HR Clinic: Speakers

Sharon D. Ballard

Sharon D. Ballard serves as the Director of the Office of Internal Management and Planning for the Office of Human Resources (OHR) at the National Institutes Health (NIH). Appointed in 2015, Sharon manages a full range of business operations and workforce programs from budget strategy and execution, employee training, leadership development, engagement, general administration, procurement, to organizational improvement. She leverages these management functions to support people, foster partnerships and fuel progress within OHR’s six divisions and for over 350 employees as they support NIH’s diverse workforce - a mixture of researchers, clinicians, fellows and scientific support that advance the mission of biomedical discovery. She previously served the NIH community as the Director of NIH’s Workforce Support and Development Division and as the Director of the NIH Transition and Work-Life Centers. A native Texan, she earned her graduate degree from Baylor University and received her graduate from the University of Georgia.

Luke Daniel has worked in the Federal Employee Relations and Performance Management arenas since 2005. Luke’s 30-year career includes similar positions at the state and city level.

Tiffany Doy is an HR Specialist in the Global Recruitment Unit (GRU) within the Client Services Division (CSD) in OHR. Tiffany has been with the NIH for 6 years with all of this time being in OHR/CSD. She began her career with CSD as a temporary Student Trainee and was eventually converted into a permanent position as a HR Specialist. Tiffany has a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Penn State University, and a master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Health Care Policy and Administration from the University of Baltimore.

John “Jay” Ellsworth has over 16 years of experience in human resources in the federal government with over 12 years focused in the human resource position classification. I recently transferred to NIH from the Environmental Protection Agency located in Durham, North Carolina around late April of this year. Prior to working at EPA, I worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs as a Human Resource Specialist (Classification) within their central office human resource branch located in Washington DC. Currently I reside in Chapel Hill, NC where I enjoy hiking and exploring the area.

Annie Franco is an HR Specialist in the Leave & Workplace Flexibilities Group of WRD (Workforce Relations Division). Fairly new to HR within the federal government, she started with NIH a little over a year ago (just as the pandemic was starting!) Prior to that, she spent over 20 years in HR in the private sector (hospitality).

Jenna Giles serves as an HR specialist in Compensation and Policy Division (CPD), working on Title 5 Policy. Prior to this, she served as an HR specialist at NIST for 10 years. Jenna has worked in NIH/OHR since Dec 2019.

Megan Goetz began her career at NIH in 2014 with the National Cancer Institute as a Program Support Assistant for the Division of Cancer Prevention. In 2016 she transitioned to the Office of the Director, Office of Human Resources where she served as an Administrative Officer for two years. In 2019 she was selected to participate in the HR Opportunity Program where she detailed to the Division of Senior and Scientific Executive Management (DSSEM). She has been in DSSEM since 2019 and serves as the Executive Performance Management Program Manager specializing in executive performance and awards. She recently graduated from the 2020 – 2021 Mission Support Leadership and The Next Generation Leadership Programs and aspires to become a formal Mentor to others this year!

Dusty Hatfield is a former Management Intern (Class of 2020) and a current Civil Program Specialist within the Workforce Relations Division of OHR. Dusty joined NIH in 2015 as a Recent Graduate in the Pathways program. From there, he converted to the Client Services Division within OHR, where he served as an HR Specialist servicing NINDS, CSR, Clinical Center, and the Office of the Chief Information Officer, among others. For his work there, he was awarded the CSR Director’s Award, Big Splash Award, and was nominated for the Most Valuable Peer award. As a Management Intern, he rotated through NCATS (Administrative Officer), NHGRI (Budget Analyst), NCI (Program Analyst), Division of Emergency Management (Emergency Management Specialist), and finally, the NIH Civil Program., where he converted in 2020. He received his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Georgetown College, and his master’s degree in Diplomacy with a focus on Intelligence Studies from the University of Kentucky (2014).

Tracey Headley has been the Human Resources - Performance Management Specialist at NIH since 2019. Prior to that she held HR positions in different program areas with the Department of Justice. Before her federal career, Tracey was an HR Generalist in the private sector for several years.

William Hennings joined NIH in 2015 and currently serves as an HR Specialist within the Executive Recruitment Branch, Division of Senior and Scientific Executive Management (DSSEM), Office of Human Resources (OHR). In this capacity, he’s part of a team that manages the Executive Recruitment process for the NIH. Prior to joining NIH, he served as a Program Manager with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Alexandria, VA where he led multi-disciplined contractor teams specializing in federal recruiting and staffing, administrative support, mailroom operations, Trademark application intake and processing, fee processing, customer service, and quality control. Some of his other service includes managing various HR functions with the Defense Intelligence Agency, Washington, D.C. and 22 years of active duty service with the U.S. Air Force. He holds a B.S. degree in Business Management and a M.S. degree in Human Resources Management and Development.

Saimantha Kinsella is a Lead HR Specialist in the Global Recruitment Unit within the Client Services Division (CSD) in OHR. She has been with CSD for 7 years and previously worked with the National Institute on Aging. Saim has a degree in Mathematics from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She has two daughters and enjoys reading and golfing.

Alex Knobel serves as Chief, Title 5/Title 38 Compensation Unit in the Compensation and Policy Division (CPD), OHR. Prior to this, he served as an HR specialist in CPD, working on Title 5/38 and Title 42 compensation issues. Alex has worked in NIH/OHR since 2013.

Keith Newsome is passionate leader with the skills and commitment to improve CRU management techniques and program effectiveness through the implementation of new technologies, data analytics, and strategies within large and small organizations. As a Management and Program Analyst, Keith enjoys engaging with clients to generate new ideas, enhance efficiency, and improve overall performance. He has received a master’s degree from Benedictine University in Public Health and a master’s degree in Cyber Security Technology from UMUC.

Lynnita Spears currently serves as the Executive Recruitment Branch Chief in the Division of Senior and Scientific Executive Management (DSSEM), Office of Human Resources (OHR), managing executive recruitments at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Lynnita began her NIH career in 1999 with the National Cancer Institute’s Personnel Office, servicing the Title 42 Research and Clinical Fellows and Senior Executive Service (SES) staff. Prior to joining NIH, she served as a Human Resources Specialist at the Food and Drug Administration in the Office of Human Resources’ Executive Resources Office and has over 25 years of experience working with the executive community.

Kerrie Tao has been employed at NIH since March 2020 and is currently working with the Workforce Relations Division in the Civil Program. Prior to onboarding with NIH, she worked with the Department of Agriculture (USDA) for 10 years as a Workplace Violence Specialist for the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Additionally, Kerrie was also the manager of Wellness Program in FSIS, where she implemented programs to expand a health and productivity of employees. She received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Gallaudet University, where students access their education through their native language and use American Sign Language (ASL) as the predominant language on campus (2009).

Lillian Thomas

Lillian Thomas serves as the Chief of the Workforce Planning & Analytics Section of the Workforce Support and Development Division. She has a Master’s degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology and over 15 years of professional experience, specializing in Human Capital consulting, survey design, workforce planning, statistics, and data analysis.

Esther Weiss is a Human Resources Specialist in the Title 5/Title 38 Compensation Unit in the Compensation and Policy Division (CPD). Esther has worked for NIH in varying Human Resources roles since July 1990. She spent 29 years in HR operations, first as an employee of the NIDCR and then the Client Services Division (CSD), OHR. Esther moved to her current position in CPD in 2019. Her experience in CSD has proven particularly helpful in developing and interpreting compensation policies.

Jody Young is a Supervisory Human Resources Specialist in the OHR/Client Services Division providing staffing and recruitment support to the National Cancer Institute. Jody has been with the NIH for a little over 6 years and previously worked for the Department of Agriculture and Department of Transportation. Her entire 20+ year career has been in the area of Human Resources and it continues to be her passion.

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