Montage of diverse AURA employees

Encouraging Diversity and Inclusion

AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, develops and supports programs that advance our organizational commitment to diversity, broadens participation, and encourages the advancement of diversity throughout the astronomical scientific workforce.

AURA is committed to the people that support our mission to advance astronomy and related sciences. We are deeply invested in developing and improving our policies and practices to create a welcoming and productive work environment. AURA believes that a diverse and inclusive workforce, particularly one that includes women and individuals from under-represented minority groups, contributes to excellence both in our organization and in the scientific community as a whole.

Diversity and Inclusion Information

PDFs for download:
AURA’s EEO Policy    |    AURA Recruitment Guide    |    AURA Unconscious Bias Brochure    |    WDC Charter   |   AURA Diversity & Inclusion Reports


Workforce and Diversity Committee

The overall goals of the AURA Workforce and Diversity Committee are to work with AURA to strengthen the participation from diverse groups (including under-represented groups) within the AURA workplace, and to ensure an inclusive culture within AURA that empowers all of its employees to participate in AURA’s mission.

External Members

Carolyn Brinkworth
National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
Faye GilesFaye Giles
National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO)
alice HoganAlice Hogan
Independent Contractor
Headshot of Brian NordBrian Nord
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Janet MalleyJanet Malley
University of Michigan
Head shot of Cecilia Orellana-RojasCecilia Orellana-Rojas
National Diversity Council
Sonya SmithSonya Smith (Chair)
Howard University


AURA HR Personnel

Lynda DecLynda Dec
AURA NSF-funded Facilities
Sheryl BruffSheryl Bruff
AURA NASA-funded Facilities


Diversity Advocates

Each AURA center has a Diversity Advocate reporting to the Director and serving on the Workforce and Diversity Committee. The Diversity Advocate works with Human Resources as well as outreach and educational staff to focus on workplace climate, workforce development, and other activities to broaden participation at AURA Centers, especially for women and under-represented minorities.

Head Shot Jesse BallJesse Ball
Van Dixon HeadshotVan Dixon
Jocelyn Ferrara
Chris MontgomeryChris Montgomery
Dara Norman NOAODara Norman
Leonor Opazo headshotLeonor Opazo
Claire RafteryClaire Raftery
Stephen Ridgway NOAOStephen Ridgway
Catherine RiggsCatherine Riggs
Alysha Shugart AURA-OAlysha Shugart