Chief Inclusion & Strategic Innovation OfficerCompany: Amnesty International USA
Role: Session Presenter / Webinar Presenter
New Voices, New Visions: IDEAS About The Future of D&I From Next-Gen Leaders
2021 Conference Session: Mission-Critical: Inclusion, Innovation and Transformation at Amnesty International USA (S2-G)
Minjon Tholen is a seasoned global organizational transformation strategist with a specialization in inclusive culture innovation. A people-centered and purpose-driven systems thinker, she has substantial experience in designing and establishing new departments, functions and other organization-wide initiatives in a wide variety of contexts. Minjon is skilled in cultivating trusted partnerships with senior leaders, managers, and individual contributors alike, and in building and leading inclusive, engaged and high-performing teams. With a track record of developing and implementing impactful comprehensive change strategies in multi-national companies, nonprofit organizations, and public institutions in more than 20 countries, she drives collaborative culture change with realistic ambition, agility, resourcefulness, and tireless commitment.
Minjon currently serves as the chief Inclusion and Strategic Innovation officer at Amnesty International USA (AIUSA), the country’s largest grassroots human rights organization. She is responsible for leading holistic organizational change at the intersection of inclusion and innovation in both internal culture and systems and in external human rights activism and movement building. She initially joined AIUSA as the first-ever national director for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA), charged with developing and implementing a comprehensive inaugural IDEA strategy across the organization. Since then, she has also served as an advisor on IDEA for Amnesty International’s global movement and hosts regular executive roundtable sessions and a community of practice on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility for other nonprofit leaders in order to strengthen IDEA efforts within Amnesty and in the broader nonprofit sector.
Prior to joining Amnesty, Minjon was a senior consultant with Cook Ross, Inc., a leading consulting firm specializing in organizational transformation and DEI management. In this role, she partnered with leaders at Fortune 500 companies, public institutions, and nonprofits all over the world on advancing DEI strategies. She provided guidance and coaching, developed new talent management processes, designed and delivered programs, and conducted research and assessments. She has worked in more than 20 countries including the UK, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Spain, South Africa, India, Singapore, China, Thailand, South Korea, Australia, and Canada. At Cook Ross, she developed and led new internal processes including for learning and development, expansion of the global practice, and organizational effectiveness.
She previously worked at several companies, nonprofits and educational institutions, was a New Leader with the Center for Progressive Leadership and the National Council for Women’s Organizations, and a fellow with the Roosevelt Institute. She has also served as a delegate to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, was selected as an Aspen IDEAS Festival Scholar, and received several Honored Instructor Awards as an instructor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
She is a frequent speaker at conferences including The Forum on Workplace Inclusion, National Diversity Women’s Business Leadership Conference, SHRM Diversity & Inclusion Conference, and the Linkage Institute for Leading Diversity and Inclusion. She has also addressed global audiences as a speaker at conferences such as the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles Summit in New York, the German Marshall Fund Conference on Inclusive Leadership for the Security Sector in Berlin, and the first-ever European Network Against Racism Summit in Paris.
Minjon is also an Expert Panelist for the Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Benchmarks, coach at the Diversity & Inclusion Coaching Center, and a contributor to the Global DEI Futures project. She is also the co-founder and board chair of Inclusion NextWork, a global collaborative of emerging leaders dedicated to driving inclusive organizations and communities. Minjon’s expertise includes DEI, organizational development, change management, culture architecture, talent management, and learning and development. She has a particular passion for global collaboration, racial justice, purpose-driven leadership, intergenerational leadership, innovation, and creating next-gen organizations.
Minjon received her bachelor’s degree cum laude from the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, holds a master’s degree in gender and women’s studies from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and has certificates in Strategic HR Leadership and Executive Leadership from Cornell University. Minjon was born in Sri Lanka, grew up in the Netherlands, and resides in the Washington, D.C., area with her husband and dog.