Yale School of Medicine is pleased to announce Karina N. Gonzalez Herrera, PhD, will join the institution as Associate Dean for the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (ODEI) effective June 1, 2023. Dr. Gonzalez Herrera comes to Yale with a wealth of experience in diversity, equity, and inclusion work, and an impressive academic background in biological and biomedical sciences.
Gonzalez Herrera comes to Yale after most recently operating as Director of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging (EDIB) in the Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) and in the Division of Medical Sciences based at Harvard Medical School. There, she oversaw members of the Griffin GSAS EDIB team and was responsible for working in partnership with faculty, students, and staff to plan and develop strategies to support equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging for graduate programs at Harvard. Gonzalez Herrera developed and directed the GSAS Life Sciences Summer Institute, a pre-matriculation program with the goal of easing the transition into graduate school for entering PhD students. Gonzalez Herrera co-directed and helped to expand the Summer Honors Undergraduate Research Program (SHURP), as well as the Research Scholar Initiative (RSI) post-baccalaureate program at Harvard. She serves as an academic advisor to current graduate students, SHURP, and RSI participants. In addition to leading and coordinating recruitment efforts, Gonzalez Herrera also focused on graduate student support through implementation of DEI workshops for faculty, students, and staff, in partnership with graduate student diversity and inclusion fellows. She has served as an advisor and supported multiple graduate student affinity groups.
Gonzalez Herrera received her PhD in Biological and Biomedical Sciences from Harvard University in 2016, where she was also an active member of the Minority Biomedical Scientists of Harvard student group and participated in the Harvard Latino Leadership Initiative. Prior to her time at Harvard, she completed her Master of Science in Biological Sciences at California State University San Marcos in 2010, and her Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (with a minor in Chemistry) at the same institution in 2008, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude.
Throughout her academic career, Gonzalez Herrera has been committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM fields. She has been recognized for her work with several prestigious awards, including a National Institutes of Health Pre-doctoral Fellowship, the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, the Harvard Medical School Sharon P. Clayborne Staff Diversity Award, and was named as an inspiring Hispanic/Latinx scientist in America in a Cell Mentor article in 2020. She has also served as a mentor and advocate for underrepresented students in science, and has been an active member of several diversity and inclusion committees and organizations.
As the Associate Dean for ODEI at Yale School of Medicine, Gonzalez Herrera will lead the implementation and tracking of outcomes of the student section of the Diversity Strategic plan. She will also work closely with leadership and other stakeholders across the institution to develop and implement strategies to recruit and retain diverse biological and biomedical sciences (BBS) graduate student learners.
"We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Gonzalez Herrera to Yale School of Medicine," said Darin Latimore, MD, Deputy Dean and Chief Diversity Officer. "Her impressive academic background and deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion make her the perfect fit for this critical role. I look forward to working with her on transformative strategies and tactics designed to create the inclusive environment that all members of Yale School of Medicine deserve.”
"I am looking forward to working closely with Dr. Darin Latimore, his amazing team, and the Yale School of Medicine community, towards continuing to make progress in making Yale a leader in diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Dr. Gonzalez Herrera. “I am humbled and honored by the opportunity to work with members of the Yale community to develop new DEI strategies and to support the numerous effective initiatives led by Dr. Latimore's team."
About the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) at Yale School of Medicine is committed to creating a welcoming, inclusive, and supportive environment for all members of the school community. ODEI works to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of the school's operations, including student recruitment and retention, faculty and staff hiring and development, and pathway programs designed to elevate the next generation of physicians and scientists. ODEI also collaborates with other departments and organizations within the school and across the university to provide support and resources to historically marginalized, minoritized and stigmatized groups. Through its work, ODEI aims to foster a community that values and celebrates diversity in all its forms, and to ensure that all members of the school community have the opportunity to thrive and succeed.