Workforce Relations Division (WRD)


Deborah Coelho, Division Director
Lizzie Ann Chavez, Deputy Director

Areas of responsibility

WRD develops, administers and evaluates a variety of services, and program policies in the employee life-cycle:

  • Benefits and insurance
  • Leave administration, to include FMLA and leave bank
  • Workplace flexibilities (such as alternative work schedules)
  • Performance management and awards
  • Labor and employee relations
  • Civil (Anti-Harassment and Workplace Violence Prevention)
  • Support for employee payroll issues
  • Workers' compensation
  • Retirement and separation


WRD is comprised of the following programs:

Retirement and Employee Benefits Branch

LaJuan Darby, Supervisor

Manages the administration of all employee benefit and entitlement programs. The Benefits and Retirement team encompasses the following roles and responsibilities:

  • Develops guidance and provides policy advice and assistance on all matters pertaining to employee benefits and entitlements
  • Serves as liaison with organizations such as OPM and Department of Labor
  • Provides direct benefit and entitlement counseling to employees and their families and survivors
  • Manages all employee outreach and information services
  • Engages with the NIH community through customized training, new employee outreach, and NIH-wide fairs

Civil Branch

Jessica Hawkins, Supervisor

Partners with stakeholders across the NIH to administer the NIH Anti-Harassment program and Workplace Violence Prevention program, including Employee and Labor Relations (ER/LR), Employee Assistance Program (EAP), NIH Division of Police, NIH Ombudsman's Office, Office of Equity Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), and NIH senior leadership. Civil also plays a role in the following:

  • Provides guidance to ICs and NIH Leadership on program policies
  • Manages all NIH administrative inquiries centrally
  • Directly advises IC management in developing corrective action plans, as appropriate
  • Provides training and outreach NIH-wide
  • Partners with stakeholders to ensure the effective administration of the program

Employee Relations/Labor Relations Branch

Celene Wilson, Supervisor

Provides guidance and advisement to managers on disciplinary, adverse and performance-based matters, processes grievances, and responds to appeals and third-party actions.  ER/LR implements HHS guidance and provides regulatory and policy advice and assistance to IC management, including the following:

  • Drafts and develops letters and responses
  • Conducts training and outreach NIH-Wide
  • Advises on labor-management issues
  • Conducts negotiations on behalf of management
  • Interfaces with employees and engaging with employees' representatives
  • Provides guidance and advisory services to the ICs on all aspects of performance management (i.e. HHS policy, PMAP guidance, and awards for NIH) and employee relations concerns
  • Partners with the EAP, NIH Division of Police, NIH Ombudsman's Office, EDI, Civil, Unions (where applicable) and NIH senior leadership to ensure effective administration of the program

Leave, Payroll, and Workforce Support Branch

Mallory McCormick, Supervisor

Interprets, develops, and advises on policies related to leave & workplace flexibilities:

  • Provides guidance on annual and sick leave, telework, alternate work schedules, and other flexibilities
  • Manages the NIH Workers' Compensation Program
  • Maintains the NIH Leave Bank Program
  • Provides advice, information, and guidance pertaining to pay and leave, including the timekeeping and payroll systems

Management Analysis Unit

Patrick McGrady, Supervisor

Provides data analysis that helps inform the larger NIH community of the various data points related to the numerous WRD organizational components:

  • Project management activities, often partnering with other OHR Divisions
  • Collaborates with WRD programs to assist in organizational development and process improvement
  • Develops high-level presentation contents for WRD leadership
  • Drafts responses to audits and data calls