Founder & Principal
The IRIS Collaborative
Shyrea Thompson, brings more than 18 years of advocacy, health care, education, workforce, and outreach experience, in a variety of front-line roles. Shyrea believes “to lead is to serve” and in 2018, she founded The IRIS Collaborative - a social entrepreneurship consultancy on a mission to innovate real and impactful solutions through cross-sector collaboration.
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.
Shyrea applied her public-private partnership insights to expand 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 - a breast health education, navigation and lay health worker training program that has since impacted more than 10,000 lives. 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 achieve 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.
As a patient advocate, Shyrea’s journey began when her 13-year-old sister found a lump in her breast. After a lumpectomy and biopsy, their family thanked God that the mass was benign and for access to world-class health care. This sparked Shyrea’s decades-long passion for health equity, to ensure that where a woman lives, doesn't determine if she lives. Shyrea’s leadership and contributions to advance cancer patient navigation were recognized by Vice President and Dr. Biden in 2014 and her role in the implementation of 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.
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.