Megan Dansby Russell ’11 has been named the inaugural associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion in the School of Engineering. Tejal Desai, Sorensen Family Dean of Engineering, made the announcement in a letter to the community on June 7. Dansby Russell will begin this role on July 12, 2023.
“Attracting and supporting exceptional faculty, students and staff who bring diverse experiences, perspectives and ideas and providing an environment that encourages inquiry and collaboration across differences is central to our mission,” Desai said. “This is important and sometimes challenging work that requires expertise and focused attention, and I’m delighted to welcome Megan Dansby Russell back to Brown to take on this critical role. She is especially well prepared given her scholarship, experience and personal commitment."
After graduating from Brown with dual degrees in electrical engineering (Sc.B.) and education (A.B.), and inspired by her own experience as a first-gen student in engineering, Dansby Russell went on to complete her doctoral studies at Columbia University where her research focused on understanding the experiences of historically underrepresented students who persist in engineering.
Reporting directly to the Dean and serving as a member of the senior leadership team, Dansby Russell will provide strategic leadership, administrative oversight, and ongoing guidance for this priority area. She will collaborate with School and University colleagues to ensure the values of diversity, equity and inclusion are infused across the organization through key educational and programmatic initiatives, and by curating meaningful professional development opportunities and expanding outreach. She will also work closely with the faculty Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and oversee the School’s Diversity & Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) planning and reporting processes.
Prior to earning her doctorate in 2020 at Columbia University in engineering education, Dansby Russell served as President of the GE Middle River African American Forum where she led a STEM mentoring partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Baltimore. She is a certified GE Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and an Operations Management Leadership Program graduate with experience working in analytics, leadership, metrics development, and process improvement. In addition, she has won multiple awards for technical expertise, engineering process improvement, and communication coaching.