NECoPA 2021 Keynote Speakers

Hello everyone! We are a few short weeks away from NECoPA 2021 and throughout the week this week, we will be providing updates on the tentative conference program, details about the conference format, instructions on how to use the tech that will facilitate the conference, and more. Today’s update: keynote speakers for the conference. This year we have two exciting speakers who have agreed to give a keynote address – one for each day of the conference. We are really excited about both of them and we think you will be too. This post will give you a sense of who they are and why we think you’ll want to hear from them.

Nicole Keith

Nicole Keith, the Acting Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Management in New York’s Department of Civil Service. She will be giving the keynote address on Saturday, the closing day of the conference. Her bio (below) underscores how much experience she has in performing diversity and inclusion work for state government, and she will be bringing that wisdom and experience to share with everyone this year as we engage in a timely conversation about the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in public service.

Nicole Keith began her career with New York State in 2005 with the Office of Children and Family Services – Division of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Development. In 2014, Ms. Keith began working for the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) where she served as Deputy Director of the Office of Diversity Management. Following her employment at DOCCS, Ms. Keith worked for the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations – Anti Discrimination Investigations Division before being hired as Deputy Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Management (ODIM) at the Department of Civil Service. As of September 2021, Ms. Keith is serving as Acting Director of ODIM.

Ms. Keith’s entire career has centered on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work and her personal and professional experiences have contributed to her ongoing commitment to advancing DEI initiatives in New York State, identifying and measuring key performance indicators of DEI in the state workforce, and leveraging available data and resources to provide tailored guidance and support to agencies regarding how best to meaningfully advance DEI objectives.

Angelica Kang

Angelica Kang is the Chief Diversity Officer for the City of Albany, New York. 

A Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Senegal ’07-’09), Angelica graduated from Fordham University School of Law in May 2016.   Upon graduation, Angelica was accepted into the New York State Excelsior Service Fellowship Program and placed at the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.  There she served as a legal fellow, providing counsel to the Office of Interoperable and Emergency Communications in Albany, New York for two years.  

After the fellowship, Angelica was hired as assistant corporation counsel for the City of Albany Law Department in 2018.  She served as the City’s procurement and contracts attorney, litigated vacant building code violations, and sat on a number of City Boards and Commissions.  She also prosecuted City ordinance quality of life violations and State Vehicle and Traffic Law violations.

In June 2019, Mayor Kathy Sheehan appointed Angelica as the City’s Chief Diversity Officer.  The second to hold this position, Angelica is tasked with developing strategies to monitor and evaluate City-wide progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workforce and work environment.  She works across all departments and with community partners to address structural inequities in local government, including recruitment, hiring, and retention.  She also serves as the American with Disabilities Act coordinator for the City, the City’s Affirmative Action Officer, and the Executive Director for the City’s Human Rights Commission.  Additionally, Angelica acts as the Equal Employment Opportunity officer and investigates allegations of discrimination and harassment within the City’s workforce. Outside of her professional career, Angelica runs a stained-glass studio and a boutique floral arrangement business out of her home.  She regularly volunteers with the Friends of Tivoli Lake Preserve and Farm and serves as a board member of the Friends and Foundation of the Albany Public Library.

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