Baruch College Names Education Leader Elliott Dawes As Executive Chief Diversity Officer

Baruch College announced the appointment of Elliott Dawes, JD, LLM, as Executive Chief Diversity Officer, effective August 2, 2021.

In this position, he will lead Baruch’s Office of Diversity, Compliance, and Equity Initiatives and serve as the College’s Title IX Coordinator, Section 504/ADA Coordinator, and Sexual Harassment Prevention Coordinator.

“Elliott Dawes—a leader and a champion in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion—joins us at a pivotal moment as we emerge from the pandemic and as our nation continues to grapple with deep-rooted issues of equality, racial justice, and social justice. In my first year as Baruch’s president, I have reaffirmed our commitment to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for all members of our community. Mr. Dawes will be a close partner as we work to design, implement, and assess a comprehensive strategy for institutional transformation.”

In an email to the Baruch College community, President S. David Wu said, “Elliott Dawes—a leader and a champion in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion—joins us at a pivotal moment as we emerge from the pandemic and as our nation continues to grapple with deep-rooted issues of equality, racial justice, and social justice. In my first year as Baruch’s president, I have reaffirmed our commitment to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for all members of our community. Mr. Dawes will be a close partner as we work to design, implement, and assess a comprehensive strategy for institutional transformation.”


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Upon accepting the position, Mr. Dawes said, “I am grateful for this wonderful opportunity to join President David Wu’s leadership team and the Baruch College community. During the upcoming 2021-22 academic year, I hope to listen, learn, and work with all members of the Baruch College community to advance the College’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

An Educator, Civil Rights Lawyer, and Higher Ed Leader

Mr. Dawes, who is currently the Chief Diversity Officer for Institutional Equity and Inclusion at SUNY Empire State College (ESC), has varied experience as an educator, civil rights attorney, and higher education administrator.

Prior to his role at ESC, he served as the University Director of The City University of New York Black Male Initiative (CUNY BMI). Before his impactful work with CUNY BMI, he was the Assistant Dean for Multicultural Affairs at the Hofstra University School of Law.

A lifelong learner, Mr. Dawes earned a BA in government and Africana studies from Cornell University in 1988; a JD degree in 1992 from the New York University School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden-Snow Scholar, a Center for International Studies Junior Fellow, and an editor of the New York University Review of Law & Social Change; and a LLM from Columbia Law School in 2015.

After NYU Law, he clerked for two federal judges on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Thereafter, he worked as a litigation associate at a large NYC law firm and later served as a trial attorney in the Educational Opportunities Litigation Section, Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Mr. Dawes has also worked as an educator. For five years, he was an associate professor in the Department of African American Studies at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY and as a NYC Teaching Fellow, taught social studies classes to students enrolled in a law academy program at a large Brooklyn high school. He is admitted to the New York State Bar, Second Department.

A Collaborative Leadership Team for Fall 2021

With the recent appointment of Dr. Linda Essig as Provost and Senior VP for Academic Affairs and now Mr. Elliott Dawes as Baruch’s new Executive Chief Diversity Officer, Baruch College is moving into the 2021–22 Academic Year with a strong and collaborative leadership team.

President Wu concluded his announcement of Mr. Dawes’ appointment with a strong call for action directed to the entire Baruch community: “Please join me in welcoming Elliott Dawes. Let us all commit to supporting him as we transform Baruch’s campus and culture and strive to exemplify excellence in diversity, equity, and inclusion for institutions of higher education nationwide.”

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