Brighid Dwyer Named Inaugural Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the School of Arts & Sciences

 Brighid Dwyer

Steven J. Fluharty, Dean and Thomas S. Gates, Jr. Professor of Psychology, Pharmacology, and Neuroscience, announced Dr. Brighid Dwyer will serve as the inaugural Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the School of Arts & Sciences, effective December 6. She will join Penn from Princeton University, where she has served as Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion in the Office of the Vice President for Campus Life since 2018.

“The depth of Brighid’s experience makes her an outstanding leader, partner, and guide for our community as we continue to work together to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in our school,” says Fluharty. In this new role, Dwyer will provide leadership in pursuit of the School’s core commitments to achieving and maintaining excellence through diversity, including those articulated in the SAS Inclusion and Anti-Racism Initiatives published last year. She and the new School Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion that she is charged with establishing will serve the entire School community, including faculty, students, postdoctoral fellows, and staff.

"I am thrilled to join the Penn community to support and strengthen the great work already underway. This is a really exciting time to join Penn as the University and School deepen commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” says Dwyer. “I look forward to learning from my colleagues and creating meaningful partnerships that will positively shape the experiences of students, faculty, staff, and postdoctoral fellows. I am so excited to become a part of this community."

Dwyer brings to Penn twenty years of experience as a practitioner, scholar, and teacher addressing issues of equity in higher education. At Princeton, she has worked with a wide range of campus partners to develop and implement strategies and programs that promote an inclusive community. She developed a variety of special curricula and workshops primarily for students, to enhance their learning and capacity to engage in thoughtful dialogue on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as programming to deepen diversity competencies tailored for faculty, students, and staff. She also supervised Princeton’s Women’s Center and LGBT Center. Prior to Princeton, Dwyer served at Villanova University, where she was Director of the Program on Intergroup Relations and Assistant Director in the Center for Multicultural Affairs.

Since 2018, Dwyer has served as a faculty affiliate and curriculum developer at the Race and Equity Center and Equity Institutes at the University of Southern California. At Villanova she was an assistant professor in the Department of Education and Counseling and Department of Communication, and an adjunct faculty member in those departments and the Center for Peace and Justice Education and College of Professional Studies. She has also taught at Delaware County Community College in the Public Service and Social Science Division.  

Dwyer is Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Difficult Dialogues National Resource Center. She received her undergraduate degree in sociology from UCLA and a Ph.D. from the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan. 

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