Presidential Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion

February 3, 2016

To the Yale Community,

In my November 17 message to students, faculty, staff, and alumni, I announced our plans to create a task force that will consider projects and policies related to diversity and inclusion. Today, I am pleased to let you know that the Presidential Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion has been formed and is now ready to begin its work.
I will chair the task force, and its membership is as follows:
  • Ruth Blake, Professor of Geology & Geophysics, of Chemical Engineering, and of Forestry & Environmental Studies
  • Daniel Colón-Ramos, Associate Professor of Cell Biology
  • Gary Desir, Professor of Medicine
  • Emily Greenwood, Professor of Classics and of African American Studies
  • Kimberly Goff-Crews, Secretary and Vice President for Student Life
  • Burgwell Howard, Senior Associate Dean of Yale College; Associate Vice President for Student Engagement
  • Gerald Jaynes, Professor of Economics and of African American Studies
  • Sameer Jaywant, Yale Law School, Class of 2018
  • Sharon Kugler, University Chaplain
  • Nicholas Lewis, Senior Director for Shared Interest Groups, Association of Yale Alumni
  • Mary Lui, Professor of American Studies and of History
  • Michelle Nearon, Associate Dean & Director, Graduate School Office for Diversity & Equal Opportunity
  • Victoria Nolan, Professor (Adjunct) of Drama
  • Gregory Sterling, Dean and Lillian Claus Professor of Divinity; Professor of Religious Studies
  • Deborah Stanley-McAulay, Chief Diversity Officer
  • Brandi Waters, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
  • William H. Wright, Yale College, Class of 1982 (alumni representative)
  • Abdul-Razak Zachariah, Yale College, Class of 2017

Martha Highsmith, my senior advisor, will serve as vice chair of the task force, and will be my liaison to the group as it carries out its work.

I am immensely grateful for the outpouring of ideas and perspectives shared with me these past several months by members of the extended Yale family, on campus and beyond. The task force will consider all of these and any future proposals that are submitted, and will advise me and other university leaders on those that hold the most promise to advance the goal of full inclusion on our campus. To send your thoughts to the group’s attention, please use the form we have created on the Inclusive Yale website at The task force members—and I—look forward to hearing from you.


Peter Salovey
President and Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology