Great Minds in STEM salutes the venerable Sandra Evers-Manly, a longtime GMiS supporter and a champion and icon of corporate diversity and community empowerment, for a remarkable career at Northrop Grumman. Sandra will be leaving Northrop Grumman today in a long-planned departure after 40 impactful years.
Sandra is known industry wide as an incredible leader, visionary, connector, philanthropist, community champion, and author. In her corporate position as the Vice President of Global Corporate Responsibility at one the largest and most influential global security companies on the planet, she has been a valued Mentor to both our Chair Emeritus & Founder, Ray Mellado, and Dr. Juan Rivera, the current Chair of the Board and acting CEO of Great Minds in STEM, who recently retired from Northrop Grumman where he served as a Director in the company’s Space Systems and Aerospace Systems Sector.
As a mentor, Sandra always makes time to provide incredible guidance and perspective. Her unique ability to connect with mentees, comprehend their challenges, and articulate that guidance and perspective has strengthened numerous nonprofit organization leaders as well as fellow executives and managers at Northrop Grumman. Identifying rising stars among young professionals at her company was a specialty of Sandra’s. She was always on the lookout to bring younger generations of employees, especially those with diverse backgrounds, together with more seasoned professionals.
Helping employees navigate the corporate culture to ensure success doesn’t happen automatically. A network of Northrop Grumman Employee Resource Groups have developed over the years to support and encourage employees as they rise up through the ranks, and those groups had a true advocate and champion in Sandra. She equally engaged with her fellow executives at Northrop Grumman, whom she constantly recruited and encouraged to participate in mentoring programs, national recognition and recruiting events, and community outreach projects in K-12 schools.
Sandra’s passion and work in the corporate diversity and inclusion arena required daily rigor and finesse. She provided countless opportunities for employees to be recognized on national stages, where their excellence in STEM can be appropriately and publicly honored.
It was only fitting, then, that Sandra herself received the 2018 GMiS 30th Anniversary Chairman’s Award for her decades of work with our organization, where we were honored to showcase all the ways she has elevated Northrop Grumman’s diversity mission to the point where the CEO has made it one of the top 5 goals for the corporation.
As the President of the Northrop Grumman Foundation, Sandra supported K-12 programming that has inspired thousands of students, educators, and families, better preparing entire communities to pursue STEM pathways. Northrop Grumman employees eagerly followed her example and served hundreds of volunteer hours across the country each year. Sandra is committed to our youth and helped launch GMiS’s High School Summer Intern Program under President Obama. She also personally attended the Educator Institutes at our annual GMiS Conference, and it was not uncommon to find Sandra at one of our national Viva Technology programs or pinning medals on collegiate STEM recipients of one of the many GMiS STEM scholarships Northrop Grumman funds annually.
Sandra inspires individuals in many ways and many industries. From her work in the film industry, museums, and in literature, Sandra is a true Renaissance Corporate Leader whose impact will continue to be felt wherever she lands next. Whether you’re a CEO, an elementary school student, a young professional, or an entire community, Sandra Evers-Manly is going to do all she can to help make your goals a reality.