Chief Diversity Officer, Special Assistant to the President for Diversity, and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs
Rafael Zapata began his tenure as Fordham University’s first Chief Diversity Officer, Special Assistant to the President for Diversity, and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs on January 16, 2018. His charge is to work collaboratively across the University and local communities to assess and enhance Fordham’s institutional infrastructure to foster diversity, equity, inclusion, and academic excellence, and implement the diversity action plan outlined by President Fr. McShane's in November 2018. Early initiatives will focus on the support and strategic development of structures, policies and practices that promote racial justice, gender equity, disability access and full participation in the life of the university among all members the Fordham community.
Rafael began his career at New York University, then moved on to Swarthmore College, before joining Providence College in January 2012 as their inaugural Associate Vice President for Institutional Diversity. Major initiatives focused on enhancing campus climate, faculty diversity, and the establishment of a multipurpose learning and community center focused on arts, culture and social justice. A native New Yorker of Puerto Rican descent, Rafael attended Rice High School in Harlem. He holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Iona College, a master’s degree in sociology at Arizona State University, and spent three years in the doctoral program in sociology at the University of Pennsylvania.