LOS ANGELES — Emelyn A. dela Peña, a standard-bearer in higher education social justice leadership, will be Loyola Marymount University’s next vice president for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the university announced today.
Vice President dela Peña brings to LMU her 26 years of experience in higher education and a focus in Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion scholarship and practice. Most recently, she served as associate vice provost for Inclusion, Community and Integrative Learning at Stanford University, a post she has held since 2019.
“VP dela Peña’s leadership in diversity and social justice work, from an intersectional perspective, enables her to encounter understanding across multiple identities and experiences while remaining steadfast to anti-racist principles,” said LMU President Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D. “Her commitment to LMU’s mission and values will embolden our efforts as we seek to create the world we want to live in.”
At Stanford, dela Peña embedded ethical leadership and equity principles in student engagement and transformed key policies and practices in student affairs. She also led campus-wide efforts to support DEI programs and initiatives that build awareness, capacity building, response, and healing, and drove committee work that addressed campus climate, promotion, and recruitment of diverse staff.
Before joining Stanford, VP dela Peña was the inaugural associate vice chancellor for Student Affairs and dean of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion at Washington University in St. Louis, where she partnered with staff and faculty colleagues to embed DEI practices throughout the university and develop coursework that supports the university’s mission around diversity and inclusion.
Prior to that, she served as the inaugural assistant dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and assistant dean of Student Life at Harvard College, where she advised the dean of the college and dean of students on issues concerning equity and inclusion.
“This position at LMU marks a great opportunity, as the university, like the rest of higher education across the country, recommits itself to supporting diversity, inclusion, equity, and anti-racism,” dela Peña said. “I am excited to build upon the work already begun at LMU and advance the university’s fundamental dedication to social justice within the context of Catholic social teaching.”
Vice President dela Peña’s first day will be Jan. 10, 2022. She was chosen after a nationwide search to replace Vice President Jennifer Abe, who assumed the post in 2020 after serving as interim special assistant to the president.
VP dela Peña earned her Doctor of Education from a joint program through the University of California, San Diego; San Diego State University; and California State University, San Marcos. She earned a master’s degree in postsecondary educational leadership from San Diego State University and a bachelor’s degree in ethnic studies from UC San Diego.
She was honored with the Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Distinction Award, and she was thrice recognized by UC San Diego—in 2001, 2006 and 2010—with its Diversity Champion Award.