khalilah harris, chief of staff & VICE PRESIDENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

Khalilah M. Harris is Chief of Staff and Vice President of External Affairs with Opportunity@Work, serving as senior advisor to the President and providing strategic management of public engagement efforts advancing the organization's mission of widely expanding opportunity for all Americans to the tech labor market. She is also responsible for managing the national TechHire movement, including relationships with the 72 communities working to expand access to all Americans. Khalilah's career has been built on a commitment to ensuring equity in access to opportunity, regardless of zip code or genetic code. As a child of immigrants and first generation college graduate in her family, Khalilah fervently believes dismantling structures of systemic inequity coupled with access to tools necessary to practice self-determination will build a strong economy as a result of strong communities.

Khalilah joined Opportunity@Work after serving the American public with the Obama Administration as Senior Advisor to the Director of the US Office of Personnel Management. She provided leadership in several human capital management efforts, most critically diversity and inclusion in the federal workforce, convening the first ever White House Summit on Diversity & Inclusion in Government. She was also the first Deputy Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, which President Obama established in 2012.  In that post, she focused her efforts on developing interagency relationships and served as a liaison to issue-based work groups, committees and advocacy groups relevant to policy priorities of the Initiative and the Administration. This included supporting educational access for Black new Americans and English Language Learners, disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline, and working for equity in access to STEM coursework and careers. She also concentrated on cultivating opportunities for women and girls of color while serving as a member of the White House Council on Women & Girls' interagency working group for advancing equity and empowerment for women and girls of color.

Khalilah has almost two decades of experience in education, advocacy, and organizational development, including previous service as a founder and member of the leadership team of a Baltimore high school that focused on social justice. 

In addition to being a member of the Maryland Bar Association, she has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Morgan State University, a law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law, and is pursuing her doctorate in Educational Leadership and Organizational Development at the University of Pennsylvania. Most importantly, Khalilah Harris is the proud mother of three daughters.