Cie Armstead, MPA, DBA, begins role as first ACS Director of Diversity

Cie Armstead, MPA, DBA, is the ACS Director of Diversity

The ACS is pleased to announce that, as of August 23, Cie Armstead, MPA, DBA, has joined the Executive Services Division in the newly created position of Director of Diversity. In this senior-level management role, Ms. Armstead will lead the development and implementation of proactive diversity, equity, and inclusion and anti-racism (DEI&A) initiatives in support of the College’s strategic plan to create a learning and working environment where all have the opportunity to succeed.

Ms. Armstead completed a bachelor of science in Journalism at Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, and completed a master of public administration degree in nonprofit management at Roosevelt University, Chicago. She recently completed a doctor of business administration degree in industrial organizational psychology at Northcentral University, San Diego, CA. Ms. Armstead has worked in the diversity and inclusion space for more than 20 years and spent many years serving in multiple diversity-focused roles at the American Bar Association, Chicago, IL.

Experiences in leading DEI initiatives

Most recently, Ms. Armstead had worked in the inaugural role of Director, Diversity and Inclusion for the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), Chicago, IL, where she collaboratively led the DEI vision and strategy for the organization’s 40,000 members. Among her achievements at the ACHE, she adapted their DEI strategic plan in the face of the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic to respond to members’ and the organization’s evolving needs. Ms. Armstead originated a listening tour to understand the lived experiences of ACHE members from diverse backgrounds as they navigated their professional lives in the pandemic. Based on the members’ insights, she designed a multi-component virtual educational program, Navigating Your Career through the COVID-19 Crisis & Beyond.

At the ACHE, Ms. Armstead also led the creation of the Healthcare Executive Diversity Collaborative—known as the Better Together Collaborative—consisting of six national groups committed to working together to increase and sustain diversity and inclusion at the highest levels of health care leadership. One of the collaborative’s key projects was the Executive Diversity Career Navigator, an online tool to inform and inspire diverse health care leaders at every career level.

Ms. Armstead is an active volunteer in the association management community, serving on the Black, Indigenous and People of Color Committee at the Association Forum; vice-chair of the Research Committee at the American Society of Association Executives; and as a DEI Thought Leader on the Talent Council of the NIGP (National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, Inc.). She also received the 2021 Association Professional Achievement Award from the Association Forum in early August.

“I am honored and blessed to join ACS at this pivotal time in the College and in society,” Ms. Armstead said. “Immediately after the George Floyd killing, ACS leadership took action to strengthen its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and begin establishing its anti-racism focus. I look forward to leading the work that will collaboratively build on that DEI&A foundation and produce better outcomes for all.”

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