Head shot of bearded Rudy D. Watley in black suit
Senior Leadership Team

Rudy D. Watley

Acting Director, Office of Equal Employment and Supplier Diversity

Rudy D. Watley is the acting director of the Smithsonian’s Office of Equal Employment and Supplier Diversity (OEESD). He provides direction and oversight of the Smithsonian’s EEO Program and Supplier Diversity Program to ensure the Institution’s compliance with federal EEO laws and regulations as well as programs and initiatives that ensure the use of small and historically under-utilized small businesses.

Watley joined OEESD in 2001. Highlights during his 21 years with the Institution include serving as associate director of the Office of Equal Employment and Supplier Diversity, leading the Supplier Diversity Program’s small business utilization team to ensure equity for small contractors, providing guidance on procurement and outreach initiatives, and collaborating on EEO-related strategic planning initiatives. He serves as a principal representative of the Supplier Diversity Program at private association conferences, federal agencies meetings and congressional events. He is also a signatory in the agreement between the Smithsonian and Small Business Administration (SBA) that provides enhanced collaboration on SBA rules and procurements.

Through his collaborative advocacy and oversight efforts, the Smithsonian Supplier Diversity Program has increased in both commitment and dollars allocated to small businesses. Watley has represented the Smithsonian before Congress to accentuate Smithsonian supplier-diversity accomplishments, including providing assurance to use small businesses in the construction of the Smithsonian’s $540 million National Museum of African American History and Culture, which achieved 74% small business participation. His team is currently monitoring the $490 million National Air and Space Museum revitalization with 43% small business participation.

Before joining the Smithsonian, Watley served more than 21 years as a supervisory contracting officer and procurement analyst at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service in Colorado and Washington, D.C. His service as chief of the Washington Office Procurement Division and director of the Southern Region Procurement and Property Division allowed him to carry out all aspects of the contracting and procurement process and provide guidance on the federal government’s small business policies.

Watley, a native Detroiter, has a Bachelor of Arts in business administration from Colorado State University and maintains affiliation with the National Contract Management Association’s Washington, D.C., chapter.

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