Vicki Simons

Environmental Protection Agency

2017 fellow

Vicki Anderson Simons is a Senior Advisor in the Office of Water at the US Environmental Protection Agency. During her 25+ years at EPA, she has held a number of leadership positions focused on providing equal opportunity and equal protection to underrepresented and underserved communities both inside and outside of EPA.

In her current capacity, Ms. Simons advises the Office of Water’s top leaders on diversity, inclusion, affirmative employment, and implementation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In 2015, she launched the Office of Water’s first Special Emphasis Program Advisory Council. Within one year, the council completed a study on OW employee advancement, established a diversity and inclusion Champion network, and initiated efforts to improve accessibility for persons with disabilities.

From 2011-2014, Vicki served as the Acting Deputy Director and Acting Director of EPA’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR). During that time, she co-authored a groundbreaking report which led to significant improvements in EPA’s affirmative employment, outreach, recruitment, and Title VI programs. Building on the report, Vicki implemented a national strategy which included the development of the Deputy Civil Rights Official (DCRO) Network, a senior-level cadre responsible for advancing model civil rights principles across EPA. Vicki also launched a Title VI complaint protocol which utilizes the DCROs to access EPA’s technical and scientific resources. In addition, Vicki revamped and professionalized the EEO Counselor program and increased the use of alternative dispute resolution to resolve EEO complaints. To provide much needed training to EEO officers, Special Emphasis Program Managers (SEPMs) and Reasonable Accommodations Coordinators, Vicki oversaw EPA’s first Civil Rights Virtual Training Conference, which featured web-based tools and real-time facilitation to more than 100 participants nationwide. The training saved EPA over 400K in extramural funds and travel costs. For this accomplishment, Vicki and her staff received the EPA Bronze Medal Award for Commendable Service.

Earlier in her career, Vicki served as an Environmental Protection Specialist and Special Assistant in several EPA programs serving states, tribes and environmental justice communities. She was a key contributor to two EPA environmental justice initiatives: the Check Our Kids for Lead Program– which received an EPA Gold Medal for Outstanding Service, and the Baltimore Environmental Justice Community Pilot Workgroup.

Vicki holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from Howard University, and a Juris Doctor from the University Of Maryland School Of Law. She is a member of the Maryland Bar.

Senior Advisor in the Office of Water U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


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