Opening Joint Keynote


Mika Cross 

Work/Life and Wellness Program Manager
Department of Agriculture

Mika J. Cross leads the Work/Life and Wellness Programs at the United States Department of Agriculture. She is a Human Capital Policy Strategist specializing in work/life balance, diversity, inclusion and employee engagement. Her background includes military personnel and federal civilian human resources management within the Department of Defense and the National Intelligence Community.

Mika joined USDA in 2010 where her primary duties include program management, policy guidance and oversight for quality of life programs including Telework, flexible work arrangements, parenting and elder care support, employee assistance, healthy workplace practices and wellness initiatives. Since her appointment, Ms. Cross has also been instrumental in shaping workforce communications in support of Secretary Vilsack’s Cultural Transformation initiatives.

Her keen abilities to develop effective and creative communications, marketing and outreach strategy coupled with a unerring talent for strategic vision make her highly sought after to lead cross-Agency knowledge management projects, workshops and collaborative working groups. She is a member of the Office of Personnel Management's inter-Agency, Telework Advisory Board committee, which sets Telework policy guidance and implementation strategy for the Federal government. She is also a member of the Telework Visionary Committee with the Telework Exchange.

Attributed to her program leadership, the USDA was awarded the 2012 Excellence in Telework Leadership Award by the Telework Exchange and the Work/Life Seal of Distinction by WorldatWork's Alliance for Work/Life Progress. Mika was awarded the Mid-Atlantic Telework Advisory Council (MATAC) Telework Driver Award in 2012 and is also a recipient of the Unsung Hero Award given by the Organization of Professional Employees of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (OPEDA.) In 2011, Mika earned the Secretary's Honor Award for her contributions to Cultural Transformation as part of the Human Resources Transformation Team.

Ms. Cross served with the U.S. Army as both an enlisted soldier and commissioned officer. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Louisville in Mass Communications and her Masters degree in Public Administration from Georgia Southern University. She is a native of Maine and currently resides in Southern Maryland with her two children.

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