Yesha Yadav named associate dean for diversity, equity and community

Aug 18, 2020

Yesha Yadav has been appointed associate dean for diversity, equity and community at Vanderbilt Law School. Her appointment to the new position was announced by Dean Chris Guthrie.

Yadav currently serves as faculty co-director of the LL.M. program and as a faculty advisor to the law school’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Council. She was recently appointed to the Tennessee Advisory Committee for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

“I am delighted that Yesha Yadav has agreed to serve as the law school’s inaugural associate dean for diversity, equity and community and lead the formation of a formal program that will affect every academic program and department,” Guthrie said. “Throughout her tenure at Vanderbilt Law, she has embraced an expansive and include view of diversity and demonstrated a heartfelt commitment to building and nurturing a community in which all students, staff and faculty, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, disability and viewpoint, feel a deep sense of belonging and connection.”

In her new role, Yadav will serve as a liaison to Vanderbilt University’s Offices of the Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and the Provost’s Office of Inclusive Excellence. She will also work closely with law school stakeholders on issues of diversity, equity and community as they impact recruitment and retention, curriculum, programming and external engagement; support and mentor the EDI Council and student affinity groups and organizations; and address the report produced this summer by a steering committee formed in the wake of the killing of George Floyd to help shape concrete actions at the law school aimed at addressing racial injustice.

The committee drew its recommendations from three antiracism task forces of faculty, students, and staff, and from a survey these task forces jointly conducted. Terry Maroney and Karla McKanders led the faculty task force. Black Law Student Associate President Samantha Furman, Middle Eastern Law Students Association Vice President Noor Maarfi and 2020-21 Vanderbilt Bar Association President Esther Lee, all members of the Class of 2021, led the students, and Dominique Millen and Betsy Key led the staff. The joint recommendations issued by these task forces include the formation of an office to spearhead initiatives aimed at promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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