Executive Champion

An executive champion serves as an advocate for increasing the number of women of color in managerial and leadership positions. She is a women of color senior leader or executive who is committed to driving real change in their organization and/or industry by helping to shape and develop emerging women of color leaders.

The Role of an Executive Champion

  • Provide support and lend credibility to the cause and the organization.
  • Bring momentum, excitement, and enthusiasm for the goal.
  • Meet and interact with emerging women of color leaders.
  • Provide a service and visibility to aspiring women color leaders

    Why Become an Executive Champion of the Climb?

    • Alignment with Organizational Goals: The Climb is one of the few organizations dedicated to supporting the personal and professional development needs of women of color across a broad spectrum of industries and sectors.

    • Driving Change: We are offering women of color leadership development with mentoring by executive women of color.

    • Long-term Sustainability: As an executive champion of Climb you are joining an organization that is building the future women of color leaders for all industries.

    Current executive champions

    Madjeen Lorthe

    Madjeen Lorthe

    Certified Life & Career Transition Coach

    Madjeen Lorthe is a Certified Life & Career Transition Coach with over two decades of experience in non-profit work and the mental health field. She is the founder of Transitions Well Done, a coaching practice committed to centering the lived experience of women of color as they navigate significant life transitions. With a focus on self-exploration and resilience-building, Madjeen specializes in understanding and addressing the unique challenges faced by this community. Through targeted services designed to navigate personal and professional transitions, she equips clients with the tools and confidence needed to succeed while prioritizing their well-being amidst cultural identity, social expectations, and systemic barriers. Her approach fosters professional growth, personal fulfillment, and a strong sense of community among women of color as they navigate life’s changes.

    Jennifer Hampton

    Jennifer Hampton

    Founder and Principal Consultant at Hampton Educational Solutions, LLC

    Jennifer Hampton is the founder and principal consultant at Hampton Educational Solutions, LLC, an educational consulting business primarily based in the DC metro area. With seven years of classroom teaching experience and almost 13 years as a leader–within and beyond DC—Jennifer brings a wealth of knowledge and a track record of success in K-8 urban education. 

    Jennifer served as an instructional leader and, later, one of the founding principals of a Charter Management Organization serving 800 students and 120+ staff members in southeast DC. She went on to serve on the school’s executive team as their first Chief Academic Officer. In this role, she helped develop annual strategic plans, oversaw the academic program for the school, and coached principals to lead their staff in meeting rigorous academic goals.

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    Now, as a consultant, Jennifer and Hampton Educational Solutions are making a significant difference in education. From direct coaching of teachers and school leaders to facilitating professional development on a range of topics to helping schools and organizations analyze the strength of their programming, Hampton Educational Solutions has positively impacted thousands of students and hundreds of teachers and leaders nationwide. 

    As the first woman of color principal and executive team member at her last organization, Jennifer knows the power of mentors and coaches that share a similar background. As an Executive Champion of The Climb, she hopes to be able to support other women of color preparing to “shatter glass ceilings” in the ed space.

    In her spare time, Jennifer cherishes the moments spent with her husband and three children, a testament to her commitment to family values and work-life balance. 

    Valary Alston

    Valary Alston

    FO Finance & Acquisition Workforce Development

    Ms. Alston, completed twenty years in the United States Marine Corps finishing her military career as a Civil Affairs Liaison stationed around the United States and overseas. Currently, she coordinates with DoD 4th Estate, Combatant Commands, Defense Intelligence Enterprise, Intelligence Community and industry partners to integrate strategies and initiatives that drive innovation to better promote equity across all aspects of the acquisition process. Ms. Alston champion’s the development of the finance and acquisition (F&A) workforce by identifying continuous improvement opportunities and driving the learning strategy by leveraging a variety of teaching applications and tools, to include workforce policies and processes that support the F&A workforce modernization within DIA.

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    In her previous assignment, she was responsible for assessing and assisting the development of acquisition and procurement policies, processes and technologies that support them in consonance with the requirements of DIA, the General Defense Intelligence Program, and the Intelligence Community. She provides advice and guidance to the DIA Director, Deputy Director, Chief Financial Officer, Senior Acquisition Executive, and Associate Deputy Directors on matters pertaining to strategic planning, audit compliance, program management, resource requirements and applying the best acquisition community practices. While on active duty, Ms. Alston completed her undergraduate studies in Business Administration at University of Maryland Global Campus (formerly University of Maryland University College). Ms. Alston will begin a new assignment with NSA in June 2024 where she will become the Deputy Chief, Operations and Engagement & Policy Program Executive Office. In this capacity, she will support NSA by providing strategic decisions to maximize NSA’s budget resources to advance strategic priorities.

    Dr. Tracy L. Henry

    Dr. Tracy L. Henry

    Chief Financial Officer

    Dr. Tracy L. Henry currently serves the Congressional Budget Office as the Chief Financial Officer; a position she’s held since March 2022. Having advanced from her position as the agency’s Controller, which she had held since 2014, Dr. Henry leads and oversees all aspects of planning and implementing the agency’s budgetary and financial activities.

    Dr. Henry has over 20 years of service in the federal government and the private sector. Leading diverse teams and building their cohesiveness, she has implemented standard operating procedures and helped build and rebuild financial departments and units, including bolstering internal controls. Before coming to CBO, Dr. Henry worked at the Office of Naval Intelligence, serving as the head of the Budget Execution Division, and at the United States Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General, where she was an auditor.

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    She is a certified internal controls auditor and holds a Ph.D. in business administration, with a specialization in leadership and management, from Northcentral University, and an M.S. and a B.S. from the University of Maryland University College.

    Dr. Henry is a Washington DC native. She is an academic reader for up-and-coming graduates, and a recent publisher, publishing her work on The Value of Public-Private Partnerships and the Federal Government with Proquest Solutions. 

    Lisa P. Grant

    Lisa P. Grant

    Deputy Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives (USHR)

    Lisa P. Grant serves as the Deputy Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives (USHR).   In this role, she supports the legislative activities of the House of Representatives.  She is seen daily on C-SPAN on the floor of the House of Representatives supporting Members of Congress as they fulfill their constitutional duties.  Her previous position was the Chief Procurement Officer for the U.S. House of Representatives (USHR).    Prior to the USHR, she served as the Acting Commissioner for Acquisition Management for the General Services Administration’s.  While at GSA, she was named one of the Top 100+ Women in Government and technology by GovFresh.   Her acquisition career spans nearly 35 years, procuring supplies and services from fuel to complex IT systems for DOD and Civilian Agencies. 

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    She is a member of the Northern Virginia Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., where she serves on the Economic Development Committee.  As an active member of the Northern Virginia Urban League Guild, she developed and manages their Free SAT program for underserved students in her community.  Believing it takes a village, Lisa became a part of the BeFriend-A-Child Mentoring Program for at-risk youth in Northern VA.  Her student, which she’s mentored since 7th grade, was the 1st in her family to finish high school and will graduate with an associate degree in May.  Lisa serves as a Deacon at Alfred Street Baptist Church, as well as a Director on their Church Council.  She holds a Bachelors of Science in Finance and a Masters of Science in Management.   Lisa is a Certified Professional Contracts Manager (CPCM) and a Certified Federal Contracts Manager (CFCM) by the National Contract Management Association.

    Lauren D. Baksh

    Lauren D. Baksh

    Director, HR Business Partner

    Lauren D. Baksh brings over a decade of progressive experience in human resources and talent management. In her current role as the Director, HR Business Partner at Graphic Packaging International, she supports a division with 10 manufacturing plants, sales and supply chain functions, and ~3500 employees. Lauren graduated from Tuskegee University (Bachelor) and Georgia State University (Masters), and currently serves on the board of the Sandy Springs Community Assistance Center.

    Katrece Boyd

    Katrece Boyd

    Executive Director and Founder

    Katrece Boyd is an ICF credentialed coach, trained facilitator, and small business advisor. For nearly two decades she’s supported the personal and professional development of small business owners and corporate leaders to help them build their internal and external capacity, achieve better results, and make a greater impact. She serves as the Executive Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development at North Carolina Central University where she leads initiatives that drive innovation and economic mobility for students, faculty, staff, and the Greater Durham County community. 

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    In addition to her work at CEED, she is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Boyd Business Group, LLC where she delivers capacity-building and leadership development services to mission-driven organizations and is the Co-Founder of Loving All My Body, an indie-beauty brand on a mission to make every woman’s body her home. 

    In her previous role, she served as a General Business Counselor with the Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) where she provided personalized management counseling and educational services to help entrepreneurs commercialize their innovations, increase their capacity, improve operational efficiency, and explore and expand into new markets. She served over 12 years in the Financial Service industry as a registered representative, regional director, and consultant before transitioning into economic development.

    She is actively engaged in community work dedicated to advancing the economic mobility of under-resourced communities including NC IDEA’s Black Entrepreneurship Council, Carolina Community Impact, Inc.’s Advisory Board, and Habitat for Humanity’s Advocacy Committee. Formerly, she served as a Raleigh Stewardship Council Member with the Black Wall Street Forward initiative sponsored by Forward Cities, was a contributor to The Idea Lab for Equitable Economic Development hosted by RTI International and Duke Fuqua’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and served on the Economic Mobility Work Group for the Wake County Equity Blueprint. She is currently a member of Leadership Raleigh Cohort 47 with the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.

    Katrece holds a Bachelor of Science in Sales and Marketing from Tuskegee University and is a Duke Fuqua School of Business MBA Candidate and Forte Fellow.

    Katrece’s motivation for the work she does is simple: she loves people and desires to see them thrive.