University of Washington School of Public Health

UW SPH News: UW SPH Announces Inaugural Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

UW SPH Announces Inaugural Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion


Victoria Gardner, EdD, MEd, has been named the UW School of Public Health’s inaugural Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and will serve as the School’s Chief Diversity Officer. She began March 1.

Victoria Gardner - photo by Adora Concepcion

“This is a critical focus for the School,” said Interim Dean Joel Kaufman. “The new position grew out of recommendations from students, staff and faculty during many conversations about race and equity over the last two years.”

Gardner, who goes by she and they pronouns, has the passion, proven impact and over 25 years of experience to lead the School in efforts to create a more welcoming and inclusive environment, Kaufman said.

As former director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs at the UW School of Medicine, Gardner worked to create innovative curriculum that was relevant to patients’ needs, helped faculty learn how to teach students from diverse backgrounds, and provided a range of cultural proficiency and equity activities for students, faculty and staff. She also has a background in community-based participatory research.

Among her many accomplishments, Gardner has worked as a financial aid counselor at the UW and has served as a research coordinator for the Seattle Indian Health Board. She earned her EdD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in 2009 from the UW, an MA in Educational Communications from the UW in 1985, and a BA in Communication from the University of the Philippines.

Gardner is looking forward to conducting listening sessions with students, staff and faculty to open the lines of communication, build relationships and maximize connections to begin operationalizing equity, diversity and inclusion principles in the day-to-day life of SPH. A self-admitted lifelong learner, she will be working with faculty on equity issues on a multitude of levels – through individual and team-based professional development, curriculum development, and effective engagement with students and communities.

“I’m super excited because I know it’s a very important time for the School of Public Health to engage in this work,” Gardner said.  The School is committed to upholding equity, diversity and inclusion as core values.

Add Dean Kaufman: “Please join me in welcoming Dr. Gardner to the School of Public Health, and to our continued efforts in creating a place where all students, staff and faculty can grow, thrive, and contribute to the well-being of all the communities we serve.”

Read Victoria Gardner's bio