ISA Webinar Series 

“Racial Equity and Opportunity”

Recent events have compelled many executives and managers to grapple with evidence of systemic racism within their organizations. A long history of adverse policies and behaviors have created conditions that undermine the work experiences and career prospects of Black, Hispanic, and indigenous peoples. Moreover, members of these groups are underrepresented in high-level management in many industries, with organizations missing out on their creativity and insights. As these organizations take stock of the past and propose reforms, we anticipate that the industry context, location, history and internal dynamics are likely to affect the programs and policies adopted. This new ISA webinar series examines different industry and organizational responses – still emerging and hopefully sustained -- to the current visibility, awareness, and public pressure around these urgent issues of racial equity and opportunity.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021 | 12:00pm – 1:00pm ET

Addressing the Racial Wealth Gap

Data from the Federal Reserve show that Black households have less than 15% the median wealth of White households. The gap has increased since the Great Recession and is likely to worsen further as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Research from Citigroup shows that Blacks are missing out on opportunities to generate savings and accumulate wealth through home ownership and financial investments, and to transfer that wealth to succeeding generations. These shortfalls lead to lower growth in the whole economy.  In this session, speakers will discuss the causes of the racial wealth gap, and ways in which it can be reduced. 


Mehrsa Baradaran, Professor of Law, University of California Irvine, author of “The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap

Dana Peterson, Executive Vice President & Chief Economist, The Conference Board, author of “Closing the Racial Inequality Wealth Gaps: The Economic Cost of Black Inequality in the U.S.”

John W. Rogers Jr., Chairman, Co-CEO and Chief Investment Officer, Ariel Investments

Register Today | Addressing the Racial Wealth Gap

2021 Industrial Policy Series

Hosts/Organizers: Andrew Reamer and David Hart

Wednesday, April 28 12:00-1:15pm ET; 1:15-2:00 Zoom breakout discussion rooms

Industry Studies Units in Federal Agencies

For use by policymakers, numerous federal agencies generate a steady stream of analyses of traded industries across the U.S. economy. In this session, representatives of several of these agencies will describe the mission, scope, and methods of their industry studies units. They also will describe how ISA members might connect with agency experts in particular industries.


  • Thomas Howells, Chief, Industry Economics Division, Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • William Powers, ‎Chief Economist and Director, Office of Economics · ‎U.S. International Trade Commission
  • Bart Meroney, Senior Adviser for Manufacturing, Office of Industry and Analysis, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce

Moderator: Andrew Reamer, Research Professor, GW Institute of Public Policy, George Washington University

Register Today | Industry Studies Units in Federal Agencies

Wednesday, May 12 12:00-1:15pm ET; 1:15-2:00 Zoom breakout discussion rooms | CANCELED

Federal Industrial Strategic Plans

Congress and Executive Branch political leadership regularly charge federal agencies with preparing and implementing a strategic plan to promote the competitiveness of an industry or sector deemed of national importance. This session will explore several such efforts. For reference, recent examples include:


Past Webinars

Wednesday, January 13, 2021 | 12:00pm – 1:15pm ET

Board of Directors Diversity

Research suggests that corporate boards which incorporate and value perspectives from diverse participants gain meaningful insights that might otherwise be overlooked. A multiplicity of perspectives bringing knowledge on key stakeholder groups allows organizations to be more responsive to emerging market and workforce trends. According to the most recent report from ISS Analytics, Black people hold only 4.1% of board positions among Russell 3000 firms.  In this session, speakers will discuss current initiatives (such as Nasdaq’s new listing rules related to board diversity and disclosure) aimed at increasing the selection, participation and effectiveness of Black board members.


Barry Lawson Williams, Managing General Partner, Williams Pacific Ventures and Retired Corporate Board Director

Les Brun, Chairman and CEO, Sarr Group; Board Chairman of Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. and CDK Global, Inc.; Lead Director of Merck & Co., Inc.; and Board Member, Corning Incorporated and NXT Capital

Byron Loflin, Global Head of Board Engagement; NASDAQ Governance Solutions 

Resources for Increasing Board Inclusion-Click Here

Wednesday, February 3, 2021 | 12:00pm – 1:00pm ET

Racial Equity in High-Tech Industries

High-technology industries generate tremendous innovation and wealth, yet Black people make up a small share of technical professionals, executives, founders, board members and venture capitalists.  The result is missed opportunity for Black professionals and employees to participate in the economic gains created by these industries, and a missed opportunity for tech companies to incorporate their skills, talents, and perspectives.  In this session, speakers will discuss the reasons that these barriers persist and highlight efforts to create opportunities for Black people in STEM education fields and in high-tech industry employment, management and ownership.


Rhonda Vonshay Sharpe, Founder and President of the Women’s Institute for Science, Equity and Race (WISER)

Ifeoma Ozoma, Founder and Principal of Earthseed (works to address health misinformation), formerly held technology policy positions at Google, Facebook, and Pinterest

Maurice Blackwood, Vice President, Consumer Industry, IBM


Wednesday, March 3, 2021 | 12:00pm – 1:00pm ET

Supporting Black Entrepreneurs

While the current attention to racial inequity has helped to shine a spotlight on Black entrepreneurs, they have historically faced challenges due to practices limiting their access to resources.  Bias makes it difficult for Black entrepreneurs to get in front of investors, given investor preferences to support founders similar to themselves.  Encouraging Black entrepreneurship on a local or regional level also requires systemic attention to eliminating barriers and providing access to funding and mentoring.  This session will discuss how current founders and investors, financial institutions, and community-based advocacy organizations can help Black entrepreneurs in their quest to be successful.


Melissa Bradley, Founder, Ureeka; Managing Partner, 1863 Ventures

Darrin Redus, Executive Director, Minority Business Accelerator; Vice-President, Cincinnati Regional Chamber of Commerce

Brandon Watson, Founder,; Managing Partner, KOM Ventures


Wednesday, March 24, 2021 | 12:00-1:15pm ET; 1:15-2:00 Zoom breakout discussion rooms

Green Industrial Policy

Eliminating carbon emissions from the global economy will require a vast overhaul of the industrial sector. Although economy-wide policies like carbon pricing must play an important role, industry-specific policies will also be necessary to get to “net-zero” before catastrophic climate change is locked in. Many nations, including China and Germany, have begun to implement green industrial policies. The United States federal government has not, but President Biden promised to change that during his campaign. This session will explore the new administration’s plans and progress in comparative and global perspective.


Henry Kelly, Non-resident Senior Fellow, Boston University Institute for Sustainable Energy.

Sarah Ladislaw, Senior Vice President and Director, Energy and National Security Program, CSIS

Alfred Marcus, Professor, Edson Spencer Endowed Chair in Strategy and Technological Leadership, University of Minnesota