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Camille Grosdidier v. Chairman

March 28, 2011

CAMILLE GROSDIDIER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CHAIRMAN, BROADCASTING BOARD OF GOVERNORS, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Colleen Kollar-kotelly United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Plaintiff Camille Grosdidier ("Grosdidier") brings this action against the Broadcasting Board of Governors ("BBG" or the "agency") pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq., and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. §§ 621 et seq. Grosidier alleges that her employer, the Voice of America ("VOA"), an entity within the BBG, discriminated against her based on her race, age, sex, and national origin and retaliated against her for complaining about this discrimination. Presently pending before the Court are Defendant's [21] Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings or Alternatively, [15] Motion for Summary Judgment and Plaintiff's [23] Motion for Adverse Presumption. For the reasons explained below, the Court shall GRANT-IN-PART Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment with respect to all of Plaintiff's claims except her claim that Defendant retaliated against her by reducing her editing responsibilities after October 5, 2007, with respect to which the Court shall DENY-IN-PART Defendant's motion. The Court shall also DENY Plaintiff's Motion for Adverse Presumption.

I. BACKGROUND

Camille Grosdidier has worked as an International Broadcaster with the French to Africa Service of the Voice of America since 1987. Def.'s Stmt.*fn1 ¶ 2. Grosdidier is a white female of French national origin who is a naturalized citizen of the United States. Id. ¶ 1. She is employed at the GS-12 level. Id. ¶ 2. The BBG encompasses all U.S. civilian international broadcasting, including the VOA, Radio Free Europe, and other networks. Id. ¶ 14. BBG broadcasters distribute programming in sixty languages to an estimated weekly audience of 175 million people via radio, television, the internet, and other new media. Id. The VOA's French to Africa Service primarily competes with French, British, and local African radio and media services. Id. ¶ 15. These competitors began using television, internet, and other new communication technologies before the VOA, and the French to Africa Service has since recognized the importance of multimedia forms of communication. Id.

Throughout most of the time relevant to this litigation, the Chief of the French to Africa Service was Idrissa Seydou Dia ("Dia"). See Pl.'s Ex. 6 (Dia Dep.) at 5. Dia had been acting in that capacity since sometime in 2003. Id. Between 1992 and 2002, Grosdidier filed a series of equal employment opportunity ("EEO") complaints about discrimination and harassment in the workplace. See Def.'s Ex. Y (Aff. of Camille Grosdidier) at 1-2. In September 2002, Grosdidier filed a complaint about her nonselection for a GS-13 International Broadcaster position in the French to Africa Service, alleging discrimination based on her sex, color, and reprisal for engaging in EEO activity. Id. at 2. That complaint was dismissed by an administrative judge. See Pl.'s Ex. 2 (Grosdidier Dep.) at 37. Grosdidier also complained about an incident in 2000 when her supervisor, then-Chief Claude Porsella, removed her from editing duties. See id. at 32-33. She was eventually reinstated to editing duties. Id. at 33-34. Grosdidier contends that her EEO activity was generally known within the French to Africa Service. See Def.'s Ex. Y (Aff. of Camille Grosdidier) at 2.

B. Grosdidier's Complaints About Her Work Environment Around 2004 and 2005, Grosdidier complained to her supervisors about what she perceived to be a sexually charged atmosphere in the French to Africa Service. Dia had a particularly friendly relationship with one female producer in the office, who called Dia "Sexy Papa" and whom Dia called "Sexy Mama." See Pl.'s Ex. 24 (Dep. of Ferdinand Ferella) at 109. Ferdinand Ferella, who worked as a managing editor for the French to Africa Service, described this as "something of a joke." Id. Dia testified that it did not have any sexual connotation, but instead resulted from Dia's mistranslation of the Jimi Hendrix song "Foxy Lady." See Pl.'s Ex. 6 (Dia Dep.) at 40-41. Grosdidier objected to the banter between Dia and this employee. Grosdidier also complained about another female employee who called Ferella "maetre,"or "master," which she thought was inappropriate. Pl.'s Ex. 24 (Dep. of Ferdinand Ferella) at 110-11; Pl.'s Ex. 2 (Grosdidier Dep.) at 190. This conduct stopped after Grosdidier complained.

Pl.'s Ex. 24 (Dep. of Ferdinand Ferella) at 115.

Grosdidier complained about hugging and kissing in the workplace that she perceived to be unprofessional and outside the bounds of what was acceptable in French culture. Pl.'s Ex. 2 (Dep. of Camille Grosdidier) at 185-86. On May 3, 2005, Grosdidier sent an email to Dia complaining about one particular female co-worker who gave a "big, long, fat hug" to a Senegalese man visiting the office; Grosdidier objected to what she perceived as the employee's "pressing need to press herself against every man in sight on the slightest pretext - especially strangers - and the way this has 'sexualized' our French Branch office." Pl.'s Ex. 30 (5/3/2005 Email from Grosdidier to Dia) at 17.

Grosdidier also complained about an email sent around the office in April 2004 depicting a man straddling a cannon, which she perceived to be sexually suggestive. See Pl.'s Ex. 24 (Dep. of Ferdinand Ferella) at 117; Pl.'s Ex. 29 at 12 (4/13/2004 Email from Grosdidier to Eric Agnero) ("Thanks for this edifying picture of a man with a giant object between his legs."). Dia told Grosdidier that the employee who sent the email did not see anything sexual about the photograph, which depicted a famous musician from his home country. See Pl.'s Ex. 29 at 13;

Pl.'s Ex. 6 (Dia Dep.) at 36. In November 2003, the same employee had sent an email around the office containing a picture of an outdoor marketplace in which brassieres were prominently displayed. See Pl.'s Ex. 29 at 14. Grosdidier also complained about one male employee who wore short shorts to the office; Ferella agreed in his deposition testimony that his attire was unprofessional. See Pl.'s Ex. 24 (Dep. of Ferdinand Ferella) at 118-19.

Dia took informal action in response to Grosdidier's complaints, warning people during a morning office meeting not to go overboard with physical contact and to keep things professional because "someone" might complain. See Pl.'s Ex. 6 (Dep. of Idrissa Dia) at 37-38. Dia denies identifying Grosdidier as the potential complainant. See id. at 132. Dia told Ferella that he was frustrated by Grosdidier's complaints because he did not believe the conduct was sexual in nature. See Pl.'s Ex. 24 (Dep. of Ferdinand Ferella) at 115-16. Dia testified in his deposition that he was upset at Grosdidier for tarnishing his warm relationship with the employee who called him "Sexy Papa." See Pl.'s Ex. 6 (Dep. of Idrissa Dia) at 41.

C. Grosidier's Editing Duties & Other Work Responsibilities Although Grosdidier's primary responsibilities as a broadcaster in the French to Africa Service involved reporting and producing news stories, she was occasionally given duties editing the work of other broadcasters. Grosdidier has produced evidence indicating that between February 2004 and at least April 2005, she was regularly assigned editing duties. See Pl.'s Ex. 26 (2/6/2004 Email from Dia to French to Africa Service) at 2 (listing Grosdidier as one of two broadcasters on the editing team under the overall supervision of a senior editor); Pl.'s Ex. 42 (assignment sheets). Editing duties were normally handled by senior editors rather than broadcasters like Grosdidier. See Pl.'s Ex. 24 (Dep. of Ferdinand Ferella) at 32-33. According to Timothee Donangmaye ("Donangmaye"), one of Grosdidier's colleagues, only a few broadcasters who had excellent language skills were assigned to edit. See Pl.'s Ex. 20 (Dep. of Timothee Donangmaye) at 33-35. Donangmaye was one of those broadcasters who performed editing duties on a rotating basis. Id. at 35-36. Grosdidier's editing skills were mentioned favorably in several performance evaluations during this period. See Pl.'s Ex. 40 (Performance Appraisal Report) at 8; Pl.'s Ex. 41 (Performance Appraisal Report) at 8. When assigned editing duties, Grosdidier would conduct the first editing review of other broadcasters' work, and the final product would be reviewed again by other supervisors. See Pl.'s Ex. 24 (Dep. of Ferdinand Ferella) at 43.

Sometime in 2005, Dia made a change in the work assignments that resulted in Grosdidier working less on editing assignments. Pl.'s Ex. 34 (Dia Dep.) at 66-67, 70. It appears this change began around June 2005. See Pl.'s Ex. 3 (Assignment sheets). However, by April 2006, Grosdidier was being reassigned to editing duties on a rotating basis. See Pl.'s Ex. 34 (Dia Dep.)at 68-72; Pl.'s Ex. 27 (Assignment sheets). Records of weekly editing assignments produced by Grosdidier appear to indicate that she was assigned editing duties at least a few days each month between April and December 2006. See Pl.'s Ex. 27.

Another aspect of Grosdidier's duties at the VOA involved editing and uploading content on the VOA's website. According to a project manager in the BBG's Office of Internet Services, VOA employees cannot edit or upload content on the website unless they have received training in the content management system used by the VOA, which is called CommonSpot. See Pl.'s Ex. 22 (Decl. of Marlene Wright) ¶ 3. Since February 2006, an individual could not get a password to edit or upload news until completing three CommonSpot training classes. Id. ¶ 4. Grosdidier took her first training class on March 6, 2006 and completed the training requirement on March 23, 2006. Id. Timothee Donangmaye completed all three classes by May 2005. Id. In the summer of 2005, Dia sent his staff a memorandum stating that Donangmaye would be working on the internet with some other staffers, and Grosdidier assumed this meant that she should not be posting her own content on the website. See Pl.'s Ex. 14 (Grosdidier Dep.) at 88-90. In February 2007, Dia sent a memorandum to his supervisors requesting approval for Grosdidier to edit the VOA website. See Pl.'s Ex. 45 (2/12/2007 Memorandum).

D. Vacancy for a GS-13 International Broadcaster Position In February 2006, BBG posted a vacancy announcement for an International Broadcaster, GS-13 position in the French to Africa Service. Def.'s Stmt. ¶ 16. There is some evidence in the record that Dia was aware that the vacancy would be filled as early as June 1, 2005. See Pl.'s Ex. 43 (6/1/2005 Email from Grosdidier to French to Africa Service).

The vacancy announcement stated that applicants should have the following knowledge, skills, and abilities ("KSAs"):

(1) Proven ability to write balanced, objective radio, television and Internet scripts on news events and feature topics that appeal to, educate, explain, and provide context to international audiences;

(2) Broad knowledge of the principles, practices, and procedures of journalistic writing and editing and editing for radio, TV and Internet.

(3) Knowledge of world affairs and U.S. foreign policy, as well as contemporary political, economic, cultural, and social developments and trends in the U.S.

(4) Skill in establishing and maintaining effective and respectful working relationships with team members, colleagues in multi-media elements of VOA, and groups of individuals providing information or interviews for programs or program segments.

(5) Demonstrated experience in writing/editing for a foreign audience.

(6) Knowledge of international radio broadcast, TV and Internet techniques and practices.

Def.'s Stmt. ¶ 18. A separate position description document described the major duties for the position to include "[p]lans and coordinates, as Webmaster, content of Website that includes news and feature material" and indicated that the incumbent "is a host of our weekly TV program." See Pl.'s Ex. 52 (Position Description) at 6; Def.'s Ex. C (Position Description) at 2. The position description was initially drafted by an employee in the BBG's human resources office, but the language regarding the webmaster duty and hosting the weekly TV program was added at Dia's request. See Def.'s Stmt. ¶ 17; Pl.'s Ex. 6 (Dia Dep.) at 165-67. Dia testified that it was quite clear that whoever was selected for the position would be hosting the TV show and managing the website. See Pl.'s Ex. 6 (Dia Dep.) at 61-62. The position was informally described as "multi-media Senior Editor." See Def.'s Ex. M. At the time the vacancy was announced, Donangmaye was hosting the French to Africa Service's weekly "Washington Forum" program and was one of the people responsible for updating content on its website. See Pl.'s Ex. 20 (Donangmaye Dep.) at 36-38, 43. Dia testified that the reason the Service was hiring a GS-13 level broadcaster was because of the combined television hosting and internet duties. See Pl.'s Ex. 6 (Dia Dep.) at 60-62. However, Donangmaye had been performing these duties as a GS-12 level employee, and another employee who worked on the internet was employed at the GS-9 level. See id. at 46; Pl.'s Ex. 46 (BBG/IBB Staffing Pattern). Ferdinand Ferella explained that hosting duties are not dependent on grade level. See Pl.'s Ex. 24 (Dep. of Ferdinand Ferella) at 106.

Dia selected a panel of three individuals to conduct the interviews of the candidates and make a recommendation to him. Def.'s Stmt. ¶ 19. Dia was the selecting official, and he had stated publicly that he would follow the recommendation of the panel in making his selection for the position. Id. The three panelists were Andre de Nesnera ("de Nesnera"), Sandra Lemaire ("Lemaire"), and Dianne Butts ("Butts"). Id. ¶ 20. All three were qualified to serve on the panel. Id. De Nesnera is a white male of French national origin; Lemaire is a black female of Haitian national origin; and Butts is an African-American female. Id. ¶¶ 21-23. The panelists received the vacancy announcement and the candidates' application packets from Dia. Id. ¶ 24. The parties disagree about the extent to which Dia provided the panelists with additional information about the candidates or the position. According to de Nesnera, Dia told the panel about the responsibilities that would be associated with the job, but he did not provide any introductory remarks for each candidate and he did not tell the panelists what he was looking for in the candidates beyond the simple job description. See Pl.'s Ex. 9 (De Nesnera Aff.); Def.'s Ex. F (De Nesnera Dep.) at 17-19. According to Lemaire, Dia gave only a brief description of the job as it was explained in the vacancy announcement and basic introductory information about each candidate, such as where the candidate was from. See Pl.'s Ex. 7 (Lemaire Dep.) at 26-32; Pl.'s Ex. 8 (Lemaire Aff.) ¶ 4.

The panelists interviewed six candidates for the position on March 7, 2007. Def.'s Stmt.

¶ 25. The candidates to be interviewed included Grosdidier, Donangmaye, and four candidates from outside the VOA. The panel unanimously recommended that Donangmaye be selected for the position. Id. Donangmaye is a black male of Chadian national origin. Id. The panel drafted a memorandum explaining their choice of Donangmaye based on his qualifications. See Def.'s Ex. M. The memorandum explained that the panel was impressed by Donangmaye's experience in "all three facets of the multi-media structure," i.e., radio, television, and internet. See id. The memorandum further stated that the panel was impressed by Donangmaye's leadership qualities and felt that Donangmaye understood the challenges facing the French to Africa Service. Id. The memorandum did not compare Donangmaye to any of the other candidates. See id. The record suggests that sometime after the panel drafted this memorandum, Dia informed them that they needed to include a score for each candidate along with the panel's recommendation. See Pl.'s Ex. 10 at 4-5. Dia told them to rate the applicants on a scale of 1 to 100. See id. at 6. The panelists did not have a scoring sheet or a list of factors with which to assign a score; rather, the panel assigned scores based on the panelists' recollection of the candidates' qualifications and performances during their interviews. See Pl.'s Ex. 7 (Lemaire Dep.) at 53-55; Pl.'s Ex. 12 (De Nesnera Dep.) at 24-25. The panel assigned a score of 90 points for Donangmaye, 80 points for Grosdidier, and 85 points for the panel's second-choice candidate, Rachid Jaafar ("Jaafar"); the other candidates were scored lower than Grosdidier. See Def.'s Ex. M; Pl.'s Ex. 12 (De Nesnera Dep.) at 26.

Lemaire testified that she perceived from Grosdidier's interview that there were people in the agency she did not get along with, suggesting she might conflict with management. See Pl.'s Ex. 7 (Lemaire Dep.) at 59-61. She testified that she thought Rachid Jaafar was a better candidate because he did not have these problems, explaining, "The difference between Ra[c]hid [Jaafar] and Camille [Grosdidier] was that Ra[c]hid had been an insider--was now on the outside and was coming back more neutral, so he really had no axe to grind with anyone." Id. at 59. Lemaire got the impression that Grosdidier "wasn't a total cheerleader for the agency and for management." Id. at 61. Grosdidier contends that she did not say anything during her interview that would suggest she had any problems with management, but the only record evidence in support of this contention is the fact that Butts's notes from the interview do not indicate any such statements. See Pl.'s Resp. Stmt. ¶ 72(d).*fn2 Grosdidier testified that the interview was "disorganized," and she felt that some of the questioning was aggressive. Pl.'s Ex. 14 (Grosdidier Dep.) at 74-75. According to Grosdidier, de Nesnera asked her, "Tell us why we shouldn't go with an outsider? Tell us why you would be better." Id. at 74. Grosdidier claims that she answered, "If you do find an outsider who's best qualified, why not?" Id. Butts testified that she did not recall Grosdidier being asked this question, but instead she recalled Grosdidier volunteering something like, "fresh blood for this job might be good rather than me." See Pl.'s Ex. 11 (Butts Dep.) at 60-61. Butts thought Grosdidier's response was odd and suggested she did not really want the job. Id. at 61. De Nesnera perceived Grosdidier's comments as suggesting that she was less qualified to lead her co-workers. See Pl.'s Ex. 12 (De Nesnera Dep.) at 29. Butts also testified that none of the candidates were asked whether an insider or outsider would be better, but her notes from the interview with Donangmaye include the phrase "Insider better why?" with a summary of Donangmaye's explanation as to why he thought an insider was better. See Pl.'s Ex. 11 (Butts Dep.) at 59-60; Pl.'s Ex. 16 (Butts interview notes). Grosdidier also contends that de Nesnera asked her in a forceful voice about her leadership experience, claiming that the GS-13 position was supervisory, despite the fact that there was nothing about supervisory responsibilities in the job description. See Pl.'s Ex. 14 (Grosdidier Dep.) at 71-72.

There is some conflicting evidence in the record about what factors were most important to the panelists in choosing Donangmaye as their top candidate. Lemaire testified that supervisory experience was an important factor, and this is also reflected in Butts's notes. See Pl.'s Ex. 8 (Lemaire Aff.) ¶¶ 22-23; Pl.'s Ex. 16 (Butts interview notes) at 1. However, de Nesnera testified that supervisory experience was not a factor that was seriously considered or discussed. See Pl.'s Ex. 12 (De Nesnera Dep.) at 42-43. Both Lemaire and de Nesnera testified that internet skills were a deciding factor that set Donangmaye apart from Grosdidier. See id. at 20-21; Pl.'s Ex. 7 (Lemaire Dep.) at 72-73 ("With regards to being the best person for the job, we thought Timothee, because he had worked on the French to Africa website. But knowledge of the internet, I think, from what I recall, Ra[c]hid and Timothee were comparable and Camille, les[s]."). However, Butts did not recall internet experience being a main factor in the decision. See Pl.'s Ex. 11 (Butts Dep.) at 71. Defendant states in answers to interrogatories that Lemaire and de Nesnera also took some notes during the interviews but discarded them afterwards. See Pl.'s Ex. 13 (BBG Discovery Responses) at 7. However, Lemaire claims in an affidavit that she did not take any notes. See Def.'s Ex. EE (Lemaire Aff.) at 44.

Grosdidier claims that Dia selected panelists who would accede to his preference for Donangmaye and disfavor Grosdidier in the selection process. De Nesnera was a regular guest on the Washington Forum television program that Donangmaye hosted, and he testified at deposition that "you can't find a better person" than Donangmaye to be the host of that program. See Pl.'s Ex. 12 (De Nesnera Dep.) at 8. Butts was the executive producer of the Washington Forum program, and she had selected Donangmaye for the hosting job after an audition. See Pl.'s Ex. 11 (Butts Dep.) at 6. Dia had also consulted with Butts, another Service Chief, about one of Grosdidier's altercations with another female employee who also worked with Butts. Id. at 12-13. Butts testified that Dia had talked to her generally about Grosdidier's complaints, and Butts believed that Grosdidier was not happy in the Service. Id. at 14-15. However, Butts testified that she did not talk to Dia about the selection process for the vacant position. Id. at 13. Lemaire indicated in her deposition that Dia selected her because of her experience in broadcasting, the internet, the French language, and African affairs. See Pl.'s Ex. 7 (Lemaire Dep.) at 25. Lemaire was friendly with Dia, but she was not his first choice for the panel. See id.

at 13; Pl.'s Ex. 6 (Dia Dep.) at 58-59. Lemaire testified that she was aware that there was "infighting" within that branch of the VOA, which she felt was common knowledge to those in the agency. Pl.'s Ex. 7 (Lemaire Dep.) at 59. De Nesnera testified, however, that he was not aware of any friction in the office. See Pl.'s Ex. 12 (De Nesnera Dep.) at 29-30.

Grosdidier also claims that Dia did not provide the panelists sufficient time to review the candidates' written qualifications because Grosdidier's written qualifications were superior. There is conflicting evidence in the record regarding the extent to which the panelists relied on the candidates' written qualifications. According to Lemaire, the panelists were provided a copy of the written application materials shortly before each interview, and she did not believe that they kept the materials for their deliberations after the interviews. See Pl.'s Ex. 7 (Dep. of Sandra Lemaire) at 27, 32-33, 53. Butts and de Nesnera both testified that they had the candidates' written materials at the time of the deliberations. See Pl.'s Ex. 12 (Dep. of Andre de Nesnera) at 17; Pl.'s Ex. 11 (Dep. of Diane Butts) at 36-37. Lemaire testified that the panel's assessment was based primarily on their overall assessment of the candidates and their interviews. Id. at 53-54.

As part of her application, Grosdidier submitted a resume and a two-page statement setting forth her KSAs. See Pl.'s Ex. 23 (Grosdidier application materials). Grosdidier's resume described her experience as a broadcaster with the French to Africa Service since 1987, which included experience as substitute host of "Washington Forum." See id. at 4. Grosdidier explained that she had over twenty years of experience in the French to Africa Service and that she had been responsible for producing a weekly fifteen-minute economic news magazine program as well as a daily program covering events relating to the United States. See id. at 6.

Grosdidier also highlighted her international travel and cultural experiences. See id. at 6-7. With respect to internet skills, Grosdidier stated in her KSAs statement that two of her colleagues had been responsible for managing content on the internet but that she had familiarized herself with the internet and was taking classes to become certified to assist with the internet duties. See id. at 7. Grosdidier also included a performance appraisal report in which Dia rated her achievement as "highly successful." See id. at 9-19. Grosdidier's educational background includes a masters degree in international affairs. See id. at 5.

Donangmaye's application packet described his experience as a broadcaster in the French to Africa Service since 1998 as well as his prior experience as a reporter for the Chadian government's news agency. See Pl.'s Ex. 38 (Donangmaye application materials) at 1-2. Donangmaye also earned a masters degree in media analysis and management as a Fulbright Scholar at Virginia Commonwealth University. See id. at 2. Donangmaye highlighted his experience with internet technology in his application, noting that he was only one of two people within the French to Africa Service who could edit the website. Id. In his statement setting forth his KSAs, Donangmaye highlighted his writing and editing experience with the VOA and his experience as the host of "Washington Forum." See id. at 3. At the time of the interview and selection, Donangmaye was not a U.S. citizen.

Rachid Jaafar was working as the Washington senior correspondent for the Al-Jazeera broadcast network at the time he interviewed for the position of multi-media Senior Editor. See Def.'s Ex. AA (Jaafar application materials). Jaafar also worked as a broadcast journalist and news editor for VOA between 1984 and 2002, working primarily in the Arabic language. See id. at 1-2. Jaafar is also fluent in French and his resume reflected experience translating between French, English, and Arabic. See id. He earned a masters degree in international public policy in 2002. Id. at 1. In his KSA statement, he emphasized his experience as a reporter, his experience establishing and maintaining work relationships, and his familiarity with African issues. See id. at 3-4. Jaafar was a U.S. citizen at the time of the interview and selection. See Def.'s Stmt. ¶ 35.

Dia accepted the panel's recommendation of Donangmaye. On March 8, 2006, the day after the panel conducted its interviews and made its recommendation, Dia wrote to his supervisor explaining why Donangmaye should be selected for the position over Jaafar and Grosdidier, who were U.S. citizens. See Def.'s Ex. N (3/8/2006 Letter from Dia to Gwen Dillard). Dia wrote that he agreed with the panel that Donangmaye was the most qualified candidate for the job. See id. Dia praised Donangmaye's command of the French language, his experience as a newswire writer (which Dia believed made Dia particularly qualified to edit the website), his knowledge of African issues, and his positive workplace relationships. See id. On March 22, 2006, Dia wrote a memorandum to the Chief of the agency's Operations Division explaining why Donangmaye should be selected for the position over the other qualified U.S. citizens. See Def.'s Ex. N (3/22/2006 Memorandum from Dia to LaPrell Murphy). He wrote that Donangmaye had been selected for the GS-13 multi-media Senior Editor position and praised his qualifications. See id. Dia distinguished the experience of Jaafar as more relevant to the Arab world than to sub-Saharan Africa, which is targeted by the French to Africa Service. See id. Dia stated that Grosdidier had a better knowledge of sub-Saharan Africa than Jaafar but that it was not as extensive as Donangmaye's. Id. Dia also noted that Grosdidier had not completed the CommonSpot training for the website. Id. Dia also stated that based on his knowledge of Grosdidier's and Donangmaye's respective strengths and weaknesses in the French language and African issues, as well as their interactions with colleagues in the Service, he was confident that Donangmaye was the best candidate for the position. Id.

E. Grosdidier's EEO Complaint Regarding Her Nonselection Grosdidier was notified of her nonselection for the promotion on April 3, 2006. See Answer ¶ 5(a)(i). On July 5, 2006, she timely filed a formal complaint alleging that she was not selected because of her sex, race, national origin, and her prior EEO activity. Compl. ¶ 5(a)(i)-(ii). In proceedings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"), Grosdidier conducted discovery and took numerous depositions. Id. ¶ ...


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