Angela Winfield, J.D. ’08, associate vice president for inclusion and workforce diversity, is leaving Cornell to become the chief diversity officer of the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). Her last day at Cornell will be May 14.
Among her many accomplishments, she led her team in developing the six-part staff training course “Advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Cornell,” helped bring the Check Your Blind Spots bus tour to campus in fall 2019, and advanced the Inclusivity 30-Day Challenge for employees.
Winfield joined the university’s staff in 2015 as the program manager for the Northeast ADA Center – a project of the ILR School’s Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability – before becoming the director of inclusion and workforce diversity in 2016. In 2018, Winfield was elevated to associate vice president for inclusion and workforce diversity and named a Presidential Advisor on Diversity and Equity (PADE) representing Cornell’s staff.
“I am so grateful for the leadership, energy and steadfast drive that Angela brought to her role every day,” said Mary Opperman, vice president and chief human resources officer. “I, along with many others at the university, will miss not only Angela’s brilliant and kind personality, but also the expertise and growth that she brought to our division and to the Cornell community.
“Her innovative approach, focus and actions made her an incredibly effective partner, and the positive impact that she has had on the university will last for years to come,” Opperman said. “While I am saddened that Angela will leave Cornell later this spring, I know that these same qualities will help her to be equally successful in her new role.”
Through evolving the Inclusive Excellence Network, a collection of programs aimed at engaging staff in discussions and self-reflection around workplace diversity, Winfield moved Cornell’s learning and training programs from awareness to action. The network includes the Inclusive Excellence Summit (which will be virtual in 2021) and the Inclusive Excellence Podcast. To date, the podcast has over 20K listens.
Winfield co-chaired the committee that redesigned Cornell’s Employee Excellence Awards process to be more inclusive, making the evaluation criteria transparent, de-identifying nominations, diversifying the review committee, implementing a demographics tracking system and expanding outreach efforts. Since those changes were implemented, there have been a marked increase in nominations of staff from across the campus. Winfield has partnered with colleagues to conduct similar reviews and redesigns in other areas of recognition and staff development.
Winfield also moved the campus toward greater accessibility for all. She furthered awareness and education of disability experience through the Diversity Includes Disability campaign, and advanced support for faculty and staff including a central fund for workplace accommodation and the Accessible Red Runner service for faculty and staff with mobility impairments. She also realigned the university’s affirmative action plan structure from a single plan to 18 college/unit-based plans, improving accountability for employment decisions.
As a Presidential Advisor on Diversity and Equity, Winfield helped design and launch the Belonging at Cornell framework, a strategic, metrics-driven approach to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) for faculty and staff. This framework created a defined set of common key objectives across the university’s colleges and units, generating more intentional opportunities for collaboration as well as alignment with the institutional DEI vision.
“I absolutely love the work that I am doing here at Cornell and am honored to have had the opportunity to work with such wonderful and talented colleagues in the Division of Human Resources as well as across the university. I am also excited for this next step in my career journey,” Winfield said. “LSAC allows me to combine three of my passions – education; diversity, equity, access and inclusion; and the law. It also enables me to use my leadership skills and professional talents to have a broad positive impact on an entire industry.”
Winfield will work remotely for LSAC, a not-for-profit organization promoting quality, access and equity in law and education, allowing her and her husband to remain in the Auburn area. Over the coming months, Opperman and Avery August, vice provost for academic affairs, will work together to develop a succession strategy.
“Angela has been a genuine joy to work with as a fellow Presidential Advisor on Diversity and Equity, and she played a pivotal role in leading the Belonging at Cornell initiative,” August said. “We are excited for her and wish her the very best in her new position, but her presence and insight will be sorely missed at Cornell.”