Three Black Leaders Appointed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Positions in Higher Education

Monica M. Smith has been appointed vice president for inclusion and belonging at the University of Richmond. Currently, she serves as the associate vice president for equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging for the University of Wisconsin System. Prior to her current role, she served as vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion and chief diversity officer for Augustana College in Illinois.

Dr. Smith completed her undergraduate education at Eastern University in St. David’s Pennsylvania, where she majored in social work. She holds a master’s degree in social work and a doctorate in clinical social work from the University of Pennsylvania.

Nygil Likely has been named vice president for people, culture, and equity at Grand Rapids Community College in Michigan. He most recently served as chief diversity officer of Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Earlier in his career, he served as vice president of student affairs for Lake Michigan College.

Likely holds two graduate degrees from the University of Phoenix: an MBA in human resources and management and a master’s degree in adult and continuing education administration. He is currently pursuing a doctor of ministry degree in pastoral leadership from the Andersonville Theological Seminary in Georgia.

Mohamed Ahmed has been appointed associate vice president for equity and inclusive excellence and chief diversity officer for Winona State University in Minnesota. His prior experience in higher education includes serving as head of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging at Alliant International University and associate chief diversity officer at San Diego State University.

Dr. Ahmed received his bachelor’s degree in international security and conflict resolution and his master’s degree in postsecondary educational leadership from San Diego State University. He holds a Ph.D. in higher education leadership from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.

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