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About Dr. Shirley Davis


Dr. Shirley Davis is a sought-after global workforce expert and is President and CEO of SDS Global Enterprises, a strategic development solutions firm that specializes in human resources strategy, talent management, leadership effectiveness, culture transformation, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Dr. Davis has over twenty years of experience in a variety of senior executive leadership roles in Fortune 100 & 50 corporations and in her last role, served as Vice President of Global Diversity and Inclusion and Workforce Strategies for the world’s largest human resources association, the Society for Human Resource Management. Her work has been featured by The Wall Street Journal, NBC’s Today Show, USA Today, CBS News, Fox News,, Fast Company, CEOWorld Magazine, Harvard Business Review, and many others. In May 2022, her story was featured on the front page of Oprah Daily.

As a result of her contributions and expertise in the HR, Leadership, and DEI fields, she was inducted into Inclusion Magazine’s Hall of Fame for Diversity, Equity, and 


Inclusion in November 2021. In 2022, she received The Golden Gavel Award, which is Toastmasters International’s highest and most prestigious award given to only one person each year. Additionally, she was nominated for Forbes 2021 Women 50 Over 50 list and again in 2022.

Dr. Davis has worked in more than 30 countries on 5 continents and delivers more than 100 speeches a year to a wide range of industries, sectors, and sizes, including Fortune 10s-500s corporations, large membership associations and non-profit organizations, and federal, state, and local government agencies. She continues to consult, coach, and train leaders at all levels, including Corporate CEOs, C-Suite executives, Board of Directors. She served on the Board of Directors and the Foundation Board for the National Speakers Association (2017-2021) and led their first-ever NSA DEI Task Force. She is currently a member of the NSA Million Dollar Speakers Group, and a member of the Global Speakers Federation. In 2021, she was named to the National Board of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and will serve a four-year term. She holds a Bachelor’s in Pre-Law, a Master’s in Adult Education; a second Master’s in Human Resource Management, and a Ph.D. in Business and Organizational Leadership.

Dr. Shirley Davis is the author of the recently released book Living Beyond “What If?” Release the Limits and Realize Your Dreams (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, August 10, 2021). She’s also the author of Reinvent Yourself: Strategies for Achieving Success in Every Area of Your Life and The Seat: How to Get Invited to the Table When You’re Over-Performing but Undervalued. Additionally, she is a popular author for numerous LinkedIn Learning courses on Leadership and DEI, and in January 2021 was sought out by another global publishing company–John Wiley & Sons to write the first-ever Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Dummies book (released January 10, 2022 as Amazon’s #1 New Release in its category and #7 Best Seller).

She is a former Miss District of Columbia National Teenager, Mrs. Oklahoma-America, Ms. Richmond Virginia, Ms. Virginia, and in 2000 she won the national title of Ms. American United States. But among her many accomplishments and titles, the one she holds dearest is “Mom” to her daughter, Gabrielle Victoria.

Expertise Key Words

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI)

Global Workforce Trends

Human Resources

Leadership Excellence

Employee Experience

Talent Development

Culture Transformation

Personal Reinvention

Change Management

Executive Coaching

Board Diversity

Getting Beyond Your “What Ifs?”


Dr. Davis has presented to, consulted with, and trained across all industries and sectors. She has worked with large global corporations all over the world with as many as 30,000 employees, as well as with small firms with less than 10 staff. She also has extensive experience working with small and large non-profit associations. Her career roles and primary expertise spans across human resources, DEI, banking and financial services, retail sales, architecture, health care, education, federal and local government, consulting, and manufacturing.

Travels From

Tampa, FL 

Presentation Style




Provides practical takeaways for immediate application

Featured Media Clips

What Client's Are Saying!

“Dr. Davis was a homerun speaker! Her energy and enthusiasm could be felt by our entire company and was the perfect way to kick off our virtual event. She provided valuable lessons, ideas, and action steps that aligned with our company’s goals around diversity, equity, and inclusion. We look forward to booking her again very soon!”

“Dr. Shirley Davis is one of the most dynamic and captivating speakers that I’ve seen on stage. She’s humorous, full of energy, and keeps people fully engaged and on the edge of their seats. As she shares her real life personal stories, setbacks, strategies, and solutions, she inspires, empowers and motivates others to achieve greatness and to go to the next level.”

Approved Logos and Headshots

Speech Topics

  • Workforce 2030: Global Workforce Trends that are Redefining the Workplace, the Workers and the Work
  • Unconscious Bias and Its Impact in the Workplace
  • Inclusive Leadership
  • Building a Winning, Welcoming and World-Class Workplace Culture
  • Fostering a Psychologically Safe Workplace
  • Strategies for Having Impactful Conversations About Tough Topics
  • Strategies for Getting Beyond Your What If’s
  • Getting a Seat at the Table and Making it Count
  • Mastering the Art of Reinvention
  • Ten C’s to Achieving Career Success