Alex Allen

Senior Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

People and Communities

Alex Allen is the Sr. Director, People & Communities and is responsible for leading Cisco’s enterprise-wide, global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) go-to-market strategy. A seasoned human capital strategist and executive consultant, Alex has earned a reputation for designing and implementing award-winning human capital initiatives that drive business transformation through leadership commitment and organizational effectiveness. As the creator of Cisco’s transformational DEI program, “The Proximity Initiative”, Alex has led and developed it from concept to delivery. The ideology of Proximity has become a part of the fabric of the organization from language to practical business actions. Since its inception in 2019, over 300 executives and thousands of participants, from Cisco’s Inclusive Communities (i.e., Employee Resource Groups), have engaged in the Proximity Initiative. Passionate about unifying workplace culture and increasing talent attraction and retention, Alex counts three North American Employee Engagement Awards and one Bronze Stevie among his accolades for organizational transformation and internal communication. In addition, he was twice named by Inspiring Workplaces as one of 101 top influencers around the world in employee engagement and experience.


Disability Pride Month: A conversation around being able to be your authentic self at work

8 min read

In honor of Disability Pride Month, Cisco employees Alex Allen and Chris Riling "get proximate" to understand their lived experiences.

The Journey and Impact of Getting Proximate

5 min read

Alex Allen shares the tangible impact and the intrinsic learning opportunity of the Cisco Proximity Initiative.

September 15, 2021


Proximity: Changing the Narrative

4 min read

I thought for sure Cisco would reject someone like me. I was shocked when my leader, Tschudy Smith, took the time to get proximate to me; it changed my personal journey.

February 25, 2021


Proximity: Be Courageous and Take Action

3 min read

Ask yourself, when was the last time you were vulnerable, transparent, and authentic with someone different than you at work or in your personal life? Did it unlock new conversations or inspire others to action?

October 29, 2020


The Call for Social Justice – Where Do We Go From Here

2 min read

Since the murder of George Floyd, I’ve had friends and co-workers ask me: “What can I do to support the Black community?” I love the spirit and intention of this question. My initial response is that it’s about leveraging the Power of Proximity.

Proximity: Our Defining Moment Post-Crisis  

2 min read

I believe the ability to maximize the exponential power of diverse teams will be the single most important leadership capability of the future!  The foundation of building an inclusive future for all is for executives to have exposure and knowledge of their diverse talent.

The Cisco Customer Experience Journey to an Inclusive Culture: Leveraging The Power of Proximity

3 min read

That's the moment the Inclusion Proximity Initiative was born – challenging leaders in Cisco's CX organization to meet with employees from diverse backgrounds. There is POWER in proximity!