Equity and Inclusion
SAGE believes no one should stand alone in their pursuit for justice and equality. Therefore, we have a group of current and retired federal employees to serve on our Board of Advisors. Some are pathfinders who have faced challenges, walked the paths, and have tales of lessons learned. Some are allies who simply want to champion for an equitable place in the government because they believe an equitable workplace ensures that government retains the best talents, therefore, serves the American people.
At SAGE, you don't have to walk alone.
Solidarity and Alliance for Government Equity--SAGE--Foundation was founded on the principle that a just and equitable work environment in the government is crucial to national security. Employees serving this nation shall be recognized as patriotic Americans no matter their gender, race, national origin, religion, sexual orientation or color.
Discrimination based on the above categories is a violation of the Civil Rights Act. Employees who pursue equal pay and equal rights shall be free from harassment and retaliation.
For employees who suffer discrimination and retaliation, they oftentimes do not know who can help, or what to do? SAGE provides a platform for the victim employees to seek peer support via our Safe Rooms, to seek advice from our Board of Advisors, to share their stories or experiences through our Incident Report. Employees can also share their lessons learned in the Two Cents section.
Courageous reformers and allies deserve recognition. We want to encourage positive actions and recognize those who have spoken up and render help to our victim employees; therefore, Shout Out is a place where an employee can show their gratitude to an ally.
It takes collective action to make progress. Let's work together to ensure our government retains the best talents.
Dr. Saman Khan
Dr. Saman Khan, an accomplished researcher and EQF Fellow, has experience in grant writing, research, evaluation, and instruction. Her research focuses on assessing education policies for sustainability education and its practical implementation in educational organizations. Her research has been featured at various international forums, including ISCN (International Sustainable Campus Network) at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden; UN-SDSN (United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network) at Columbia University, New York; and AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. She is also working as a mentor with the “Upward Bound Program” (UBK) at Western Michigan University; UBK is federally funded through the U.S. Department of Education. In addition, she has finished her Ph.D. on Fulbright scholarship at Malisons Institute of Science Education, Western Michigan University.
About the Team
Founder and CEO
Josephine began her government service in 2005. Currently serving as a Foreign Service Officer Special Agent with the State Department Diplomatic Security Service. She has served in multiple high-threat posts and special missions such as one in Benghazi in 2011, State Department's Syria Transition Assistant Response Team in Turkey, and Pakistan. Before joining the State Department, she was a Customs and Border Protection Officer, and a Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service. Prior to her government service, Josephine worked in the non-profit sector as a social and policy research surveyor at NORC at the University of Chicago, and as a Diversity Counselor and Recruiter with an environmental nonprofit organization in Boston.
Josephine is an avid advocate for diversity and equality. She believes one of the strengths of this country is the vast diverse talent we have; talent with language ability, cultural understanding, and hard-to-acquire indigenous knowledge that can and have helped our nation's security defense. She has sat in State Department's Gender Working Group, and diversity and inclusion committee both as a member and co-chair to advocate for women, employees with disabilities, and minorities in the Department.
Josephine has seen how discriminatory and prejudicial practices in the government have resulted in losing valuable talent, worse, jeopardizing American lives and national security. She regards discriminatory practices as not only a violation of the law but a real threat to national security.
In her quest to pursue equality, she found that victims usually have nowhere to turn to, feeling alone, fearful, and without support. Drawing from her own experience and the hardship other victim-employees have gone through, after numerous State Department employees came to her for help, Josephine decided to form a nonprofit organization to provide a platform allowing victims to have their voices heard, and to seek and/or provide support for one another. Josephine believes no one should stand alone; an alliance should be built to support and advocate for victims of discrimination. She believes only in eliminating discrimination and prejudice in the government can we ensure our country a better and more secure place.
Josephine holds a BA in Law and Society, a BA in Sociology, an MA in Sociology of Law, and an LL.M. in International Dispute Resolution.
Member of Board
Ms. Guevara is an accomplished executive, transformational leader, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) practitioner with experience leading global teams and managing complex multi-million-dollar programs in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. She serves as the President of Equanimity Foundation (EQF), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to inclusive, sustainable, and transformative global development.
With a diverse career in government, nonprofit, and the private sector, Ms. Guevara spearheaded capacity building programs around the world such as overseeing law enforcement reform programs in Bamako, Mali; United Nations Peacekeeping program in Suva, Fiji; and conceptualized security sector reform programs for the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Mexico, and Kenya. She also managed strategic communications training in Thailand and Information Technology (IT) records management assessments in Nepal. She assisted the Senegalese Prison Administration host the first Mock Prison Riot in West Africa.
She served for both the U.S. Departments of State and Defense. At the State Department, Ms. Guevara promoted multilateralism and diplomatic conflict resolution. She successfully represented the U.S. Government in various diplomatic posts in the Netherlands, Turkey, Germany, Greece, and Botswana, among other locations. As a transnational border security expert, she conducted in-depth assessments of the high-threat environment along the Syrian-Turkish border and performed site visits to conflict zones in Gaziantep, Kilis, and Antakya to inform Syria-related Department of State policy. At the Pentagon, she served as a Chief of Staff for Requirements and Strategic Integration (RSI) and as the Department of Defense representative to the White House Council on Women and Girls, where she formulated policies to promote women’s leadership and advancement.
Ms. Guevara is an avid public speaker and has performed speaking engagements at the United Nations, the German International Civil Society Centre, and Georgetown University Law School, among other places. She holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) Certificate and completed studies at Georgetown University and the University of Oxford.
Member of Board
Born in Beirut, Lebanon to Syrian-Armenian parents and the grandson of Armenian Genocide survivors, George Terterian emigrated to the United States at the age of 3 and was raised in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. He attended Wayne State University in Detroit and graduated with a BA in history and a Juris Doctor degree from Wayne State Law.
After schooling, George relocated to Southern California and eventually became a tenant's rights advocate while suing slumlords on behalf of low income tenants in Los Angeles. While in Los Angeles, George served a 10-year term as board member of a non-profit that helped fund the educational needs of indigenous Armenians in his ancestral village of Kessab. After about 15 years of successfully advocating tenant's rights as a sole-practitioner often representing upwards of 100 tenants against multiple slumlords and the teams of their corporate lawyers, George decided to leave Los Angeles. In 2013, George relocated to the California Central Coast and was a legal aid attorney representing underserved communities (including many indigenous Oaxacan Mixtec-speaking farm workers) in northern Santa Barbara County.
Since 2017 George Terterian has been an associate with Affeld Grivakes LLP, a boutique firm in Los Angeles that handles traumatic brain injury cases, civil rights police misconduct cases, as well as general civil litigation.
George lives and works remotely from San Luis Obispo County. He is a supporting member of the ACLU, National Lawyers Guild, and the Southern Poverty Law Center, Planned Parenthood, Doctors Without Borders, among other progressive causes. In his spare time, he volunteers as an NLG Legal Observer at pro civil rights protests and marches. He is fluent in his native Armenian and conversant in Spanish and Portuguese.
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