Vice President of Equity & Inclusion, ICF Public Sector
Kary James is responsible for the design and execution of ICF’s equity, inclusion and justice agenda in support of the company’s federal clients. Her role directly contributes to ICF’s broader corporate strategy of expanding its services to offer even more value to its government partners and increase the collective positive impact.
James has dedicated her career to improving the lives of the most vulnerable. A widely respected social justice change agent with deep experience in human services, she’s bringing her experience to help federal agencies understand and address racial inequities and the needs of underserved communities in the context of their missions.
James has devoted her 20+ year career to creating equitable, diverse and inclusive cultures in social services systems and organizations — as a practitioner, a clinician and an administrator of a state agency — specifically focused on improving public child welfare practices.
Prior to her current role, she was the executive director of the ICF-managed Child Welfare Information Gateway, the Department of Health and Human Services’ nationwide clearinghouse that connects child welfare professionals to the data and resources they need to better protect children.
James was also instrumental in launching and expanding ICF’s internal Black Employees Community Network — one of ICF’s eight employee-led affinity groups that provide a place for networking and support, as well fostering professional development, community outreach and business impact. Today, the network has almost 500 highly active members and is growing.
“We are all more successful when people of different backgrounds, experiences, and points of view come together to find solutions — both within walls and for our clients,” said Mark Lee, executive vice president of ICF’s public sector. “Kary creates opportunities for open, honest discourse to offer a better understanding of the needs of underserved communities. She is helping drive tangible actions that address inequities and help agencies better meet their missions.”
James is leaning into ICF’s values and purpose and works across teams to ensure the company views its client work through an equity lens. She is committed to delivering outcome-oriented solutions that help federal agencies better address the needs of underserved communities.
“Some of the most challenging systems we have are in human services,” she said. “These systems have historical practices that pose barriers to equitable outcomes for underserved communities. My goal is to help our clients identify and break down those barriers so that real, positive change can happen.”