As the son of two farming families, Damon House grew up in New York City hearing the competing challenges that disparate communities face to compete effectively in today’s economy –Wall Street vs. Main Street. As a Marketing graduate with a technologist spirit and a growth mindset, he knows there is always something more that can be done to change the outcomes for an organization and community.
Over the past twenty-five years, Damon has worn several hats. He has been a Strategist (Thinker), a Deployment Director (Doer), and a Community Engagement Manager (Communicator). Putting these into action, he has the range to work with C-Suite executives on digitally transforming their organizations, mentor innovators and entrepreneurs, and speak at the United Nations as an expert on the value of economic development in underserved communities.
Most recently, Damon was a Senior Business Program Manager for Microsoft’s Global Consulting Services division. He managed the strategy of innovation & digital transformation for Healthcare and Education solutions helping companies to become data & intelligence-driven organizations across their executive strategy, business use cases, and technological solutions. He helped companies to harness resources that enabled and empowered their businesses to succeed with achievement for the bottom line as well as with value to the community. During his five years with Microsoft, he supported well over $500M in consulting sales across Healthcare and other industries in the US and abroad.
Damon managed a $165M Federal Program Management and Engineering Office (PMEO) tasked to deploy Wi-Fi systems at 319 Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities to modernize their existing communications, regionally and nationwide. He directed the strategic planning and governance team for an Interagency Program Executive Office of the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs in furtherance of healthcare data interoperability. He led a Technical Program Management Office (PMO) in the OCIO in the USDA for security and systems projects, and he has managed sales accounts in excess of $10M each with the creation of international Centers of Excellence.
Damon passionately focuses on community development for societal impact. He collaborates on the development and implementation of programs in support of communities of color in the US, the Caribbean, and Africa. He successfully developed opportunities for transformation in these communities. He has spoken at the United Nations on the value of economic development in support of the Global Creative Economy. He is an annual mentor for innovation competitions at NASA MITTIC and the Department of Energy National Laboratories Jump into STEM program. He actively supports entrepreneurship in underserved communities, including mentoring a cohort of innovators in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center leveraging NASA intellectual property. He received Microsoft’s US Public Sector Heroes Award in 2021 for outstanding support of community engagement, and he received the National Bar Association Presidential Award for leadership, engagement, service, and community support.
Damon works tirelessly at the intersection of education, innovation, technology, industry, and entrepreneurship to help historically underrepresented and underserved communities to achieve more. Damon has a long success record for bringing together Federal, Corporate, and NGO Partners to engage in advocacy, policy, and transformational opportunities in underrepresented communities.
Tanya Clay House, Esq. serves as CEO and Co-Founder of ClayHouse Consulting Inc. Her clients have included the NAACP and the National Coalition for School Diversity, the Network for Public Education, African American Policy Forum, and more. Formerly of Louisville, Kentucky, Mrs. House earned her B.A cum laude in political science from the University of Michigan, where she excelled as a varsity track athlete. She earned her J.D. from the University of Texas, School of Law, where she was executive editor of the Texas Journal of Women and the Law, and attorney general for the Rocky Mountain Black Law Students Association.
As an Obama Administration appointee, Mrs. House formerly served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for P-12 Education in the Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development (OPEPD) at the U.S. Department of Education. In her role, she provided recommendations to the Assistant Secretary of OPEPD, and other senior Department officials on a host of policy initiatives as the leader of the P-12 team in OPEPD. In addition to the reauthorization and subsequent implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Mrs. House oversaw the development of policy in the P-12 budget and spending plan and was responsible for policy recommendations and decisions for major grant competitions. Mrs. House also led high-priority policy initiatives across the Department, including work on school diversity, discipline practices, and the racial justice implications of policies throughout the Department.
Prior to this appointment, Mrs. House served as Director of the Public Policy Department at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and formerly served as the Public Policy Director at People For the American Way (PFAW). She was also instrumental in the development, implementation, and management of the non-partisan Election Protection Coalition. In 2000, Mrs. House began her political career as Legislative Counsel for United States Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX). From there, she moved to the Senate to work for United States Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) focusing on civil rights and social policy issues.
In 2021, Mrs. House was recognized by Women Engaged for her work in philanthropy with the “She Who Rises to the Challenge and Builds Power as a Leader in Philanthropy Award. She was also awarded two of the highest honors from the National Bar Association (NBA). In April of 2021, She received the Gertrude Rush Distinguished Service Award – named after the first Black female attorney in Iowa and one of the founders of the NBA, Gertrude Rush. Then, in July of 2021, Mrs. House received the Equal Justice Award for her work on protecting the civil rights of all people throughout the years. In 2020, Mrs. House was awarded the President’s Circle Leadership Award on behalf of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and was selected as the 2020 National Bar Association (NBA), Women’s Lawyers Division’s Front Line Woman Lawyer. In 2018 she received the Push Excel Award for Educational Excellence, and in 2017 she was awarded the NBA’s Vince Monroe Townsend Jr. Civil Rights Legend Award. Earlier in her career, Mrs. House was selected as a 2010 NGen (Next Generation) Fellow with the Independent Sector Foundation. She was also selected by the Root.com as one of the top 100 African Americans to watch for 2010 and was awarded the 2003 Congressional Black Caucus Chair’s Award for her dedication, leadership, and commitment in advancing the cause of civil and human rights for all Americans.
Mrs. House has testified numerous times before the U.S. Congress, State Legislatures, and Federal and State Agencies, including before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, the U.S. Senate Rules and Administration Committee, the Committee on House Administration, the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Bar Association (NBA), the Civil Rights and Social Justice Section of the American Bar Association, the National Council on School Diversity, and the Chair of the Civil Rights Law Section of the NBA. Mrs. House has been a guest speaker for numerous national and international panels and conferences and has been interviewed and quoted by national television, print, and radio media, including the NBC Nightly News, Associated Press, C-Span, Washington Post, LA Times, New York Times, USA Today, BET news, the Detroit News, National Public Radio, Roll Call, Regional Network News, and others.