Speaker announcement: Leadership Culture in Your Organization


What does it mean to work in a culture of affirmation as a woman leader? Is it even OK to focus on the role of women in your organization? Are barriers explicit for women leaders in your organization or are they implicit? Or do you think there are no barriers? Andie Moss, president of The Moss Group, Inc., Connie Gipson, acting director of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Division of Adult Institutions, and Shirley Moore Smeal, executive deputy secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, will present the workshop, The Leadership Culture in Your Organization: Gender-Neutral, Gender-Biased or Depends?” This breakout session will explore your views through a guided workshop using audience response technology. Characteristics of healthy organizational cultures that nourish all leaders – and are specifically intentional about supporting women as key decision makers – will be suggested. Strategies to enhance a respectful workplace that recognizes women as critical contributors in all levels of organizational leadership will be presented.

Andie Moss is founder and president of The Moss Group, Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based criminal justice consulting firm established in 2002. The Moss Group provides consulting services to federal, state and local agencies, as well as private organizations, using the expertise of experienced practitioners with a commitment to excellence.

Moss has an extensive history working on sensitive correctional management issues and was a pioneer in the work of assessing and addressing organizational and facility culture. During her tenure at the Georgia Department of Corrections, she oversaw program implementation in more than 30 facilities, managed transitional centers that housed male and female inmates, and was charged with reforming women’s services, which resulted in a national model recognized by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC). In 1995, she joined NIC, where she was involved in seminal work on developing strategies to address staff sexual misconduct.

Moss’s commitment to leadership in the corrections field has led her to managing an Executive Women’s Program for NIC; developing and facilitating events like the Louisiana Leadership Summit; and providing multiple agencies with leadership assessment tools to encourage best practices. She has developed numerous leadership curricula and has led more than 25 executive leadership programs. In 2003, The Moss Group was awarded a multi-year cooperative agreement with NIC to manage its PREA initiative. She also served as a subject matter expert to the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission and the PREA Review Panel. Moss was appointed by the White House to a two-year term on the education subcommittee of ICE’s Advisory Committee on Family Residential Centers administered by the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Moss is published in professional periodicals, is the immediate past-chair for the American Correctional Association Women Working in Corrections Committee, and is a past president of the Association of Women Executives in Corrections (AWEC). Moss has received numerous honors for her work, including the NIC Executive Director’s Award and AWEC’s Susan M. Hunter Award.

Moss received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Georgia and her Master’s in Education from the University of Idaho.

Connie Gipson has more than 29 years of corrections experience and is currently the acting director of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Division of Adult Institutions (DAI). Since 2014, she has been serving as the deputy director of facility operations in DAI where she had management oversight of more than 129,000 convicted felons in one of the largest correctional systems in the nation.

Gipson works in all phases of policy, practices and procedures within California’s state prisons to reduce recidivism. A partnership with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office provides offenders college courses that lead to degrees or certificates resulting in workforce skills or transfer to a four-year university. Gipson serves as CDCR’s liaison with the California District Attorneys Association. And she is a member of the Government Alliance on Race and Equity, a network focused on strategies to normalize conversations about race, operationalize new policies and institutional cultural change, and organized to achieve racial equality.

Gipson started her career as a correctional officer. She has promoted over the years and has served in several positions including chief deputy warden, warden, and associate director.

Shirley Moore Smeal is the executive deputy secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, responsible for the oversight of 16,000 employees and 50,000 offenders. Moore Smeal began her career in corrections in 1987 as a clerk typist. She promoted over the years, moving progressively up the correctional ranks serving in increasingly responsible positions including purchasing agent, unit manager, deputy superintendent, superintendent, regional deputy secretary and acting secretary.

Moore Smeal is a member of the American Correctional Association (ACA), the ACA Corrections Healthy Culture Committee, the Advisory Council to the Safe Alternatives to Segregation Initiative with the Vera Institute of Justice, the Pennsylvania Prison Warden’s Association (PPWA), and is president of the Association of Women Executives in Corrections. She has served as chairperson for many leadership conferences, participated in several corrections-related webinars and workshops. She is the recipient of the National Organization of Black Women in Law Enforcement’s 2012 Trailblazer Award for becoming the highest ranking female in the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. Moore Smeal is also the receiver of the Lifetime Achievement Award from PPWA and Distinguished Alumnae Award. Moore Smeal holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Edinboro University in Pennsylvania.


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