Chief Diversity Officer / Vice President for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

George Mason University | See all 17 jobs from Ferra Executive Search



Fairfax, Virginia, United States


Job Type



Job Overview

George Mason University is looking for a highly experienced industry leader to become its Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion / Chief Diversity Officer. This individual will work closely with students, faculty, and staff to create and sustain an inclusive learning, living, and working environment.

If you have an advanced degree and a proven track record of accomplishment on these issues, we want you to provide the leadership, planning and support to enhance the diversity and inclusion of the university. Mason believes that diversity of opinions, cultures and perspectives is what provides vibrancy to an academic community. This senior level management position, which reports directly to the President, will be responsible for providing the vision and leadership for diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts across the university.


Key Responsibilities

The VP for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Chief Diversity Officer will work in partnership with the university’s deans and other campus leaders to position diversity as one of the university’s key competitive advantages. This role capitalizes on the varied ways diversity, equity, and inclusion are and can be embedded in the university’s curriculum, infrastructure, policies, and programs.

George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university, with an R-1 rating and is committed to welcoming students, faculty and staff who enrich Mason’s academic and culturally inclusive environment. Mason was recently named the most diverse university in Virginia by U.S. News & World Report. Their students represent all races, ethnicities, nationalities, religions, sexual orientation, and gender identities and hail from over 130 countries. In keeping with their commitment to diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism, we are devoted to increasing access to excellence in ways that set us apart from many of our peers. In a continuing effort to enrich Mason’s academic environment and provide equal educational and employment opportunities, we actively encourage applications from members of all ethnic groups underrepresented in higher education.

The role:
-Plans, guides and advises the President and executive officers on diversity, equity, inclusion and affirmative action matters;

- Leads the shaping of an institutional vision and a compelling message for diversity, equity, and inclusion by creating aspirational goals, plans for institutional change, and assessment of initiatives;

- Provides leadership, planning, and support for enhancing the diversity and inclusion of the faculty, staff, and students of the university;

- Enhances outreach programming and initiatives to increase the impact and understanding of diversity and inclusion;

- Collaborates with campus partners to develop various programs to enhance pipeline, recruitment, retention, and success of students, faculty, and staff from under-represented groups and/or protected classes;

- Provides strategic, integrated direction and consultation to senior administration on major institutional issues regarding diversity, inclusion, equity initiatives, and cultural understanding and competency;

- Collaborates with campus leaders and affinity groups to create, implement, and maintain infrastructure around inclusive excellence;

- Serves as a member of the President’s Executive Council and works closely with other university leaders to evaluate and advance diverse and inclusive initiatives and programs designed to ensure fair and equitable treatment and success of students, faculty, and staff;

- Collaborates with leadership team to create, implement and monitor programs designed to ensure fair and equitable treatment of students, faculty and staff;

- Provides strategic direction for training initiatives on cultural competency, gender differences, disability, sexual harassment, building a climate of equity and inclusion, and other topics designed to increase awareness and support all applicable laws;

- Promotes Mason’s commitment to a climate of equity, diversity, and inclusion through interaction with the Board of Visitors, Executive Team, supervisory staff, employees, students and the community;

- Lead efforts to establish communication channels to facilitate an organizational-wide understanding of diversity;

- Maintain effective communications with all levels of management to foster a collaborative atmosphere;

- Manage the workforce analysis and oversee compliance with Affirmative Action, including Affirmative Action for Protected Veterans, Equal Employment Opportunity, Title IX and other applicable regulations;

- Supervises the offices that investigate/adjudicate claims of discrimination, harassment, assault, and other complaints filed by students, faculty, staff and administrators. Manages the work of the EEO Civil Rights unit, ADA Coordinator, and Title IX office;

- Serves as the central resource for student, faculty, staff and the Mason community on issues related to protected class discrimination, harassment and Title IX;

- Represents the organization to external community, organizations, and agencies. Collaborates with external and internal constituency groups, including students and protected veterans, to promote and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion. Serves as the liaison between the College and enforcement agencies;

- Represents the university at various community, civic, and professional meetings and conferences as requested;

- Helps to create a collaborative, supportive, and high-performance culture that supports the success of those who work across the university on diversity and inclusion efforts;

- Draws on research, scholarship, and information on national and international trends to develop and support innovative programs and policies relevant to campus diversity and inclusion.


Minimum Requirements

- Advanced degree such as a Master’s Degree or training and work experience at a level that equates to an advanced degree. Equivalent experience generally includes 6 + years Director level experience or 10+ years of experience in the field;

- Knowledge of applicable laws and regulations governing risk management;

- Strong qualitative and quantitative analytical abilities, experience using data to influence decisions and actions.

- Critical thinking skills; Strong problem-solving capabilities; Strong written and verbal communication skills and the ability to interact and influence at all levels in the organization;

- Clear understanding of the need to serve all constituencies on campus;

- Ability to communicate effectively with all levels of internal and external stakeholders;

- Excellent consultation and negotiation skills;

- A proven track record of accomplishment on these issues; an excellent record in leading and advocating for institutional initiatives, building programs, and promoting diversity in a complex organizational setting;

- Demonstrated skills with collecting and using data to assess programs and increase shared accountability;

- An ability to partner on strategic issues and policies to bring best practices to critical parts of our organizational culture;

- An ability to champion the academic case for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging;

- A supervisory record that demonstrates collaborative strengths with coaching and mentoring, managing project development teams, and improving productivity;

- Demonstrated cross-cultural competencies, including strong emotional intelligence, influencing skills, and the ability to engage and build relationships with university constituencies and underrepresented communities;

- The ability to form coalitions and inspire others to take-action;

- Evidence of excellent judgment and a high degree of integrity;

- The communication and conflict-resolution skills needed to navigate socially and politically-charged situations to resolve problems, build consensus, and reconcile competing interests;

- The interpersonal strengths of an open-minded, strategic, and creative thinker and active listener who can mediate diverse opinions to address shared needs.


Ideal Candidate

- Proven ability to directly engage both students, faculty, and staff;

- Possess demonstrable skills in engaging with external donor constituents; proficiency and experience in securing charitable gifts;

- Record of engagement with national organizations in diversity and inclusion in higher education;

- An informed understanding of innovations in higher education institutions that have strengthened the prominence of diversity and inclusion in their research, teaching, and outreach missions;

- Experience relevant to fostering cross-campus partnerships, including those aimed at recruiting and retaining diverse faculty and graduate and undergraduate students; integrating diversity and inclusion into curricula and the student experience; improving staff and faculty training; assessing the educational impact of diversity; enhancing campus climate; and revising policies to address the legal dimensions of affirmative action and diversity initiatives.


Additional Highlights

This search is being managed by Ferra Executive Search.