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Nikki Lanier

Nikki Lanier is the CEO of Harper Slade, a racial equity advisory firm focused on helping organizations and communities advance equity for some and equality for all.  She is an experienced leader with over 25 years of career achievements that span Banking, Labor and Employment Law, Collective Bargaining, Human Resources, and State Government.  A Private and Public Sector CHRO adept in a multitude of HR disciplines, Nikki is experienced in managing multi-site operations, ensuring compliance with all federal and state employment laws and employing comprehensive approaches that effectively align human capital priorities with the overall organizational strategy.  Nikki is a collaborative leader who is skilled in building synergetic teams in multi-cultural and cross-functional environments.  An Executive Management Committee veteran with site and functional leadership responsibilities with the Federal Reserve Bank, Philip Morris USA, Georgia Pacific, ADP, Charter Schools USA and the country’s largest community college system, Maricopa Community Colleges, Nikki is a dexterous division executive having led teams in a number of settings including, manufacturing, government, higher education, HR consulting, healthcare, k-12 and central banking.


As CHRO of three organizations, Nikki drove accelerated cultural change, created and implemented innovative organizational development, strategic planning, employee relations, community engagements and partnerships, training and development, succession planning, recruitment and retention, labor negotiations and union avoidance, all directed toward driving strong operational outcomes. A consummate leader of leaders, Nikki has led HR departments with more than 200 HR practitioners serving employee populations as large as 33,000 and; pulling from her critical, abstract and liner thinking styles, has managed broad and trajectory “resetting” HR departmental transformations.


Nikki is deeply involved in the community and has served on more than 25 nonprofit boards, commissions and civic committees.  Through her work and strong local and national board memberships, she is widely recognized as an accomplished thought leader and compelling keynote and plenary speaker on topics related to in progressive HR strategies, transformational leadership, organizational effectiveness, community and economic development, economic education and advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism, corporately and civically.  Her advice and counsel has been sought after by governors, mayors, candidates for elected office, Federal Reserve leaders and college presidents.


Nikki earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law, a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Hampton University and holds a certification in Collective Bargaining from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. She has served as an adjunct MBA professor for the University of Louisville College of Business where she also serves on its Board of Advisors.

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Nikki Lanier Reviews

Feedback from National SHRM Conference 2021

Review: -This was the best seminar in the last two days. FANTASTIC. So many take-aways to many to list. -Speaker is engaging and knowledgeable. Enjoyed her perspective and useful, helpful suggestions. -Fabulous Presentation, Thank you!! -Outstanding, great engagement, intellectual, good pace, engaging conversation -Raw and uncut professional honesty! Amazing presenter who is extremely impactful! -Nikki is the embodiment of what we need in DEI right now! -Very good presentation on DI&E. Solid insights we can utilize in our efforts. -Exceptional presentation skills, good information backed by data. Invite her back please. -A Truth Sayer with a message that is hard to hear in most workplaces. Whew! don't get me started -This was very valuable information that changes the landscape for DEI. I for sure will be doing more research and taking this back to my company! -Nikki was wonderful. She shined light on topics that I wasn't very familiar with. -Really informative, timely and important presentation. I really appreciated Nikki's presentation style and cadence. Thank you for a great session! -Amazing presentation and I hope I will be able to use this in my company. -I very much appreciated how Nikki presented the comparison with Dr. DEI - it was immensely helpful to me in showing the parallel. Also the 5 year strategy makes so much sense. Thank you - excellent presentation! -Nikki was very engaging and interesting. She presented a very strong case for the process of addressing DEI. I learned a lot and feel reinvigorated about the work! Thank you. -Such an engaging and real presentation. Mrs. Lanier spoke specifically to the responsibility that so many HR professionals have been given but are struggling to put in place.

More About Nikki Lanier

  • What is your favorite quote? "There is no such thing as making a decision for the moment"~ my mom "It's in White America's best interest that Black America thrive" ~ Congressman John Yarmuth
  • Are there any moments that stand out as having a significant impact on your career? So many of the highpoints and stretch assignments in my career came when I believed myself to be ill-equipped to fulfill the duties but was blessed with the opportunity anyway.
  • Outside of your profession do you have any hobbies/interests? Hobbies: πŸŽ₯πŸŽ’πŸ›©πŸŽ»πŸŽΌπŸŽ€πŸŽ­πŸ§˜πŸΎβ€β™€οΈπŸ›ΌπŸ’ƒπŸΎ
  • Who do you look up to as a mentor and why? Jesus, Oprah, Michelle Obama, & most any leader who absolutely lives (or seems to) what they believe.