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Stephanie Hawkins receives 2023 Triangle Business Journal Women in Business Award

Recognition acknowledges RTI VP for accomplishments as an equity leader

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Stephanie Hawkins, vice president, Transformative Research Unit for Equity (TRUE), at RTI International, a nonprofit research institute, recently received the Women in Business Award from Triangle Business Journal (TBJ) in the nonprofit leadership category.

The awards honor outstanding women leaders in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, NC, with established track records of significant accomplishments in business and/or community service. Hawkins is being recognized for her impactful leadership role as the equity lead at RTI.

“It’s an honor to be acknowledged for doing the work I love at RTI; using science-based solutions to drive equitable outcomes,” said Hawkins. “Our goal with TRUE is to help solve some of the most important challenges of our time and I truly believe equity and social justice are possible to achieve.” 

Hawkins has served as a researcher at RTI for more than 21 years. She has extensive experience in violence prevention, juvenile delinquency, healthy development of youth living in resource-poor urban communities, gender-based research and adolescent substance use.

Race and health equity have been Hawkins’ focus throughout her research career. In 2021, Hawkins founded TRUE, which is designed to transform traditional research practices and mindsets to reimagine and create systems that advance racial equity and social justice. She leads an interdisciplinary team of dedicated experts charting a new way forward with equity-centered transformative research. She was promoted to vice president last year acknowledging her outstanding contributions to the institute.

“I’m thrilled to see Stephanie’s leadership recognized with this award,” said Amy Roussel RTI executive vice president, social, statistical and environmental sciences (SSES). “She combines passion, purpose, vision, and commitment to the intertwined missions of TRUE and RTI; together these inspire those around her to do our best work to make that vision into a world-changing reality.”

Last year, Hawkins was recognized with an RTI President’s Award for her significant contributions in support of equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging (EDIB) at the institute. She is a founding member of RTI’s Black Employee Resource Group and led the team who drafted an internal racial equity survey. She has also been invited to provide congressional testimonies on investments in juvenile justice prevention programs before the Civil Rights and Human Services Subcommittee of the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor and often provides her research expertise on matters of racial and health equity.

Hawkins will be recognized during an awards luncheon on March 23 in Cary, NC.

View Hawkins' feature (via Triangle Business Journal)

View all 2023 Women in Business Awards winners (via Triangle Business Journal)

Learn more about TRUE