Columbia University in the City of New York

Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Columbia's Zuckerman Institute is seeking an inaugural Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) to refine and execute on the vision and direction of DEI initiatives across the Institute.

Position Summary

The Zuckerman Institute supports interdisciplinary neuroscience research and discovery by scientists and scholars from across the University, and promises to be the most comprehensive Institute for brain science. Located in a state-of-the-art facility, approximately 50 independent world-class labs are brought together to transform our understanding of the brain and the mind.
For more information on the Institute, please view our website,

The Zuckerman Institute is seeking an inaugural Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Reporting to the Senior Director of Programs, the Director will refine and execute on the vision and direction of DEI initiatives across the Institute. As a thought leader who is committed to fostering community, this dynamic individual will create sustainable structures to advance DEI, drive a culture of inclusion and belonging and champion efforts to advance the conversation.



With the Senior Director of Programs, strategize and execute the overall direction of DEI at the Zuckerman Institute in alignment with Institute goals.

Organize and manage the DEI Board; work with leadership to set and execute on the agenda and follow ups; manage workgroups associated with DEI activities including project and personnel management.

Maintains knowledge of current practices in DEI in science, higher education, and other sectors.

Works to evaluate DEI initiatives and activities, and ensure the comprehensive ongoing assessments of such initiatives.

Create and implement programs, trainings, and workshops for faculty, researchers and staff related to DEI. Provide individual and group meetings to help individuals navigate sensitive issues related to DEI and support grass roots efforts at ZI related to DEI.

Acts as the ZI liaison with University officials and external stakeholders to represent efforts and align initiatives to best practices; contribute to national communities and conversations surrounding of DEI practice in science.

Work with community to support and advance safe spaces; fosters a community of scientists and staff engaging with the Institute’s DEI goals.

Consult with leaders and individual contributors across the organization on emerging and best practices to create a more equitable and inclusive research environment.

Other related duties and special projects, as assigned.


Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree required. Minimum 5-7 years related experience required.

Demonstrated ability to create a positive working environment through partnership with all levels of stakeholders. Analyze and interpret information, and meet deadlines, along with strong data management and analyses, writing, and editing skills. Excellent interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills required. Must have demonstrated planning and project management skills. The ideal candidate is a detail oriented, self-starter who anticipates opportunities and challenges, takes initiative to identify and implement creative solutions, and works well under deadlines and pressure. Must be a strategic thinker with the ability to work with multiple stakeholders and adapt quickly to changing needs and priorities. Some experience conducting seminars or trainings focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Cultural sensitivity with the ability to collaborate with diverse constituents required.

Preferred Qualifications

Master’ degree is strongly preferred. The ideal candidate will have a background in and passion for diversity, equity and inclusion and the desire to work on high quality service orientated team in a start-up phase. 

Experience in DEI Initiatives within a science or higher education background is helpful.