfully an HR Transformation initiative, redesigned the Office of Human Resources, and lead workforce programs across the foreign and civil service in Washington and over 90 missions around the world. From 2010 to 2013 she was the Deputy for Corporate Human Resources Programs at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) where she implemented state-of-the-art workforce planning, performance management, and career development programs. From 2007 to 2010, she served as the Deputy Associate Director of National Intelligence for Human Capital at ODNI. As such, she led strategic human capital management programs across the 17 Departments and independent agencies of the Intelligence Community including establishing the joint duty leadership program and the National Cybersecurity Workforce Initiative commissioned by the White House.
In May 2010, the Director of National Intelligence awarded the National Intelligence Superior Service Medal to Dr. Kolmstetter in recognition of her leadership, contributions, and service.
Prior to joining the ODNI, Dr. Kolmstetter served as the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Human Capital at TSA/DHS. She was one of the very first federal employees tapped in January 2002 to be part of the creation of TSA in the aftermath of 9-11. She was directly responsible for establishing and managing the new standards and hiring system that resulted in the largest civilian workforce mobilization in US history – the hiring of over 55,000 security screeners at 430 airports across the nation in less than one year. During her time with TSA, Dr. Kolmstetter developed and managed national programs including security screener hiring, training and annual certification, a pay for performance system, career and leadership development programs, selection and training of armed pilots, organizational survey programs, and an agency talent bank. She received the TSA Administrator’s Silver Award, the M. Scott Myers Award for Best Applied Research in 2006 from the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), and the Innovations in Assessment Award from the International Personnel Management Association.
She joined TSA from the National Skill Standards Board (NSSB/DOL) where she was the Senior Director for Standards, Assessment, and Certification (2000-2002). Dr. Kolmstetter led a voluntary national system of public-private partnerships for skill standards, assessments, and certifications for industries including manufacturing, sales and service, information technology and telecommunications, and education and training. Prior to joining the NSSB, she served as the first Chief of Personnel Assessment and Research, and first-ever IO Psychologist, at the FBI (1993-2000). While at the FBI she led a number of ground-breaking projects including developing and managing the new Special Agent Selection System; validating selection processes for the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team, SWAT Teams, and Technically Trained Agents; developing and implementing a new career development and promotion system for Supervisory Special Agents; and, serving as the Bureau’s expert on several class action settlement agreements.
Prior to her federal career, Dr. Kolmstetter worked for BellSouth in Atlanta and Westat in Rockville, MD. She received her Ph.D. and M.S. in IO Psychology from Virginia Tech and B.A. in Psychology and Computer Science from Hollins University. In 2007, Dr. Kolmstetter was named a SIOP Fellow and she is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Psi Chi. Her volunteer work has included: Board of Trustees, Hollins University; Editorial Board for SIOP Professional Practice Publication Series; SIOP Future of Work Task Force; SIOP Certification Task Force; SIOP Visibility Committee; President of the Board for the Personnel Testing Council of Metropolitan Washington, DC; Virginia Tech Mentor; and, Board of Directors for WAEPA.
She and husband, Michael, are the proud parents of twins, Miles and Nicole.