Racial Equity Advisory Council

The Racial Equity Advisory Council (REAC) serves as an advisory body to the Executive Leadership of the University (President, Provost, Chancellor of the Health System and the Executive Vice President) and is guided by four subcommittees of experts for the purpose of operationalizing and coordinating the key concepts articulated by the President in his Juneteenth message on Anti-Racism.

Members of the Advisory Council are comprised of faculty, staff and students whose responsibilities, interests and expertise are aligned with the pillars of Duke’s Strategic Framework, Toward our Second Century.

The Advisory Council meets regularly to develop deliverables and recommendations along with specific steps to be taken and accountability measures for each step.

There are four subcommittees that report up to the Advisory Council:


Duke University has identified ambitious institutional goals related to Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion that are present in departments and units throughout the community. The Advisory Council and corresponding subcommittees provide an oversight structure for these ongoing efforts at the institutional level.

A key goal of the Advisory Council is to maintain the momentum behind existing and emerging racial equity work, for while there is tremendous and impactful ongoing work at Duke, our efforts are not consistent across the enterprise.

Through efforts in the four strategic areas described below, this Advisory Council is working to ensure students, staff and faculty are prepared for and supported in their roles and to create an environment for effective engagement, growth, and development.


The responsibilities of the Advisory Council include the following:

  • Operationalize the specific goals outlined in the Juneteenth message within the University Strategic Plan
  • Identify and more fully develop robust educational efforts that contribute to learning, growth and culture change across difference.
  • Identify, gather, and disseminate information to communicate institutional efforts across faculty, staff, students, alumni, community stakeholders, and national partners; and
  • Develop measures to assess and foster racial equity, diversity and inclusion efforts including overall assessment, diffusion of innovation, continuous quality improvement, and departmental/school/system sustainability plans.
  • Support the recommendations of the subcommittees and establish feasibility for the work.


  • Kimberly Hewitt, Vice President for Institutional Equity (Co-Chair)
  • Abbas Benmamoun, Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement (Co-Chair)
  • Sherilynn Black, Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement (Co-Chair)
  • Merlise Clyde, Professor of Statistical Science (Co-Chair)
  • Leigh-Anne Royster, Assistant Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, OIE (Co-Chair)
  • Charmaine Royal, Professor of African & African American Studies (Co-Chair)
  • Mark Anthony Neal, Professor of African & African American Studies (Co-Chair)
  • Rob Odom, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer and Vice President, DUHS (Co-Chair)
  • Antwan Lofton, Interim Vice President for Human Resources
  • Russell Thompson, Interim Vice President for Operations *
  • Mary Pat McMahon, Vice President/Vice Provost for Student Affairs
  • Gary Bennett, Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education
  • Leigh Goller, Chief Audit Risk and Compliance Officer
  • Rhonda Brandon, Chief Human Resources Officer and Senior Vice President, DUHS
  • Dave Kennedy, Vice President for Alumni Engagement and Development
  • Chris Simmons, Interim Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations *
  • Nina King, Vice President, Director of Athletics
  • Stelfanie Williams, Vice President for Durham Affairs
  • Mohamed Noor, Interim Dean of Trinity School of Arts and Sciences *
  • Mary Klotman, Dean of the Medical School
  • Bill Boulding, Dean of Fuqua School of Business
  • Kerry Abrams, Dean of the Law School
  • Judith Kelley, Dean of Sanford School of Public Policy
  • Suzanne Barbour, Dean of the Graduate School *
  • Toddi Steelman, Dean of Nicholas School of the Environment
  • Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, Dean of the School of Nursing
  • Jerome Lynch, Dean of Pratt School of Engineering
  • Edgardo Colon-Emeric, Dean of the Divinity School
  • Erika Weinthal, Chair, Academic Council and Professor of Environmental Policy
  • Adrienne Stiff-Roberts, 2022-23 President’s Fellow
  • Tyson Brown, 2021-22 President’s Fellow
  • Liyu Woldemichael, Undergraduate Student, Public Policy
  • Angela Chung, Undergraduate Student, International Comparative Studies
  • Jasmine Hughes, Master’s Student, Global Health
  • Nicole DeBrigard, Law Student
  • David Attarian, Chief Medical Officer, PDC and Professor of Orthopaedics, Private Diagnostic Clinic, DUHS
  • Deondra Rose, Associate Professor at the Sanford School of Public Policy, Chair PCOBA, Sanford
  • Joseph Salem, Vice Provost for Library Affairs *

* Acceptance pending

Membership information is also available for each subcommittee.