Joann Mitchell: Senior Vice President for Institutional Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer


Joann Mitchell has been named Senior Vice President for Institutional Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer, Penn President Amy Gutmann announced last Wednesday. The president noted that this appointment recognizes “not only Joann’s exemplary service to Penn and her distinguished leadership across a broad range of domains, but also our elevation and extension of Joann’s campus-wide leadership role in making Penn a preeminent leader in diversity and inclusion.”

The Penn Compact 2020 vision begins with inclusion and access. Ms. Mitchell has been and will continue to be a key partner to Dr. Gutmann in expanding and strengthening Penn’s diversity initiatives. Her accomplishments span policies, programs, compliance and outreach. Since 2013, she has served as an ex-officio member of the consultative committees on dean appointments and reviews. Her expanded service has helped to bring an increasing number of diverse appointments to Penn’s senior-most ranks. Ms. Mitchell also has been a principal coordinator with the Vice Provost for Faculty in advancing Penn’s Action Plan for Faculty Diversity and Excellence. This initiative has enabled Penn to recruit, retain and mentor an ever more eminent and diverse faculty. Ms. Mitchell also serves as an administrative liaison to the Trustees’ Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity, which has been avid in its support for Penn’s diversity initiatives.

Ms. Mitchell was instrumental in creating the Office of the Sexual Violence Investigative Officer, which reports to her. She also oversees Penn’s continued compliance with the letter and spirit of Title IX and other regulations. She oversees the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs and the African-American Resource Center, which provide important services to advance Penn’s inclusion and diversity efforts. On March 17, she received the Outstanding Legacy Award from the Women of Color at Penn on the occasion of their 30th annual awards luncheon. A consummate Penn citizen, Ms. Mitchell has provided expert leadership as vice chair of both the Task Force on Student Psychological Health and Welfare and the Commission on Student Safety, Alcohol and Campus Life. She is a member of Penn’s Task Force on a Safe and Responsible Campus Community, and she helped lead Penn’s decennial reaccreditation process for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. In addition, she oversees a host of other essential Penn offices, including the Office of Institutional Research and Analysis, Almanac, the Office of the Ombudsman and the University Archives and Records Center.

Before returning to Penn in 2004 to work in the President’s Office, she held a series of progressively responsible positions at Princeton University. Prior to that, she served as director of Penn’s Office of Affirmative Action, the assistant director of the Opportunity Development Center at Vanderbilt University, and an attorney in private practice. She is chair of the Board of Directors of the Women’s Law Project, a member of the Board of the Philadelphia Education Fund, an ex-officio member of the Board of Overseers for the Annenberg Performing Arts Center, a member of the Board of Visitors of Davidson College, and an honorary trustee of the McCarter Theatre Center.