Keynote Address

Chauncia Willis

Co-Founder and CEO of the Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management


Chauncia Willis is the co-founder and CEO of the Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management (I-DIEM). Willis is certified as an emergency manager, professional coach, and cultural diversity professional with more than 20 years of experience. Her expertise includes disaster management, national security event planning, leadership coaching, immigrant and refugee outreach, as well as diversity, equity and inclusion training. Before co-founding I-DIEM, Chauncia served as an emergency manager in Tampa, Florida, where she developed successful programs benefiting marginalized populations. She has led national emergency planning efforts for political conventions, national football league games, and international award shows. In her role as CEO for I-DIEM, she leads the effort to integrate equity into all facets of disaster policy, programs, and practice with the goal of increasing cultural competence and mitigating the harmful impacts of bias on underserved groups. Regarded as a national expert, Willis has provided witness testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives on matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion on multiple occasions, as well as on policy implementation. She is the author of “Stretching: The Race towards Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in America.”

Chauncia Willis hails from St. Petersburg, Florida, and is a graduate of Loyola University New Orleans and the Georgia State University Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.