The Position


The chief diversity officer (CDO) will serve as chief architect of CUFO’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategy. Reporting to the executive vice president for university facilities and operations, and serving as a member of the executive team, the CDO will provide high-level strategic vision, pragmatic expert counsel, and effective strategy execution with the goal of ensuring that CUFO lives out its stated commitment to further diversify all levels of its staff and create a more equitable and inclusive workplace for all.

This inaugural CDO will work collaboratively with executive and senior leaders, department heads, and other stakeholders to create CUFO’s DEI strategic framework from the ground up. The CDO will lead efforts to conceptualize, implement, and evaluate initiatives, policies, programs, and events that advance DEI across the organization; create sustainable structures that both educate and promote DEI as core values and strategic commitments; strengthen the employee experience and improve workplace climate across all departments; develop metrics to track and measure DEI progress and outcomes; establish systems of responsibility and evaluation; and partner with CUFO’s Equity and Inclusion Council and leaders across Columbia to share best practices, coordinate efforts, and guide CUFO toward a more inclusive future. The CDO will be supported by the human resources, financial, and technological resources needed to ensure a successful start-up and delivery of desired outcomes.


This is an exceptional opportunity for a passionate and visionary administrator whose track record of designing, developing, and implementing successful initiatives in mission-driven organizations has prepared them to lead CUFO’s efforts to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. CUFO also welcomes candidates with relevant experience in other settings whose intellectual vitality, collegiality, transferable skills, and proven effectiveness in complex environments indicate a capacity to serve CUFO well as its inaugural chief diversity officer.

Minimum requirements include a bachelor’s degree and eight years of senior management experience. The ideal candidate will bring a deep personal and professional commitment to DEI, an excellent command of DEI issues and best practices, proven ability to serve as a thought leader and strategist, and interest in working in a start-up phase. They will also demonstrate the ability to lead change and facilitate dialogue with a wide range of stakeholders; expertise in the areas of strategic planning, assessment, and evidence-based decision-making; superb listening and influencing skills; ability to cultivate and sustain trust and credibility with colleagues; experience working with employees at all levels in a unionized environment; and the emotional intelligence, gravitas, and resilience to thrive in a complex and geographically dispersed organization.

While no single candidate will likely have all the ideal qualifications and characteristics, the successful candidate will possess many of the following attributes deemed desirable by members of the CUFO community:

  • A deep personal and professional commitment to DEI and developing inclusive workplaces.
  • A record of imaginative and verifiable success that will inspire and earn the confidence of all constituents.
  • A proven ability to serve as a senior officer and be a forward-thinking problem-solver who evaluates risk and continually anticipates opportunities.
  • Demonstrated cross-cultural competencies and the ability to engage and build relationships to foster a sense of community and belonging.
  • Experience guiding the implementation of an overarching plan for inclusive excellence, establishing metrics, measuring progress, and adapting as necessary.
  • Ability to advocate for and engage with staff at all levels in ways that afford them voice and visibility and reinforce among them a sense of value and belonging.
  • Experience in a complex organization with a unionized environment.
  • Ability to model a commitment to personal growth and development and to nurturing the talents of others through strong mentoring, coaching, and team building.
  • Good political acumen with the ability to connect with a diverse network of internal constituencies and external stakeholders through excellent interpersonal, listening, and communication skills.
  • The highest degree of personal and professional ethics and integrity.
  • Experience in conflict resolution, facilitating difficult conversations, and responding to politically charged or sensitive situations with tact and diplomacy.
  • Emotional intelligence, personal energy, and fortitude needed to effect substantial and sustainable change.


The person appointed to this position will serve as CUFO’s first-ever chief diversity officer. With assistance from Spelman Johnson, the university is conducting an aggressive nationwide search for this key leadership position. The university expects to make an appointment in October 2023, and the successful candidate will negotiate a mutually agreeable start date with the executive vice president for facilities and operations.


The chief diversity officer will be expected to address the following opportunities and challenges:

  • Work collaboratively with executive and senior leaders, department heads, and other stakeholders to create CUFO’s DEI strategic framework from the ground up.
  • Create and lead an office of diversity, equity, and inclusion that will serve as an organizational hub for inclusive excellence.
  • Lead efforts to conceptualize, implement, and evaluate initiatives, policies, programs, and events that advance DEI across the organization.
  • Create programs and sustainable structures that educate and promote DEI as core values and strategic commitments.
  • Assist CUFO’s executive and senior staff in establishing systems of responsibility and evaluation for the organization’s DEI efforts.
  • Strengthen the employee experience and improve the workplace climate across all departments.
  • Oversee CUFO’s Equity and Inclusion Council and partner with leaders across Columbia to share best practices, coordinate efforts, and guide CUFO toward a more inclusive future.


Soon after joining the CUFO community, the CDO will work directly with Executive Vice President David M. Greenberg to identify specific quantitative and qualitative measures of success and their timetables. The following general metrics for the position are envisioned currently:

  • Good working relationships are established with executive and senior leaders, department heads, and other stakeholders.
  • An office of diversity, equity, and inclusion has been established.
  • A strategic vision and executable, adaptable framework have been created to advance CUFO’s commitment to be a diverse community fully committed to the principles of equity, fairness, and inclusive excellence.
  • There has been significant progress toward developing and implementing systems of responsibility and assessment using data-driven metrics to measure progress toward DEI goals.
  • The CDO provides effective leadership and guidance for the Inclusion and Equity Council and employee resource groups.

Institution & Location


Columbia University Facilities and Operations is a multi-department organization that supports the core mission of the university by maintaining a safe, beautiful, and functional campus environment, and providing services and spaces for both academic life and activities outside the classroom. Facilities and Operations is responsible for the safety, preservation, and maintenance of Columbia’s real estate portfolio. It provides space planning; oversight of new building design and construction; renovation, repair, and restoration of existing spaces; operations and maintenance of buildings and grounds; and management of the university apartment housing inventory and campus public safety. Within campus, Facilities and Operations also serves the community through the operation of its residential and retail dining program, event catering and venue management, undergraduate residence halls, student center and bookstore, and sustainability engagement.

Facilities and Operations encompasses the following core departments: Campus Services, Finance and Administration, Manhattanville Development, Operations, Planning and Capital Project Management, Public Safety, Real Estate, Residential, Strategic Communications, and University Supplier Diversity.

As Columbia’s largest administrative division with over 2,000 employees, CUFO manages approximately 300 buildings and 15.8 million gross square feet of facilities and has an operating and capital budget in excess of $850 million per year.

Facilities and Operations employs members of six different unions, with a budgeted headcount of 1,958 employees and $118 million in wages and benefits.

Vision and Values

Organizational Chart


David M. Greenberg – Executive Vice President for University Facilities and Operations

David M. Greenberg leads a team responsible for new building design and construction, campus public safety, campus services for students, building and grounds maintenance for academic and administrative departments, oversight of Manhattanville construction, and the university’s residential portfolio.

Prior to joining Facilities and Operations, Greenberg served as the first executive director of Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute, an interdisciplinary neuroscience research and discovery center that brought together 1,000 scientists in a state-of-the-art engine of discovery based at the Jerome L. Greene Science Center. As the Institute’s senior non-academic and chief operating officer, he was responsible for creating and managing the administrative infrastructure and overseeing finance, human resources, information technology, communications, and building operations while working closely with co-directors Richard Axel and Eric Kandel, who are responsible for setting the Institute’s scientific vision and mission. Greenberg continues to provide strategic and operational oversight of the Institute.

Greenberg, formerly vice president of finance and administration and chief administrative officer at Columbia Facilities, has worked at the university since 2006.

Before coming to Columbia, Greenberg worked as associate vice president and chief financial officer at the Georgetown University Law Center and served in several senior posts in New York City government, including the Department of Citywide Administrative Services and the Office of Management and Budget.

Greenberg holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester, a master of public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, and a master of construction administration from Columbia University.



Columbia University in the City of New York is a world-class research institution with a thriving liberal arts program that prioritizes university-wide and cross-disciplinary work in all fields. Columbia comprises four campuses, three undergraduate schools, 14 graduate and professional schools, a world-renowned medical center, four affiliated colleges and seminaries, 17 libraries, nearly 200 research centers and institutes, and nine global centers in Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America. As a vital part of New York, the university’s research and teaching are enhanced by the vast resources of one of the world’s greatest cities. Columbia is an intellectual community of over 50,000 students, faculty, and staff that is working continually to expand its mission of teaching, research, patient care, and public service.

Mission Statement

Students, Faculty, and Staff

Diversity Statement

Columbia is dedicated to increasing diversity in its workforce, its student body, and its educational programs. Achieving continued academic excellence and creating a vibrant university community require nothing less.

Both to prepare students for citizenship in a pluralistic world and to keep Columbia at the forefront of knowledge, the university seeks to recognize and draw upon the talents of a diverse range of outstanding faculty, research officers, staff, and students and to foster the free exploration and expression of differing ideas, beliefs, and perspectives through scholarly inquiry and civil discourse. In developing its academic programs, Columbia furthers the thoughtful examination of cultural distinctions by developing curricula that prepare students to be responsible members of diverse societies.

In fulfilling its mission to advance diversity at the university, Columbia seeks to hire, retain, and promote exceptionally talented women and men from different racial, cultural, economic, and ethnic backgrounds, regardless of their sexual orientation or disability status. Through effective and fully compliant affirmative action and equal opportunity policies, Columbia strives to recruit members of groups traditionally underrepresented in American higher education and to increase the number of minority and women candidates in its graduate and professional programs.

Columbia’s Commitment to Diversity

Institutional Leadership

Nemat “Minouche” Shafik, President

Nemat “Minouche” Shafik became the 20th president of Columbia University on July 1, 2023. She is a distinguished economist who for more than three decades has served in senior leadership roles across a range of prominent international and academic institutions.

Shafik was born in Alexandria, Egypt. When she was four years old, her family fled the country during the political and economic upheaval of the mid-1960s. Her father, a scientist, found work in the United States, where he had done his PhD. Minouche and her sister attended numerous schools in Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina, and she graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst with a BA in economics and politics in 1983. She was awarded an MS in economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in 1986, followed by a PhD in economics from St Antony’s College, Oxford University, in 1989.

Following her Oxford years, Shafik began her career at the World Bank. By age 36, she had become the bank’s youngest-ever vice president. During the early 2000s, she held academic appointments at the Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania and the economics department at Georgetown University. In 2008, she was appointed permanent secretary of the UK’s Department for International Development, where she led an overhaul in British foreign aid. Next, she served as deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund and then as deputy governor of the Bank of England, where she sat on all the monetary, financial, and prudential policy committees and was responsible for a balance sheet of over £500 billion (approximately $605 billion). In 2017, she returned to academia as president of the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Learn more about the president here.



Columbia University offers a full range of benefits to help employees stay healthy, build long-term financial security for retirement, and meet educational goals. Explore the health and welfare, tax savings, tuition, well-being, and voluntary benefits options available here.

Application & Nomination

Columbia University has retained Spelman Johnson to assist with this search. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter.

Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email

Confidential inquiries and nominations should be directed to Jim Norfleet, Practice Leader and Senior Consultant, at

The annual salary range for this position is $225,000 – $250,000. The salary of the finalist selected for this role will be set based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to departmental budgets, qualifications, experience, education, licenses, specialty, and training. The above hiring range represents the university’s good faith and reasonable estimate of the range of possible compensation at the time of posting.

Visit the Columbia University website at

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents