Terri Dickerson

Headshot of Terri Dickerson with American flag
Titles and Organizations

Adjunct Faculty
Civil Rights Director for the U.S. Coast Guard

Contact Information


Dr. Terri A. Dickerson is an adjunct faculty member at George Mason University’s Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, one of the nation’s few schools dedicated to social justice and peace. Her research focus is untold, lost, distorted and co-opted stories of marginalized individuals and communities. Dr. Dickerson is also Civil Rights Director for the U.S. Coast Guard. Previously she was Assistant Staff Director for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights where she led investigations and produced reports to Congress and the American public on issues across the civil rights spectrum including voting, equality in education, access to health care, and equal employment. Prior to that, she was Associate Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration where she worked on enterprise development for minoritized individuals. She began her career in the private, non-profit sector, eventually becoming Executive Director of American Women in Radio and Television and its 501(c)(3) Foundation. She also was diversity director for a newspaper association foundation. A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, she is among students who were the first to integrate New Orleans Catholic schools.

Honors and Awards

NAACP Benjamin L. Hooks Distinguished Service Award, 2014

U. S. Government Senior Executive Service (SES) Presidential Rank Award, honors the top 5% of senior Federal employees for “sustained extraordinary accomplishment,” 2009

Provost’s Award, George Mason University, 2018

James H. Laue Award, George Mason University, School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, 2015

Alumni Award, George Mason University, for academic achievement, community service, 2015


Member of the government Senior Executive Service.

Member, Senior Executive Service Qualifications Review Board, U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Member, Security Appeals Board, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Member, Board of Advisors, Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, Patrick AFB, FL.

Member, Board of Trustees, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 2007-2014

Member, Board of Directors, University of Virginia, Walter M. Ridley Scholarship Fund, 2004-2005

Presentations and Performances

September 2021 – Graduation Speaker for Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute

September 2020 – Assn. for the Study of African American Life and History, Annual Conference Speaker

July 2020 - Federally Employed Women National Training Conference Speaker

January 2020 – Naval Surface Warfare Center, MLK Day Speaker, Philadelphia PA

March 2020 – Defense Logistics Agency, Women’s History Month Speaker, Richmond VA

August 2019 Blacks in Government National Training Conference Speaker, Dallas TX

2020 - Defense Equal Opportunity Mgt. Institute, Patrick AFB, FL, Senior EEO Advanced Course

December 2017 – Graduation Speaker, George Mason University, Eagle Bank Arena, Fairfax VA

Dr. Dickerson has testified before the U.S. Congress, House Sub-Committee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.


50 Activities for Managing Cultural Diversity, HRD Press, 1993. (Same book re-printed as Activities for Diversity Training.)

Dr. Dickerson has written articles for industry and national publications including The Washington Post, USA-TODAY, and The Ladies' Home Journal. Her book on diversity training (1993) was a bestseller for its publisher. She has been responsible for researching and publishing many reports that bear the U.S. Government seal.


PhD, Peace and Conflict Resolution, George Mason University

MA, Government, Johns Hopkins University

BS, Education and Human Development, University of Virginia