Workcred Staff
Roy A. Swift, Ph.D. COL, Retired

Roy A. Swift, Ph.D. COL, Retired

Executive Director


Dr. Roy Swift is currently the executive director of Workcred, where he executes the mission and vision of Workcred to achieve a labor market which relies on the relevance, quality, and value of workforce credentials for opportunities, growth, and development. Previously, he served as the chief workforce development officer at ANSI, and as ANSI’s senior director of personnel credentialing accreditation programs. Prior to ANSI, he was a consultant to educational, certification, licensure, and health care organizations. From 1993-1998, he was executive director of the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy. This appointment followed a 28-year career in the U.S. Army Medical Department, where in his last position, he was chief of the Army Medical Specialist Corps in the Army Surgeon General’s Office with policy responsibility for Army occupational therapists, physical therapists, dietitians, and physician assistants throughout the world. He was also involved in working groups related to personnel credentialing with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and was a guest lecturer on credentialing at the University of Geneva.


He has served on many national and international working groups, Boards of Directors, and advisory committees. He currently serves as a member of the Society for Standards Professionals Board Certification Task Group’s Competencies Sub-Task Group; the Higher Learning Commission’s Stakeholder Roundtable’ SUNY Empire’s Credential As You Go Advisory Board; Credential Engine’s Certification and Licensure Advisory Group; the George Washington Institute of Public Policy’s Non-Degree Credentials Research Network Advisory Committee; the National Scaling Team of the Dallas College System and U.S. Department of Labor; the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Job Data Exchange Advisory Committee; and the School of Health Professions Board of Advocates at the University of Kansas Medical Center.


Dr. Swift holds a B.S. in occupational therapy from the University of Kansas, an M.S. Ed. from the University of Southern California, and a Ph.D. in continuing and vocational education with an emphasis in continuing competency in the professions from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has also successfully completed the University of Chicago’s management development course.




Karen Elzey

Karen Elzey

Associate Executive Director


As associate executive director, Karen Elzey advances Workcred’s mission to strengthen workforce quality by improving the credentialing system, ensuring its ongoing relevance, and preparing employers, workers, educators, and governments to use it effectively.


Ms. Elzey has over 20 years of experience in areas of workforce development. Most recently, she was the vice president of the Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF), where she was involved with incorporating 21st-century competencies—critical thinking, problem solving, analytical reasoning, communication, and working in multi-cultural teams—into the undergraduate experience to prepare students with the knowledge and experience to succeed in high-performing workplaces. She also led several of BHEF’s projects, including the integration of data analytics into specific academic disciplines, the development of cybersecurity undergraduate programs, and the creation of new media engineering programs.


Ms. Elzey previously served as vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for a Competitive Workforce, where she worked on K-12 education reform and job training policies. She was the founding director of Skills for America’s Future, an employer-led policy initiative that was initially part of the Economic Opportunities Program at the Aspen Institute. The initiative helped identify solutions that allow education and training providers to work together for employers and prepare individuals for employment to help ensure American businesses are more productive, innovative, and competitive. Her previous experience also includes coordinating public-private partnerships between K-12 school districts and employers for a local economic development agency in Indiana, and teaching English as a second language in Poland.


Ms. Elzey earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and completed Georgetown University's executive leadership program at the McDonough School of Business.




Isabel Cardenas-Navia, Ph.D.

Director of Research


Dr. Cardenas-Navia is Workcred’s director of research, in which she advances Workcred’s research agenda to examine workforce credentialing issues and needs.


Previously, Dr. Cardenas-Navia was the vice president of programs, and previously the director of emerging workforce programs, with the Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF). Through her career, she led and facilitated projects bringing together Fortune 500 employers and higher education institutions; produced novel research on workforce issues in emerging technical fields; led the development and implementation of a national strategic plan, capacity building tools, and best practices for partnerships between businesses and higher education institutions in data science and analytics; and successfully applied for funding from federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, and the Department of Education, as well as the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and J.P. Morgan Chase Foundation.


Prior to BHEF, Dr. Cardenas-Navia was the president and founder of Alta Vision Consulting, where she provided short-term, project-based consulting in policy and workforce development in scientific and technical fields; identified, developed, and maintained strategic relationships and partnerships within higher education, industry, government, and foundations; and synthesized and summarized policies and academic research related to higher education and workforce development issues, particularly in digital technology and STEM fields.


Dr. Cardenas-Navia also served as a post-doctoral fellow with the National Human Genome Research Institute, and has conducted multi-faceted research projects at F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Ltd. in Switzerland, the Department of Radiation Oncology at Duke University Medical Center, the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, and the Department of Therapeutic Radiology at Yale School of Medicine. She has a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering and certificate in Biomolecular and Tissue Engineering from Duke University, and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Yale University.




Janet Felts Forte

Janet Forte

Senior Manager of Operations


As senior manager of operations at Workcred, Janet Forte oversees the day-to-day management of Workcred, its Board and advisory councils, consulting contracts, research, and educational activities. Previously, Ms. Forte served as a program administrator in standards facilitation at the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), where she gained broad experience working with the Homeland Defense and Security Standardization Collaborative, the ANSI Network on Smart and Sustainable Cities, the America Makes & ANSI Additive Manufacturing Standardization Collaborative, and the Energy Efficiency Standardization Coordination Collaborative. She holds a B.A. in Spanish, with a minor in Criminal Justice from Campbell University, and a Master of International Studies, with a concentration in sustainability, from North Carolina State University.