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Board Directives & Initiatives

Board Directives & Initiatives

The Board of Directors’ commitment to inclusivity – one of the core values of the society – have resulted in three Rapid Action Committees (RAC) with the goal of creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive community. The Women in OSA RAC and the Code of Conduct Working Group were created to improve gender equity across the society and develop new anti-harassment policies, resources and enforcement procedures. 

In 2020, the membership, leadership and staff of OSA joined with millions of others to condemn the systemic racism and violence that plagues our society. In response, the Board created the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion RAC to go beyond condemnation to real, long-term change.

OSA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Rapid Action Committee (DEI RAC)

The DEI RAC will create recommendations for our corporate and program divisions to support and increase the presence of black scientists and engineers within OSA and the broader optics and photonics community with a final report to the Board during their July 2021 meeting.


  1. Determine current engagement levels among Black scientists and engineers across key programs: Awards, Fellows, Publications, Meetings, Industry, Outreach and Membership.
  2. Bring forth recommendations for sustainable diversity and inclusion efforts focused on amplifying and supporting black scientists and engineers via programming, community-wide partnerships, networking, scholarships/grants and awareness campaigns.
  3. Position OSA to address under representation in photonics by facilitating the growth and advancement of black scientists and engineers.

Rapid Action Committee Members:

Abdalla Darwish, Dillard University, US
Peter Delfyett, University of Central Florida, CREOL, US
Christine Hendon, Columbia University, US
Timothy Imogore, Friedrich-Schiller-Universitat, Jena, Germany
Anthony Johnson, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, US
Elaine Lalanne, Fibertek, Inc., NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, US
Jay Mathews, University of Dayton, US
Karen Matthews, IoT expert with 22 years of experience at Corning Inc., US
Darryl Naidoo, CSIR-NLC, South Africa
Thomas Searles, Howard University, US
Arlene Smith, Avo Photonics  US
Chuwanda Thigpen, Lumentum, US