In nine years, Dr. Maya Rockeymoore went from being a legislative fellow to founder, president and CEO of a public policy think tank.
That is lightning pace by any measure, but in Washington, a city where even incremental progress moves at a snail’s pace, it is a singular achievement. As an African-American woman, Maya’s accomplishments are made all the more inspiring.
When she founded Global Policy Solutions LLC in 2005 and then its nonprofit sister organization, the Center for Global Policy Solutions (CGPS) in 2012, few of her colleagues looked like her. Not that standing out was new to Maya. As an Air Force brat, she experienced what inclusion looked like while growing up on bases from Texas to Greece. It was not until she enrolled in college and began mapping out a career path that she realized she was passionate about becoming a Dr. King "dream keeper" by focusing on diversity and inclusion, issues often preached but not practiced nearly enough.
Though Maya learned to excel in spaces where she was the exception, not the norm, that is not the fate she wants for others. Her life's work has been dedicated to eliminating the barriers that prevent Americans from realizing their own dreams, especially those on the fringes of society.
She started Global Policy Solutions LLC as a social-change strategy firm. GPS has worked for such nonprofit clients as The Schott Foundation for Public Education, the National Academy of Social Insurance, AARP, and the National League of Cities. At the center of the firm's work is the belief that all people share fundamental social, economic, and political rights, including access to safe environments, health, quality education, and economic opportunity. Given its commitment to the social good, it became a certified B Corporation in 2014.
Maya realized that the think tank world was missing a critical perspective, though. "I was frustrated with mainstream think tanks that claimed to offer solutions for our nation's challenges without focusing on the significance of race and its intersection with class, gender, age, and geography," Maya says.
So, in 2012, she created the nonprofit Center for Global Policy Solutions, which operates under the “Driving Society Toward Inclusion” imperative. All the organization does to that end – from implementing health equity programs to advocating for closing the racial wealth gap – is inspirited by Maya’s background, experiences, and overarching belief that everyone belongs.
"America’s diversity is its promise, not its problem, and it is the basis for our strength and prosperity," Maya says. "Now is the time for us to realize that and embrace it."
Maya has expounded on this philosophy and shared her expertise on a range of subjects in publications like The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, and The Nation and on programs like CSPAN's "Washington Journal," "NewsOne Now with Roland Martin," and MSNBC's "The Cycle."
Let Maya share with you her whole story. Contact Simona Combi, firstname.lastname@example.org / 202-265-5111, to schedule an interview.
Maya’s many areas of expertise include: Racial Wealth Gap, Health, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Education, Women’s Issues, Youth Civic Participation, Inclusion, Diversity, and Criminal Justice Reform.
Dr. Maya Rockeymoore speaks outside the Capitol during a pro-Social Security rally.