Christopher “CJ” Gross is a TEDx Speaker and founder of Ascension Worldwide, a firm dedicated to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training and consulting based in the Washington, D.C. area. CJ has 20-years of experience as an international organizational development consultant specializing in leadership development and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. CJ is a certified Social + Emotional Intelligence coach, trainer, Keirsey Temperament professional, and Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) Administrator, with additional expertise in organizational mediation.
He also serves as a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Master Faculty for the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Center for Innovation and Business Management, Adjunct Faculty for the Community College of Baltimore County. CJ possesses the unique ability to uncover and resolve social issues that hinder employee performance and efficiency. CJ started his career as a mechanical designer at General Electric (GE) where he learned to layout mechanical designs and run calculations. At GE, he learned how effective companies run and the importance of employee relationships to a company’s success.
After receiving multiple corrective preventive idea awards for employee development, CJ merged his engineering skills with his innate understanding of people, offering professional coaching and staff development to companies in need of improved performance and effectiveness. CJ cultivated his Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion acumen through an intense training and coaching program from Cook Ross, an internationally known Diversity and Inclusion consulting firm. The program included key concepts from Daniel Kahneman’s book, Thinking Fast and Thinking Slow, brain science theory, and life-changing deep-dive identity coaching.
In addition, CJ has worked with domestic and international leaders from Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, and government agencies on their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategies and initiatives. This training and experience enabled CJ to help clients explore impactful strategies for identity, diversity, inclusion, equity, and access from a unique vantage point.
CJ holds a B.A. degree in Organizational Management from Ashford University through the Forbes Entrepreneurship Scholarship and a M.A. degree in Strategic Leadership from St. Bonaventure University. CJ has consulted with leaders of domestic, and international companies including the United States Postal Service, Toyota, Turner Construction Company, Ford’s Theater, Project Management Institute, Oracle, Arent Fox LLP, the Washington Post, D.C. Child, and Family Services, Morgan Stanley, Loyola University, Howard University: School of Social Work, Maryland Association of Community Service, Primerica, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Maryland-National Capital Parks, and Planning Commission, Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, the District of Columbia-Metropolitan Police Department, Penn State and others.
CJ has been featured in the Washington Post, the Washington Informer Newspaper, East of the River Newspaper, Diamonds Xcel Magazine, the Baltimore Examiner, Bloomberg, the Tom Joyner Show, the Audrey Chapman Show, DCTV Cable, WPGC 95.5 FM, WOL 1450 AM, WUSA 9, WBAL-TV, and FOX45.