AACSB Appoints Christine Clements as Chief Diversity and Inclusion Advocate

New role is dedicated to raising awareness and leading conversations around complex diversity issues.

Tampa, FL, USA—AACSB International (AACSB), the global accrediting body and membership association for business schools today announced the appointment of Christine Clements as chief diversity and inclusion advocate. This new extension to her current role as senior vice president of accreditation and membership services is the latest in the organization’s efforts to create an environment where business schools and industry stakeholders address student and faculty life cycle challenges, and prepare business professionals to lead a more diverse workforce in an ever-changing, dynamic workplace.

Through its conferences, seminars, research, digital and print publications, and serving as a resource for key industry trends and analysis, AACSB is well positioned to help business schools around the world address diversity as part of their commitment to social responsibility and creating future business and community leaders. AACSB also sets an industry standard for diversity and inclusion by requiring schools that seek its highly sought after accreditation to demonstrate a commitment to “address, engage, and respond to current and emerging corporate social responsibility issues [such as diversity] through its policies, procedures, curricula, research, and/or outreach activities.”

“Diversity serves as a central component to our mission and values, and we are committed to expanding the organization’s leadership role in advancing new concepts, ideas, and mindsets,” said Thomas R. Robinson, president and chief executive officer of AACSB. “We are excited to announce this new role, and look forward to providing our membership with additional resources for fostering change along all lines of the diversity continuum. Chris Clements’ background provides the crucial level of expertise, experience, and knowledge that AACSB needs to carry this important initiative forward—within and outside of the management education sphere.”

The new position will supplement Clements’ current work as senior vice president of accreditation and member services at AACSB, and as a member of the organization’s leadership team. She previously served as dean of the College of Business and Economics at The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater for nearly 14 years where she co-chaired the Chancellor’s Committee on Inclusive Excellence (IE); developed funding to support programs focused on the retention and graduation of multicultural students in business majors; and instituted the first college-level IE committee dedicated to researching and discussing college diversity issues.

“Diversity on a global scale is a complex, culturally embedded concept rooted within historical traditions, legislative and regulatory concepts, economic conditions, ethnicity, gender, orientation, and opinion,” said Clements. “I am proud to collaborate with our member schools as they prepare their students for future success in a complex business environment; participate in dialogue on inclusion; and demonstrate their commitment to supporting the needs of a more diverse student population and workforce.”

In her new role as diversity and inclusion advocate, Clements will oversee, communicate, and promote business school diversity initiatives and schools’ efforts to adopt and implement best practices; advocate for innovative business school curricula that embraces diverse needs and viewpoints; consult with human resources on personnel issues; create and oversee training and events focused on diversity and inclusion; and serve as a resource to business schools and industry leaders on emerging trends and topics.

Since its establishment in 1916, AACSB has worked to advance diversity and inclusion issues within the organization, its member schools and the global business community through initiatives such as The PhD Project, the Women Administrators in Management Education Affinity group, the PhD Pipeline program and, most recently, with its Vision initiative, which challenges global business schools to examine their relationship to society, the business community, and the higher education landscape.