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Doug Thompson appointed inaugural executive director of diversity and engagement

Doug Thompson, current vice president for equity and inclusion at Gustavus Adolphus College, has been appointed as the inaugural executive director of diversity and engagement in the University of Notre Dame’s Division of Student Affairs, effective July 1.
Doug Thompson poses in front of a landscape background and wears a dark blue blazer over a light blue shirt with a striped tie.
Doug Thompson

Doug Thompson, current vice president for equity and inclusion at Gustavus Adolphus College, has been appointed as the inaugural executive director of diversity and engagement in the University of Notre Dame’s Division of Student Affairs, effective July 1.

In this role, Thompson will oversee the newly established Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in addition to Multicultural Student Programs and Services, the Gender Relations Center and the Office of Student Enrichment. As executive director, Thompson will also lead the division’s efforts in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in the context of the University’s Catholic, Holy Cross mission. Additionally, Thompson will establish a sixth unit for Diversity and Engagement within the Division of Student Affairs to nurture belonging and inclusion among all students while further engaging underrepresented voices throughout the Notre Dame community. This new unit will also complement the existing work in Campus Ministry, Career and Professional Development, Residential Life, Student Development and Student Health and Wellness.

“I look forward to Doug sharing his extensive experience in higher education and his gifts for enacting meaningful change across multiple student-facing areas with the Notre Dame community,” said Rev. Gerard Olinger, C.S.C., vice president for student affairs. “His demonstrated leadership in diversity, equity and inclusion, and his clear appreciation for and ability to represent how our work flows from our Catholic, Holy Cross character and identity, is inspiring and exciting for our students, the division and the University alike.”

Thompson has nearly 20 years of experience in higher education administration in areas such as diversity, equity and inclusion; student affairs; academic advising; and enrollment management. As the inaugural vice president for equity and inclusion at Gustavus Adolphus College, Thompson works as the chief strategist for diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging and racial justice efforts, and supervises a team of professionals within the Center for Inclusive Excellence, the Center for International and Cultural Education and the Academic Support Center. He also chairs the President’s Council on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and leads the college’s Bias Response Team.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing from Southeastern Louisiana University, his master’s degree in strategic communication and leadership from Seton Hall University and his doctoral degree in leadership for the advancement of learning and service from Cardinal Stritch University.

Prior to Gustavus, Thompson served as the associate dean of students at the Dougherty Family College at the University of St. Thomas and the assistant dean for equity and diversity at the University of West Florida.

Thompson will soon relocate to South Bend with his wife and children.

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