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Civil Rights

Maryland Civil Rights and Equal Employment Opportunity

Vision of Civil Rights and Diversity from Maryland NRCS State Conservationist.

A commitment to Civil Rights and diversity that demonstrates exceptional employer and Government service where diversity is so deeply imbedded in our employees that it is part of our NRCS culture; invisible, unconscious and ever present yet clear and apparent to our customers.

The Maryland Civil Rights Advisory Committee is an advisory body to the State Conservationist (STC) which promotes and assists in meaningful and effective affirmative action consistent with the goals and objectives set forth by management.  The Committee:

  • provides feedback on the performance of the civil rights program.

  • makes recommendations for improvement.

  • identifies emerging areas needing special attention by the STC and Management Team.

  • makes recommendations to the STC regarding policy, practices, and procedures as they affect civil rights state-wide.

Maryland Conservation Partnership Civil Rights Advisory Committee

Maryland Civil Rights Advisory Committee









NRCS at Large

Heydsha Cordero-Rodriguez, Chair
Bianca Soto, Vice-Chair
Sabrina Albright, Secretary
Steve Strano, At-Large
Stephanie (Sam) Tyler, At-Large
Charlotte Brewster, At-Large
J. Graham Davis, At-Large
Joseph Haamid, Associate Member
Mikel Williams, Associate Member
Partnership Members
Mike Scheffel, Maryland Department of Agriculture
Lisa C. Purnell, OSEC
Advisory Committee Members
Odessa Armstrong, ASTC - Management & Strategy
Nora De La Rosa, Chair Emeritus
Buddy Bowling, Outreach Coordinator
Genevieve Lister, Public Affairs
Lydia Donovan, Business Services Specialist

Special Emphasis Program Managers (SEPM)

Special Emphasis activities and support are an integral part of the Civil Rights Program at the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Within their respective programs, Special Emphasis Program Managers  insure that equal opportunity is present in all aspects of NRCS programs and services. This includes assisting the State Conservationist to identify under representation and ensure positive actions are being taken to address any such problem areas. Special Emphasis Program Managers provide advice and assistance to management officials in order to help them meet civil rights program goals and objectives. They also assist the State Conservationist  to insure effective communications among all persons and areas dealing with, or affected by, agency civil rights responsibilities.

Below are links to the national special emphasis programs websites and our Maryland contacts.

Program Name Program Manager
Federal Women's Program Lauren Bennett
Black Emphasis Program Kimberly Whitmon
Hispanic Emphasis Program Ramon Ortiz
American Indian/Alaskan Native Emphasis Program Teresa Kampmeyer
Disabilities Emphasis Program Rebecca Briggs
Asian American/Pacific Islander Emphasis Program Melbaliz Santiago
Veterans Emphasis Program Matthew Molchan
Gay/Lesbian/Bi-Sexual/Transgender Emphasis Program James Brewer

Other Information

National Civil Rights Division

Required Posters and Information

Limited English Proficiency Handbook

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Complaint Process

Professional and Employee Organizations