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Kellie Sauls

Director of Culture, Outreach and EngagementTeacher Retirement System of Texas

Austin, TX

Member Since May 2023


Human resources
Cultural Transformation
Employee engagement


I am an empathetic leader recognized for building strategies, frameworks, roadmaps, and programs to embed diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging into every aspect of the company vision and culture. I have earned recognition for leading through executive-level vision, influence, and voice to develop and articulate a clear, compelling, and inspired DEI vision. Throughout my career, I have collaborated with cross-functional leaders to create a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable organization. I continually serve as a thought leader and trusted advisor to share best practices, tools, and strategies to best operate from a DEI perspective while developing consistent communication and feedback to improve how the organization identifies, discusses, and addresses DEI issues. I am also passionate about leveraging research, analysis, forecasting, quantitative and qualitative analysis, and modeling to transform cross-functional teams into inclusive, cohesive, and forward-thinking organizations. CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: ✓ Coach, develop, and led DEI teams to implement DEI strategies, strengthen the organizational culture, and drive forward strategic business initiatives. ✓ Built diverse pipelines with minority serving institutions across 4 states, and data-driven learning and development solutions to enhance career development, belonging, accessibility, accountability, and retention. ✓ Develop and manage numerous DEI programs, establishing 6 employee resource groups, a DEI Council, and 3 new DEI positions to champion cultural transformation across all layers of the organization. ✓ Built and implemented a C-Level inclusive leadership development program, effectively coaching leadership to implement DEI best practices to inform decision making. AREAS OF EXPERTISE: Human Resources | Program & Project Management | Cultural Transformation | Employee Engagement & Wellbeing | People Management | Learning & Development | Data Analysis & Insights | Strategic Partnerships | Change Management | Research & Innovation | Leadership Coach & Trusted Advisor | Recruitment & Hiring | Strategic Planning & Execution

Published content

6 Journeys of DEI Leaders and Their Most Impactful Work Experiences

expert panel

Becoming a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) leader is not just a career choice; it's a profound journey shaped by transformative experiences. Each DEI leader carries a unique story, often marked by pivotal moments that have left an indelible mark on their paths. Below, a panel of DEI Think Tank members from diverse backgrounds and industries share their stories to uncover the most impactful work-related experiences that molded them into advocates for change. From confronting systemic bias to fostering inclusive cultures, their stories offer invaluable insights into the profound impact of these experiences on the evolution of DEI leadership. 

Navigating the Future of DEI: Anticipating Hot-Button Issues and Preparing Leaders

expert panel

As we step into an increasingly diverse and interconnected world, the conversation surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) continues to evolve at a rapid pace. The next five years promise to bring forth a multitude of challenges and hot-button issues that will shape the DEI landscape. From the intersectionality of identities to the role of technology in workplace equity, leaders across various sectors are tasked with anticipating and addressing these emerging concerns. Below, nine DEI Think Tank members share the key issues expected to dominate the DEI discourse and provide insights into proactive strategies leaders can adopt today to navigate these turbulent waters tomorrow.

How Do You Handle Pushback Against DEI Initiatives From Employees — or Even Other Senior Leaders?

expert panel

Even today – perhaps even more so today – it’s not uncommon for colleagues to question or criticize DEI initiatives. Sometimes, that pushback comes from fellow executives or influential department heads. How confident you are as a DEI leader in navigating conversations with DEI skeptics has a lot to do with two key factors: 1. how well you’ve quantified DEI’s impact on your organization’s strategic objectives and 2. how much support you have from the CEO. We asked members of the Senior Executive DEI Think Tank – a criteria-based organization for DEI decision-makers at large companies, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies – to share their playbooks for responding to DEI pushback from internal sources. Consider the following.

Company details

Teacher Retirement System of Texas

Company bio

The Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) is responsible for investing funds under its stewardship and for delivering benefits to members as authorized by the Texas Legislature. Our mission is to improve the retirement security of Texas educators by prudently investing and managing trust assets and delivering benefits that make a positive difference in members’ lives. TRS is a defined benefit plan, with retirement benefits determined by a pre-established formula. The trust fund is sustained principally by three sources-contributions by members during their working careers, contributions by the state, and investment revenues. TRS was founded 85 years ago and has $200 billion in assets, making it the largest public retirement system in Texas in both membership and assets. It is the sixth largest public pension plan in the U.S. and is among the 20th largest in the world. The agency serves nearly1.9 million people, of which over 1 million are public and higher education members and over 400,000 are retirement recipients and beneficiaries. The Teacher Retirement System of Texas is constantly growing and looking for bright and talented individuals to join several departments, including Benefit Services, Investment Management, Organizational Excellence, IT, Legal and Compliance, and many more. TRS employees work in a culture of trust and collaboration and pride themselves in making a profound impact in the lives of Texas public education teachers. Additionally, TRS has the received the Top Workplaces USA award nearly consistently from 2012-2021, which can be attributed to its great leaders and employees. TRS is truly a great place to work and grow.


Government Administration

Company size

1,001 - 5,000

This member is no longer active.

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