Opportunity@Work expands leadership with Khalilah Harris, Chief of Staff and VP of External Affairs and Yuanxia Ding, VP of Strategy & Business Operations


WASHINGTON, DC (March 27, 2017)- Opportunity@Work continues to build a first class team to implement its mission of expanding access to career opportunities so that all Americans can work, learn, and earn to their full potential in a dynamic economy. In addition to transitioning into a stand alone entity in January 2017, Khalilah Harris, former senior advisor to the Director at the US Office of Personnel Management, joined our senior leadership team. We are also delighted to welcome Yuanxia Ding, former chief of staff to the Undersecretary at the US Department of Education.  

“The work to rewire the American labor market requires skills, talent and leadership in communities across the nation as well inside of our organization," said Opportunity@Work President & Co-Founder Byron Auguste. “Khalilah and Yuanxia will expand Opportunity@Work’s capacity by bringing decades of leadership in social justice movements, strategic management, organizational development and deep business savvy to our already talented team.”

Khalilah serves as Chief of Staff & VP of External Affairs. In this role she acts as senior advisor to Byron Auguste and also leads a portfolio which includes strategic communications, resource and relationship development and people management.  Her stellar career advancing equity in access to education and providing management expertise by building initiatives from the ground up makes her a valued addition to the team. She left a lasting imprint in her role as the first deputy director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, particularly on matters related to STEM access and equity, supporting new Americans, and advancing women & girls of color. Moreover, as senior advisor to the Director at OPM she led the concept design, planning and implementation of the first ever White House Summit on Diversity & Inclusion in the federal workforce. Both are notable accomplishments and experiences that Opportunity@Work will leverage as our organization grows.

When discussing this new step in her career, Khalilah shared “I am committed to building an organization working to ensure equitable access to the American labor market so that neither genetic code nor zip code plays a role in who can access jobs in the tech sector, or any sector.”

Yuanxia serves as VP of Strategy & Business Operations. She guides strategy development, operational excellence, and rapid learning critical to fulfilling Opportunity@Work’s mission. In her most recent role as Chief of Staff to the Under Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education, she oversaw Obama Administration priorities in higher education; supervised the policy, communications, and operations staff working in the Office of the Under Secretary; and worked closely with senior management staff throughout the Department of Education, the White House, and other federal agencies.  Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Education, Yuanxia led teams of consultants working in the Education and Economic Development practices of McKinsey & Company, where she advised CEOs and executive leadership teams on strategy and growth. Her remarkable business savvy will help us to propel our growth and achieve our mission.

In her excitement to join Opportunity@Work, Yuanxia said she believes “the market value of a credential should reflect genuine skills and knowledge development, rather than be a product of the inflation of credential requirements…" and that she is "looking forward to bringing together providers of education and training with employers, industries, state and local governments, and communities to improve and expand opportunity and socioeconomic mobility."

Opportunity@Work is a nonprofit social enterprise with a mission to expand access to career opportunities so that all Americans can work, learn, and earn to their full potential in a dynamic economy. By 2025, Opportunity@Work will empower over 1 million Americans, creating $20 billion+ per year of additional earnings for Americans across the country. Opportunity@Work expands access to career opportunities for all by building partnerships with employers, community organizations, civic leadership and job seekers to transform hiring practices, expand learning pathways, and pioneer talent financing. To learn more, visit www.opportunityatwork.org.

Media Contact:
Tari Linda Lau, Communications Associate
(202) 847 - 4475