Victoria L. Bowens, CDP

Director, Strategic and Community Engagements, Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, 

U.S. Department of Defense

Colonel (Air Force retired) Victoria Bowens is the Director of Strategic and Community Engagements under the Office of Force Resiliency for the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. Victoria has over 30 years of experience in the Human Resources domain, spanning a myriad of human resources and manpower management programs in the areas of strategic planning, training and development, and program and project management for joint military and civilian personnel programs. Ms. Bowens is an accomplished diversity and inclusion renowned Thought Leader with over 12 years of advising senior leaders, academia, and industry partners on diversity matters affecting DoD. She published the DoD’s first Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan in 2012 and the Department of Navy’s Diversity Roadmap in 2017.

Previously, Ms. Bowens served as the Associate Director, Diversity and Inclusion Directorate for the Diversity Management Operations Center, Defense Human Resources Center, responsible for providing strategic and operational direction and support to the military services and Department of Defense (DoD) Components on a number of initiatives to attract, develop, and retain a diverse workforce with the unique skills affecting 1.4 million active duty military personnel, 1.3 million Guard and Reserve personnel and 950,000 DoD civilians. She also served as the Director, Diversity and Inclusion for the Department of Navy, where she was responsible for providing advice and counsel to the Assistant Secretary to the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) and Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Civilian Human Resources on strategies to address the Navy and Marine Corps military and civilian diversity and inclusion challenges for a workforce of over 900,000.

Ms. Bowens graduated from the University of Akron, Ohio, and was commissioned through the Air Force Reserve Officer’s Training Corps as a distinguished graduate, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Management; a Master of Arts Degree in Administration from Central Michigan University; and a Master’s degree in Military Operational Art/Science from the Air Force’s Air University. She is a graduate of several Air Force-level schools and held a variety of positions at the squadron, wing, and staff, in joint level organizations across a spectrum of 16 positions at 10 locations in and outside the continental United States.

Ms. Bowens is a Certified Diversity Professional, a New Inclusion Quotient Certified Game Changer, and a certified Coach from the John Maxwell Program. She is also a recognized Air Force Human Resources expert, having received two Air Force-level honors as the Senior Personnel Manager of the Year in 2002 and Junior Personnel Manager of the Year in 1997.

Ms. Bowens’ awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters, and the Air Force Commendation Medal. In 2018, she was recognized by Wonder Woman Tech as a Black Innovator in STEM + Arts; in 2013, she was selected by the National Association of Professional Women as “Professional Woman of the Year;” recognized as “Worldwide Who’s Who” in the Registry of Executives, Professionals, and Entrepreneurs for 2012-2013; and honored as one of the Most Influential in the 2nd Edition of “Who’s Who” Black in Washington, D.C, in 2010.