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Emory hires new director of diversity and inclusion education and outreach

Russell T. Griffin joined Emory Human Resources Learning and Organizational Development on May 17 as the university’s new director of diversity and inclusion education and outreach (HR).

Emory Human Resources Learning and Organizational Development announces that after a thorough search, Russell T. Griffin has been selected as the new director of diversity and inclusion education and outreach (HR). Griffin joined Emory on May 17, reporting to Wanda Hayes, assistant vice president for learning and organizational development. 

“This new position was created as one of the actions announced by President Fenves in his August 2020 letter to the Emory community, to ‘improve the Emory experience and live up to our values so that everyone feels a sense of belonging and shared purpose,’” Hayes says. “We are particularly excited to have Russell join the HR: Learning and Organizational Development team, where we will be able to integrate his initiatives in diversity and inclusion into our larger body of work, such as employee and leadership development and talent management.”

The role is charged with:

  • Developing educational programming and training for staff, faculty and leadership on issues related to diversity and bias prevention;
  • Serving as a strategic thought leader who builds, maintains and shares resources (tools, training opportunities, etc.) across campus; and
  • Leading educational campaigns and platforms, such as symposia and colloquiums, that extend the venues and targets of educational outreach.

Griffin has many years of experience in learning design and facilitation, executive coaching and diversity work. His most recent experience includes serving as a communications and training consultant at Kaiser Permanente since 2018, while also leading his own organizational effectiveness practice, Executive Adventure, as the president and chief learning officer since 2008.  

As part of his practice, his clients have included The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emory University (Human Resources, Woodruff Leadership Academy, Rollins School of Public Health and Oxford College), Atlanta Metro Municipal Government, University of Florida, Auburn University and others. Previously, he worked at MetLife, where he served as head of diversity for MetLife Individual Business.  

Griffin has additional previous experiences in the marketing and communications field and is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. He earned his BA in mass communication/public relations from the State University of New York College at Buffalo, is a graduate of the Program for Leadership Development from the Harvard Business School, earned his MS in industrial and organizational psychology from Walden University, and is currently pursuing his PhD in industrial and organizational psychology.

In this new role, Griffin will work closely with HR leaders, as well as the chief diversity officer, the Ombuds Office, the Center for Faculty Development and Excellence, the Oxford Center for Teaching and Scholarship and other key offices and programs to support diversity, equity and inclusion at Emory.

“It is a great honor and joy to join the Emory family and mission of service to humanity,” Griffin says. “I look forward helping bring forth greater understanding in our diverse community and to encouraging the full and wonderful benefits of inclusion.”

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