Allison Greene-Sands, PhD, Acting Director

Allison Greene-Sands, PhD, is the Acting Director at the Department of Defense (DoD) Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI). Prior to ODEI, she was the Acting Deputy Director of Force Resiliency (OFR), which oversees sexual assault prevention and response; suicide prevention; diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity; drug demand reduction; and collaboration with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Dr. Greene-Sands also previously served as the Chief Strategy Officer at the DoD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO), where she led the Director’s Action Group and oversaw strategic communications and public affairs. Before SAPRO, she was the Associate Director of Culture for the Defense Language and National Security Education Office, directing research and policy development on cross-cultural competence, regional expertise, and foreign language.

Dr. Greene-Sands is the co-editor of Cross-Cultural Competence for a Twenty-First-Century Military (2014), and has lectured on the importance of culture in national security strategy, and the synergy of cross-cultural and diversity competence in leadership development. In addition, she served as an Adjunct Faculty member for Norwich University’s Security Studies and Defense Analyses Program from 2012–2015, teaching predominantly deployed Special Forces personnel. She founded and is currently the Co-Chair of the Culture Committee that meets monthly at the Interagency Language Roundtable. She is also on the Board of Directors of a non-profit organization supporting at-risk Veterans through health and wellness programs.

Dr. Greene-Sands is currently a member of the Forum on Global Violence Prevention for the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicines. She also served for three years (2014–2016) as the Department’s representative on the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. In September 2016, she received the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service for her work at SAPRO that included a report to the President on sexual assault in the military and the development of a DoD strategy to combat retaliation after a report of sexual assault or sexual harassment.

Before joining the DoD, Dr. Greene-Sands worked for multiple non-profit organizations supporting intercultural conflict resolution initiatives addressing divides due to race, religion, ethnicity, and national identity in the Middle East, South Africa, Northern Ireland, and Cyprus. Additionally, she was a doctoral intern at NATO’s Supreme Allied Command Atlantic, now Allied Command Transformation.

Dr. Greene-Sands earned both her Master’s and PhD in International Studies from Old Dominion University, while concurrently serving as an assistant coach for the women’s basketball team. She earned her BA in Philosophy at Dartmouth College and spent a semester studying abroad in France. After Dartmouth and before her tenure at ODU, she played basketball professionally in Portugal. She has studied French, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and American Sign Language.

Allison Greene-Sands, PhD