Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion


J. Spenser Darden (He/They) joins the leadership of the Sanford School of Public Policy as the inaugural Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion. He has championed diversity and inclusive excellence in higher education for nearly a decade, leading with passion, advocating empathy, and prioritizing accountability, measurables, and transparency. In this role, Spenser is responsible for collaborating with key partners - faculty, staff, students, and alumni -  internally and externally to ensure the Sanford School becomes a diverse community that prepares leaders to engage policy problems with a nuanced understanding of systemic oppression and structural inequity. Previously, Spenser served as the inaugural Director for Diversity Initiatives and Community Engagement in the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at West Virginia University. Spenser received his M.A. in Higher Education from the University of Arizona and his B.S. in Sport & Exercise Psychology from West Virginia University.