Department of Internal Medicine Chair Gary V. Desir, MD, has been appointed as Yale University’s next Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity, effective immediately.
In this new role, he will help guide and support the appointment and development of a diverse and excellent faculty across all schools within Yale.
“This role demonstrates an ongoing commitment from Yale to advance diversity and faculty development efforts across the university. The work to be carried out is well aligned with our ongoing efforts within the Department of Medicine to cultivate an inclusive, collaborative and professional culture that respects individual differences, recognizes and rewards diverse talents, and helps each person reach their full potential,” said Desir.
Desir has long been a champion in these areas. In 2007, he co-founded the Yale School of Medicine (YSM) Minority Organization for Retention and Expansion (MORE), focused on increasing faculty diversity through recruitment and mentoring programs and the development of resources to support minority faculty. Recently, Desir was named co-chair of the President’s Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging, along with Secretary and Vice President for University Life Kim Goff-Crews.
Born in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, Desir was the first person of African descent to be appointed as chair of a department at YSM, a role he has served in since April 2016. He served as interim chair starting in September 2013 after working as chief of medicine at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System.
Desir will continue as chair of the Department of Internal Medicine. In October 2016, Desir and department senior leadership appointed Inginia Genao, MD, as associate chair for diversity and inclusion for the department. With that role in place, the department worked to define its culture and create a mission statement. Programs to train faculty were instituted to improve leadership skills. Vice chairs, associate chairs, section chiefs, and program directors were empowered to become agents of change.
This work has been a cornerstone of the department. Over the past four years, 55% of the department’s faculty appointed or promoted to the rank of professor were women and/or members of minority groups underrepresented in medicine (URiM).
A 1980 graduate of YSM, Desir is married to Deborah Dyett Desir, MD, assistant professor (rheumatology, allergy & immunology). The pair has worked to increase diversity across Yale in the medical, nursing, and related fields and invested in the betterment of the community at large, including hosting an annual gathering at their home for URiM for nearly 25 years.