Be a part of a diverse community.

Diversity and inclusion is the work of the entire community and each of us. Harris students, alumni, faculty, and staff are engaged in ensuring that our school community is one in which people of all backgrounds and experiences can find a home and flourish.

Harris’ D&I office is led by Michelle Hoereth, the inaugural Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at Harris, who works across teams and constituencies to support efforts across the school. 

We invite you to learn more about our growing global community and their stories. Our students hail from nearly 50 countries and more than 30 states, representing different races, ethnicities, identities, and backgrounds. And, through our ongoing efforts, we continue to strengthen our focus on increasing diversity in all its forms within our community as we recruit new faculty, staff, and students to our school.

Harris D&I Office

Michelle Hoereth, Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion

Headshot of Michelle Hoereth
Michelle Hoereth

Michelle Hoereth currently serves as the Assistant Dean for  Diversity and Inclusion at Harris Public Policy. Michelle comes to Harris with 20 years of experience in urban policy and development. With an extensive career working for regional and national nonprofits, her depth and breadth of knowledge span across many sectors, including community development, urban education, and healthcare. Her work in these spaces has allowed her to deepen her commitment to diversity and inclusion while working toward equitable solutions for people and communities in greatest need. At Harris, Michelle is responsible for launching new diversity and inclusion programs and initiatives, managing existing programs, and working directly with Harris Student Organizations.

Michelle has been a practitioner, a researcher, and an instructor. She is also a Ph.D. candidate in policy studies in urban education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, currently conducting research that looks deeply at the intersection of urban and education policy in the city of Chicago. She has taught several policy courses, and she has managed service-learning and AmeriCorps programs.

Michelle has an MA in urban planning and policy development from Rutgers University, an MEd in educational policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a BA in economics from Howard University.

To learn more of Michelle's story, read "Michelle Hoereth Puts Diversity at the Forefront."

Key Organizations 

The following organizations have special roles in promoting diversity and inclusion at Harris Public Policy:

Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board

The Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board (DIAB) serves as a crucial strategic and coordinating body for diversity and inclusion at Harris Public Policy, working closely with Harris' D&I office. The DIAB, which is comprised of senior administration, faculty, students, and staff members, examines diversity and inclusion efforts within academic affairs, student services, and alumni relations and works to create support in all of Harris’ programs and services. 

Affinity Groups at Harris   

There are several Harris Student Organizations that are committed to serving minority and underrepresented student populations. The organizations include but are not limited to:

Harris Public Policy Alumni

Harris Public Policy alumni are committed to advancing the work of Harris and regularly give input on behalf of a tremendously diverse, international alumni community. Suggestions and recommendations from this wide network continue to inform the members of the Harris community's approach to diversity and inclusion. The Harris Alumni Council has established a D&I Task Force to help find new ways to engage alumni in this important effort. 

Harris Office of Student Affairs

Harris Student Affairs is committed to ensuring that all students have an environment where they can be their authentic selves and accomplish their best work. Coordinating with Harris’ Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, the Office of Student Affairs provides leadership on a range of diversity and inclusion efforts at Harris. The Student Affairs team also assists in coordinating activities for students that promote and encourage the exchange of diverse viewpoints and experiences. We welcome student input and collaboration in shaping our offerings to meet the needs of our students and our society.

Student Affairs draws on resources and expertise throughout campus, including the University’s Center for Identity + Inclusion, University Campus and Student Life, student organizations, and peers at other graduate schools at the University.

Harris Student Affairs offers support and guidance to students who have faced bias or discrimination. Harris subscribes to the University of Chicago’s Statement on Non-Discrimination, and we are fully committed to the University’s efforts in preventing unlawful discrimination as outlined in the Policy on Harassment, Discrimination, and Sexual Misconduct.

Get Involved

Interested to get involved? Email the Harris D&I office (harrisdiversity@uchicago.edu).