Debbie Smith Rayford

Councils and ERG/BRG Leadership

Debbie Smith Rayford is the founder of DSR Consulting, LLC, a boutique diversity and inclusion consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. With her heritage of Irish and African American, her enthusiasm for diversity began at an early age. She believes that diversity and inclusion work is her “passion and calling.” For the past three decades, she has impacted over thousands of individuals with her thought-provoking messages of inclusion, and her approach to diversity and inclusion. Smith Rayford has experience in strategic planning, change management, diversity, training and facilitation.

Smith Rayford has served in senior level diversity roles such as the Associate Director, Diversity and Inclusion, Internal Revenue Service; Vice President Diversity and Inclusion, Discovery Communications; Executive Director, Walter Kaitz Foundation; Chief Communications and Diversity Officer, Wellness Corporate Solutions and Senior Vice President Diversity and Inclusion, Allfirst Financial. She has also provided strategic solutions to clients in healthcare and higher education.

She is a passionate advocate for justice and equity; a provocateur not afraid to have the difficult conversations; someone with over three decades of experience collaborating with corporate leaders in support of enhancing their understanding of what it is like to be the “other.” She assumes positive intent and believes her purpose on earth is to break down barriers and build bridges across difference.

A native Washingtonian, Smith Rayford holds a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary and Special Education from the Catholic University of America and a Master’s in Business Administration from Howard University. She has been the recipient of many awards including Black Enterprise – “Top Executive in Diversity” and Women in Cable Telecommunications – WICT “Inspiration” Touchstones Award. She is also the 2021 recipient of the Georgetown University Lombardi Women “Spirit of Life” Award.