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Member Spotlight: Nicole Dickelson

dickelson_nicoleLOT® Chapter: Washington, D.C., 2001-2004

Occupation: Special Advisor to the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health, Department of Health & Human Services

Education: Master of Public Health (MPH) in Health Management and Policy, University of Michigan, 2010, bachelor’s degree in sociology, Spelman College, 2008 magna cum laude, Spelman College, 2008

Best Memories: “Served as the student president and CEO of the Washington, D.C. Chapter and as Captain of the National Case Competition team in 2004.”

LOT® Accomplishments: “In the 2004 class of LOT, I was the top scholarship awardee in Washington, D.C., and I was a recipient of the Gates Millennium Scholars award to attend the undergraduate and graduate institutions of my choosing.”

Dream Job: “To become a leader in the field of health care, ultimately impacting and reducing the alarming rates of racial and ethnic health disparities that face our country.”

As a political appointee at the Department of Health and Human Services since December 2010, Nicole Dickelson has held three different challenging positions in less than two years.

To be hand-selected for a position, feels good, says Dickelson. “It’s funny how opportunity will become available. I’m glad I was prepared,” says the special advisor to the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health.

The Office of Minority Health works to improve the health of racial and ethnic minority populations through the development of health policies and programs that will help eliminate health disparities. Since joining the Obama administration in December 2010, Dickelson has worked as a special assistant in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, and as a special assistant to the Chief of Staff of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Dickelson said her position requires a lot of traveling and attention to detail. She enjoys her responsibilities while assisting a wonderful role model working to improve health for people of color. “The highlight has been working so closely with such a dynamic leader. She leads the agency with a lot of compassion and energy and she’s unyielding.”

Dickelson also found strong mentors in LOT®, which was “a pivotal program for me becoming the person I am today. The high school I started at, at times it didn’t feel like Leaders of Tomorrow® Luminaries there were a lot of people to look up to or opportunities out there, but we met with mentors who were candid about how greatness is achieved and what it would mean to be a accountable leader.”

LOT’s title literally translates into what it does, says Dickelson, an alumni mentor with the Washington, D.C. Chapter. “To any student who has any aspiration to be a leader and succeed in life, join the program. When I look, back I think, ‘How could someone not want to participate and why isn’t it more competitive?’”

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