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Jabbar R. Bennett Named Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion

New leader for University’s diversity and inclusion initiatives and programs

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Jabbar R. Bennett has been named inaugural associate provost for diversity and inclusion at Northwestern University and associate professor of medicine, Provost Daniel Linzer announced today.

Bennett is currently associate dean of the Graduate School, associate dean for diversity and director of the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs in the division of biology and medicine at Brown University. Bennett, who will report to Linzer, will join Northwestern Oct. 1.

A dynamic leader, Bennett brings a deep passion for diversity and inclusion in higher education and pertinent experience creating and implementing sustainable initiatives and programs that support and advance underrepresented faculty, staff and students.

As associate provost, he will chair Northwestern’s Diversity Council and will serve as the senior administrator responsible for leading and coordinating efforts to create a diverse, inclusive and welcoming environment for all Northwestern community members.

“Jabbar Bennett’s experience will build on the University’s current efforts to increase and support faculty, staff, students  and alumni diversity, while also creating new initiatives to make Northwestern a leader in this arena,” Linzer said.

Throughout his career, Bennett has focused on building collaborative approaches to advancing underrepresented groups in higher education. In his current work at Brown, Bennett partners with faculty, staff and department chairs across more than 100 departments and units on issues related to the recruitment, retention, progression and inclusion of underrepresented students, faculty and staff.

Bennett also serves as Brown’s institutional coordinator among various national organizations working to increase the numbers of underrepresented minorities in graduate and medical education. 

In 2010, Bennett launched the Brown Executive Scholars Training Program (BEST) to better equip graduate students for leadership roles in higher education administration.

Before joining Brown in 2009, Bennett was the administrative director of the Office for Multicultural Faculty Careers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. During this time Bennett increased the number of underrepresented minority faculty and trainees at the hospital and engaged medical and undergraduate students in basic, clinical and translational research through creation of the Summer Training in Research and Academic Scholarships (STARS) Program.

Since 2002 Bennett has held faculty appointments at Brown University, Harvard Medical School, Lesley University and Roxbury Community College. 

Bennett received his B.S. in biology and minor in Spanish from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical (A&T) State University, and his Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from Meharry Medical College.  At Meharry he was funded as a National Science Foundation (NSF) Alliance for the Enhancement of Science Education and Technology Graduate Teaching Fellow, and later as a UNCF-Merck Postdoctoral Research Fellow while training in the Department of Pathology at Harvard Medical School.  Bennett is an alumnus of the Massachusetts Education Policy Fellowship Program and the Harvard University Administrative Fellowship Program.

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