Unconventional Paths: Gov Leaders Share Their Journeys

3-4 PM ET – Closing Keynote Session

If you ask high school graduates what they want to be when they grow up and then follow up with them at age 50, it’s likely that very few will have followed that exact career path. But that doesn’t mean they are disappointed in how their careers turned out. Often, the unexpected path is the most rewarding. In this keynote, you will hear from three government leaders about their career journeys and the winding paths they took to get to their current roles.


Allison Wise is the Deputy Director for the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  In this capacity, Ms. Wise serves as a senior manager providing direction in developing, implementing and monitoring programs and initiatives related to maintaining workforce diversity, cultivating workplace inclusion, promoting supplier diversity in the SEC’s business activities, and ensuring compliance with Federal laws related to financially regulated entities. 

Before joining the SEC, Ms. Wise was the Program Director for Diversity and Inclusion at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). She led OPM’s effort to develop government-wide policies and guidance to assist Federal agencies in building diverse, inclusive and engaged workforces. Previously, she was the first Director of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and served as a senior advisor to the NARA executive leadership. Ms. Wise was instrumental in establishing NARA’s inaugural D&I Program Office and was recognized with NARA’s award for Outstanding Achievement in Promoting Diversity. 

Allison’s commitment and passion toward building effective D&I programs over the past 25 years is evident in her active participation in the Federal community. She is often called on to provide subject matter expertise on government-wide policies and practices related to recruiting, hiring, promoting, and retaining a diverse and inclusive workforce. She is also the co-founder of the Federal Interagency Diversity Partnership (FIDP) established in 2007 as a forum to promote a collective commitment to DEI through the sharing of best practices among D&I practitioners across the Federal community at-large. 

Allison holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Finance from the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland and Executive Certifications in Strategic Diversity and Inclusion Management from both Georgetown University and the Harvard Kennedy School.  


Nathan Sanfilippo is a Senior Executive Service technical and enterprise public policy professional with 21 years of Federal Government service, currently leading the Multi-Channel Technology Directorate in the Veterans Experience Office at VA.

Served 19 years at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission supporting nuclear power safety policy, inspection, and advanced reactor rulemaking. Completed the White House Leadership Development Program, Cohort 3. Architect of the 2018 ‘Improving Customer Experience with Federal Services’ Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) Goal and the Customer Experience (CX) guidance in Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-11.


Lisa Jammer – Professional dedicated to conceptualizing innovative human capital solutions. Proven ability to effectively hire, coach and develop teams to achieve valuable performance results. Consistently promoted for successfully exceeding strategic goals, developing effective relationships in a diverse environment and building high-performance teams.


Harrison Smith is a driven executive with extensive experience in managing substantial, multifaceted portfolios in both the procurement/acquisition and customer functions. Detailed, transparent, process-oriented approach to helping organizations make consistent, evolutionary improvements. Proficient in complex business negotiations for major IT investments, innovative and accelerated procurement vehicles, and creative pricing arrangements which enable federal agencies to deploy them within budget.


Amy Edwards Holmes, Executive Director, Bloomberg Center for Government Excellence, Johns Hopkins University. Executive with a proven record driving digital transformations, advancing the adoption of innovative technology, and solving complex problems within large enterprises. Experience defining and executing the vision for modern digital products that focus on meeting customer needs, transforming business processes, and leading agile delivery solutions.