Founder & Principal
Shyrea Thompson brings nearly two decades of patient advocacy, health care, education, workforce, and outreach experience in various front-line roles. She believes “to lead is to serve.” In 2018, she founded The IRIS Collaborative, LLC - a social enterprise consultancy on a mission to innovate real and impactful solutions by bridging people, purpose, and profit, to advance social change.
Shyrea was honored to start her career on Capitol Hill with Congressman Martin Meehan and to join his team again as Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Outreach, and Recruitment at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. In New York, she gained private sector experience at Schulte, Roth & Zabel, LLP as the Senior Legal Assistant supporting litigation, education, employment, pro bono, and corporate practice areas.
Applying her public-private partnership insights, Shyrea expanded Washington, D.C.’s only federally funded Area Health Education Center (AHEC). Serving as Program Director, then transitioning to Executive Director. During her time at AHEC, she co-founded DC Pink Divas (DIVAS) - an award-winning, evidence-based breast health education, navigation, and lay health training program which utilizes the DC Pink Divas Intervening Virtually to Advance Saving Lives - DIVAS Model. After 3 years as a Susan G. Komen grantee, she transitioned to Komen as the Senior Advisor to the CEO for Special Initiatives to lead the organization in its goal to advance breast health equity, which included a $27 million partnership with the Fund II Foundation to end breast cancer disparities. Shyrea has been featured in over 30 local print, news, radio, and television programs including Good Morning Washington, Washington Business Journal, Essence, O The Oprah Magazine, MadameNoire, The Root, Campaign US, and TheGrio and served as a national spokesperson for the award-winning Know Your Girls breast health education Ad Council campaign.
Shyrea's patient advocacy journey began early on, when at only 13-years-old, her sister found a lump in her breast. The lumpectomy and biopsy were benign, and their family thanked God for access to world-class health care. Experiencing health care disparities first-hand sparked a passion for health equity to ensure that where a woman lives doesn't determine if she lives. For the past decade, Shyrea has worked to reach people where they are. As the co-founder of DIVAS, she continues to reach Black women where they live, work, play and pray to improve health outcomes and has proudly expanded the DIVAS Model by collaborating with patient advocacy organizations such as Tigerlily Foundation since 2019.
In 2014, then-Vice President and Dr. Biden recognized Shyrea’s leadership and contributions to advance breast cancer patient navigation. Her role in implementing the Affordable Care Act was recognized by the White House and the United States Office of Personnel Management in 2015. In 2016, she was honored to be selected as a National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) 40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health, awarded by the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust, and joined the 2018 NMQF Advisory Board. She currently serves on the University of California’s California Breast Cancer Research Program (CBCRP) Steering Committee and leads the recently formed CBCRP Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Review Panel.
Since 2015, Shyrea has been a champion of various Lacks Family-led efforts to honor Henrietta Lacks' legacy and the impact of her immortal HeLa cells. She is humbled to collaborate with The Lacks Family to implement HELA100: Henrietta Lacks Centennial CELLebration, which includes the upcoming launch of HELA UNITE. HELA UNITE: Reclaiming Herstory to Conquer COVID-19 is a Lacks Family-led initiative to increase vaccine confidence and access by combating medical racism, the infodemic, and addressing communication inequalities in honor of Henrietta Lacks.
Shyrea earned her B.S. from The George Washington University and returned to complete her graduate studies in Nonprofit Management.
Today, Shyrea is a “mompreneur” raising 11-year-old boy-girl twins with her husband in the Washington, DC area, passing on the same commitment to the community that was instilled in them early on.