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Harvard Business School’s first chief diversity and inclusion officer to start in September

Terrill Drake will be Harvard Business School's first chief diversity and inclusion officer.Harvard Business School

Harvard Business School will head into the fall with its first chief diversity and inclusion officer, in a move that establishes a key structure outlined in its plan for long-term racial equity.

Terrill Drake will lead the development of a strategy to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion within the school. One of his key tasks, according to HBS’s racial equity action plan, is to formulate a plan for culture change that will require students, faculty, and staff to sharpen their interpersonal skills.

“I’m excited and humbled to have the opportunity to lead the charge on diversity, equity, and inclusion at Harvard Business School,” Drake said in a press release. “The commitment to improve, and the humility with which the School has approached the work thus far, sets the stage for real progress in the years ahead.”


Drake, who is currently the associate dean of strategic initiatives and head diversity officer at Villanova School of Business, will start in his new position on Sept. 1.

HBS used a search firm to seek out potential candidates, each of whom met with leadership among the school’s faculty, staff, and students — including within campus organizations and the Student Association, according to HBS head of communications Mark Cautela.

Drake’s role is a key component of the school’s racial equity action plan, which was released in September in an effort to implement more effective DEI practices in seven areas: curriculum, research and dissemination, faculty and doctoral, students and participants, staff, business engagement, and organization and culture.

Since the plan’s release, HBS has altered its evaluation process for need-based scholarships in its MBA program, now taking into account students’ socioeconomic background in addition to family income and assets.

It has also formed a racial equity advisory board, which will meet twice a year to offer feedback on the school’s progress on diversity and inclusion.


Angela Yang can be reached at angela.yang@globe.com.