Dhyana Parker serves as a Special Assistant working to advance execution of the U.S.-India Alliance for Women’s Economic Empowerment among other efforts launched by the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs to advance inclusive growth and development in the region. She was born in the Washington D.C. area and has worked for the Federal Government for over 29 years, now a Management Analyst Contractor with the Department of State. Dhyana received her Bachelor’s in Business Management and her Master’s in Public Administration with a Concentration in Non-Profit Management from Southeastern University. She’s the mother of two sons, one is a Deputy Sheriff in Charles County and the other is an ER Medical Technician at PG Hospital, and the proud grandmother of three beautiful grandchildren. After losing her brother to suicide, Dhyana began her life mission to raise awareness of mental illness. In 2017 and 2018 Dhyana became the first Black DC Walk Chair for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Out of the Darkness Community Walk. In 2019, she started the Rock for Life Foundation, to help bring awareness to mental illness within the community, especially among youth and minorities and to rid the strong stigma associated with it in most cultures. Her hope is that through education and awareness, those suffering with a mental illness will be urged to seek help and that our mental health laws get changed so that mental illness is viewed and treated just as importantly as physical illness.