Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Commission

Columbia Engineering is committed to advancing and nurturing a diverse, equitable and inclusive climate for all faculty, students, and staff. Driven by our core mission, Engineering for Humanity, we believe that true innovation is only possible when the field of engineering draws on the talents, perspectives, creativity and intellectual richness of a diverse community. As such, the School prioritizes creating avenues for equitable participation from all groups, especially those historically under-represented in our disciplines.

Commission Mandate

The commission is charged to engage with all constituents in the School of Engineering and Applied Science to identify challenges and opportunities in DEI and devise strategies and an action plan for advancing the SEAS DEI mission in research, education and community impact.

Four Priority Areas

Faculty Recruiting and Pipeline

The faculty pipeline, recruiting, and mentoring group is focused on cultivating inclusivity in three primary areas: the faculty pipeline, active search practices, and on-going support for recruitment and retention efforts. We seek to identify current resources as well as recommend new initiatives and areas for growth based on best practices at Columbia and peer institutions. Fostering a diverse and equitable faculty community is imperative to producing ground-breaking research, leading improvements in engineering and applied science teaching and learning, and modeling Columbia Engineering’s mission of Engineering for Humanity.

Student Recruiting and Pipeline

The mission of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Columbia University is to educate a diverse student population. To fulfill its mission in achieving academic excellence and cultivating a vibrant and welcoming environment on campus, our goal is to recruit, select, yield and support students of underrepresented backgrounds to enable their long term success.


Our group's mission is to identify needs and opportunities to create an inclusive environment and welcoming, supportive climate for diverse students, faculty, researchers and staff at Columbia Engineering. We believe that cultivating such a climate at Columbia Engineering, in addition to being consistent with our values, is essential for the retention and long-term success of members of the university community from underrepresented groups. We will identify resources currently available and accessible to the different constituencies, and develop recommendations for future actions based on this assessment, best practices across campus and at peer institutions, and additional feedback from cohorts.

Integration into Education, Research, Innovation

This group aspires to intentionally introduce diversity, equity and inclusion issues into the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science’s (FFSEAS’) education, research, innovation, and outreach activities. We propose to do this by:

  1. Creating explicit, tangible, and validated materials on training faculty, staff, and students on integration of DEI into practice.
  2. Conducting rigorous assessment and evaluation of diversity to demonstrate their efficacy and to promote continuous improvement.
  3. Creating incentive and accountability structures to promote active engagement, beyond just awareness, with DEI by students, faculty, and staff.

Commission Co-Chairs

Shih-Fu Chang
Senior Executive Vice Dean, SEAS, Richard Dicker Professor
Helen H. Lu

Chair for Faculty Promotion, Tenure, and Advancement, SEAS

Percy K. and Vida L. W. Hudson Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Commission Members

Diana Carranza
SEAS, Class of 2021, Chemical Engineering, ESC
Augustin Chaintreau
Associate Professor of Computer Science
Pam Graney
Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Biomedical Engineering
Christine Hendon
Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering
Aaron Kyle
Senior Lecturer in Discipline of Biomedical Engineering
Qiao Lin
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Hoe Ling
Professor of Civil Engineering
Sai Mali Ananth
Graduate Student in Operations Research, SEAS, EGSC
Faye McNeill
Professor of Chemical Engineering and of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Aimee Moses
Graduate Student in Applied Mathematics, SEAS, EGSC
Alissa Park
Lenfest Earth Institute Associate Professor of Climate Change, Dept Earth & Environmental Eng
Cliff Stein
Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research and of Computer Science
Elizabeth Strauss
Associate Director, Professional Development and Leadership, SEAS
Wendy Villa
Director of Finance and Administration, Dept of Electrical Engineering
Renata Wentzcovitch
Professor of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics

Admin Groups

Cecily Castle
Leadership Giving Officer, SEAS
Mindy Farabee
Associate Director of Communications, SEAS
Gabby Gannon
Director of Graduate Admissions, SEAS
Cristen Kromm
Dean of Undergraduate Student Life, Columbia College and Columbia Engineering
Joanna May
Associate Dean and Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Columbia University
Neil McClure

Sr. Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs and Chief Administrative Officer, SEAS
Barclay Morrison

Vice Dean of Undergraduate Programs, SEAS; Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Kwame Osei-Sarfo
Bridge to the Ph.D. Program in STEM, SEAS/Office of Faculty Advancement
Andrew Plaa
Dean of Advising, Columbia College and Columbia Engineering

Ex Officio Members

Mary Boyce

Dean of SEAS, Morris A. and Alma Schapiro Professor
Soulaymane Kachani

Senior Vice Dean, SEAS; Vice Provost for Teaching, Learning, and Innovation