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Search committee formed to find new leader for Northwestern Office of Equity

Northwestern University announced today (May 7) the formation of a search committee to identify the next leader of the Office of Equity. The office will be led by either an Associate or Assistant Vice President. Colleen Johnston currently serves as Interim Assistant Vice President of the Office of Equity.

The search committee is chaired by Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, Frances Willard Professor of Human Development and Social Policy and Vice Provost for Academics. The committee, including representatives from the student body, staff and faculty, will identify and recommend a slate of candidates to the provost. 

The Office of Equity works to create a culture of access, belonging and accountability for all Northwestern community members. That includes supporting those impacted by discrimination or harassment and providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities. 

The search committee has begun its work and will continue to engage with the Northwestern community about its priorities for this office and its leader. Members of the Northwestern community are invited to share feedback, submit questions and recommend candidates by contacting the search committee at

Additional information and a position description can be found on the search committee website.

Search committee 

The search committee is comprised of the following individuals selected from schools, departments and units around the University.

  • Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, Chair, Vice Provost for Academics, Office of the Provost; Frances Willard Professor of Human Development and Social Policy, School of Education and Social Policy
  • Spencer Colton, undergraduate student, McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, Class of 2021; Chair, Technology Committee, Associated Student Government
  • Manuel Cuevas-Trisán, Vice President for Human Resources
  • Luke Figora, Senior Associate Vice President and Chief Risk & Compliance Officer, Office of Compliance, Audit, and Advisory Services
  • Celina Flowers, Assistant Provost for Faculty, Office of the Provost
  • Priya Harjani, Associate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Office of General Counsel
  • Lois Hedman, Associate Professor, Physical Therapy and Human Movement Science, Feinberg School of Medicine; President, Faculty Senate
  • Jake Julia, Vice Provost for Administration and Chief of Staff, Office of the Provost
  • Julie Payne-Kirchmeier, Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Ariel Leonard, fourth-year Ph.D. student, Chemistry Department; President, Graduate Student Association
  • Sekile Nzinga, Interim Associate Provost and Chief Diversity Officer, Office of the Provost; director, Women’s Center
  • Joan Trimuel, Director, Compliance, Feinberg School of Medicine

Search committee staff

  • Andrea Bueschel, Associate Provost for Strategy and Policy, Office of the Provost
  • Mearah Quinn-Brauner, Director for Strategy and Policy, Office of the Provost
  • Samantha Haevers, Program Coordinator, Office of the Provost

Office of Equity

Northwestern University is committed to fostering an environment in which all members of our community are free from discrimination and harassment — including sexual misconduct. The Office of Equity supports that mission. Such conduct violates the values of Northwestern and disrupts the living, learning and working environment for students, faculty, staff and other community members. 

The University prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, parental status, marital status, age, disability, citizenship status, veteran status, genetic information or any other classification protected by law in matters of admissions, employment, housing or in the educational programs or activities it operates.

For Journalists: view the news release for media contacts