Darren Bates, LLC

Darren Bates is a lifelong champion of equality, inclusion, and social justice for people with disabilities and other historically marginalized populations. He is an internationally recognized Visionary Leader in Global Inclusion, Smart City Development, and Radical Innovation.

Bates is widely known for both his technical expertise and logistical talent for helping organizations create and sustain purposefully inclusive workplaces where all people feel included, respected, valued and inspired.

"When organizations foster a climate of purposeful inclusion —an environment where all can feel safe, including people of any age, race, religion, color, gender identity, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, disability, or ability—people want to come to work... and when your workforce wants to come to work, they create, innovate and produce more, and your company's profits soar!" Darren Bates

Bates possesses a commanding knowledge of government and public sector industry. As trusted high-level federal and state public policy adviser, Bates frequently works in partnership and collaboration with multiple governmental agencies including the U.S. Department of Labor, the Office of Disability Employment Policy, the U.S. Social Security Administration, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and the Executive Office of the President.

Bates regularly participates in high-level round-table discussions with cabinet members, policy practitioners, academics, and other elected and appointed officials. In 2014, Bates played an influential role as a congressional advisor helping Congress pass the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which was signed into law by President Obama on July 22, 2014.

His work in both the public sector and private sector has consistently been at the vanguard of his field. His Leadership style and approach are both unconventional and remarkably successful. Building relationship and trust across the scope of organizations, Bates practices an extraordinary form of communication and influence, combining Agile Leadership and human-centered change management strategies to foster creative and innovative workplace environments that empower, motivate, and inspire people to trust and produce their very best work.

Recently, Bates served as the National Project Director for the National Employer Policy, Research and Technical Assistance Center (Employer TA Center /www.askearn.org) --a $10 million initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy to empower employers to outreach, hire, retain, and promote qualified individuals with disabilities through technical assistance, collaboration, and best practice dissemination.

As National Project Director, Bates provided global oversight and support to internal and external partners including more than 12 national academic and organizational partners comprised of cross-departmental staff, government staff, and sub-recipients housed in different locations across the country. As well, he served as the Chief Technical Expert in the development of a comprehensive range of research-based technical assistance materials and evaluation methodologies to advance the systemic capacity of Federal Agencies, Contractors, State Governments and Targeted Private Industry to build and sustain inclusive workplace environments. Bates served as the Public Face and National Spokesperson for the Employer TA Center, advancing the project and brand through media events, public speaking engagements, national conferences, national webinars, and state and White House events.

With a passion for learning, a focus on developing people, and a strong ability to define and communicate a desired and shared vision, Bates achieved equal success in the private industry serving as a consultant, resource, trainer, and subject-matter expert to some of the nation's top retail brands.

Bates ascribes being an individual who identifies with numerous demographic groups for his success and capacity to build trust and commitment across an organization. He often refers to a reciprocity of influence--as a person of mixed race living with multiple disabilities and a member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community. The success of his methodology led Bates in 2010 to coin the phrase, Building a Culture of Access and Inclusion in the Modern Workplace.™ In that same year, Bates founded the Employment Alliance for People with Disabilities (EAPD), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that comprises disability, workforce, and economic empowerment organizations dedicated to advancing policy, employment, and financial capability outcomes for people with disabilities. EAPD was honored by the Texas Governor's Committee on Persons with Disabilities as the 2012 winner of the prestigious Lex Frieden/Martha Arbuckle Employment Award. This honor is awarded yearly to celebrate and recognize an outstanding leader/organization, who has exhibited exceptional dedication and commitment to the disability community, increased employment opportunities, and profoundly transformed the lives of job seekers with disabilities in the State of Texas.

Bates established Darren Bates, LLC in 2013 as a platform helping public and private organizations master the art of creating and sustaining a corporate culture where all people are included, valued, respected and inspired. In less that five years, Darren Bates, LLC has become a leader in Smart City Development helping municipalities and other organizations around the country add Purposeful Inclusion to Smart City projects and platforms.
Bates is a frequent presenter at major national diversity and employment conferences across the country and is a member of the speaker's bureau of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).