Honoring the values of diversity and inclusion in every aspect of Harris research, teaching, and scholarship.

Thank you for submitting your applications to join the DIAB for AY 2020-21. The application process is now closed.  Stay tuned for more information regarding the DIAB membership and activities. Professor Scott Ashworth and Senior Lecturer Paula Worthington will serve as faculty co-chairs of the DIAB for AY20-21.

Harris' Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board is a strategic advisory body that provides guidance and consultation to the Dean’s Office on issues of diversity and inclusion, serving as a mechanism for gathering information and feedback, assessing progress towards our goals, and providing regular updates to our community. The DIAB’s members include Harris faculty, students, staff, and alumni who work in conjunction with Harris' Dean and Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion.

The DIAB welcomes your feedback on matters related to diversity and inclusion at Harris Public Policy. Please contact Michelle Hoereth, Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, or email HarrisDiversity@uchicago.edu for more information. 

Diversity and Inclusion Review and Recommendations (Fall 2019)

The DIAB conducted a 2018 Harris Climate Survey of students and held subsequent feedback sessions with Harris students, faculty, staff, and alumni to inform its work. This document discusses the DIAB’s findings and recommendations to the Dean and senior administrative leadership team of the Harris School of Public Policy. These findings provide critical inputs for school leadership to develop and execute a school-wide diversity and inclusion action plan.

Read the recommendations (PDF, 0.6 MB)

Previous DIAB Members (AY 2018-19) 

Current Students

Sarah Micheli, MPP’19

Sarah is a recent MPP graduate of Harris, focusing on policies related to children, family, and health. She also served as president of the student organization Women in Public Policy.

Jeffrey Lew, MPP’20 

Jeffrey is a first year MPP student at Harris. Before coming to the University of Chicago, he worked for the California State Senate, focusing on issues related to healthcare and transportation. 


Barbara Barreno-Paschall, MPP’17

Barbara is a Senior Staff Attorney at Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and focuses on housing law and policy. She previously worked as an Employment and Labor Associate at the law firm Sidley Austin LLP. At Harris, she co-founded Students for Criminal Justice Reform and served on the DIAB as a Student Representative. 

Lynn Espedido, MPP’09

Lynn leads IT business transformation projects for the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) Field Operations unit. She previously held the position of Senior IT Analyst for GAO’s Information Technology and Cybersecurity mission team. Currently, she is a member of several Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) task teams and affinity groups at GAO and is helping GAO build updated D&I strategic plans for the agency. Lynn also holds a BA in Sociology and an MS in Information Systems. At Harris, she was an officer for Women in Public Policy and a member of Minorities in Public Policy Studies. 

Gaea Honeycutt, MPP’03

Gaea Honeycutt is Founder and CEO of the Hypatian Institute, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that combines conventional and innovative approaches to deliver leadership education and development programs and services focused on closing the Competitive Advantage GapSM for women, people of color, and people in low access communities. Gaea also owns G.L. Honeycutt Consulting, LLC, where she draws on diverse expertise in business development, organizational development, diversity and inclusion, research, and communications to advise organizations on transforming goals into measurable, achievable action through tailored strategies. As a Co-founder and Past Chairman of the Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce, Gaea has been a vital connector for the business community. She earned her MPP from the University of Chicago, a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in American Studies from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and a BA from Bentley University.


Professor Christopher Blattman (Co-Chair)

Chris Blattman is the Ramalee E. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict Studies at Harris Public Policy and The Pearson Institute. He studies international crime, conflict, and poverty alleviation.

Professor Ariel Kalil (Co-Chair)

Ariel Kalil is a professor at Harris Public Policy. At Harris, she directs the Center for Human Potential and Public Policy and co-directs the Behavioral Insights and Parenting Lab. She also holds appointments as an adjunct professor in the Norwegian School of Economics in Bergen, Norway and in the School of Business Administration at the University of Stavanger, Norway. She is a developmental psychologist who studies economic conditions, parenting, and child development.


Michelle Hoereth, Assistant Director of Diversity and Inclusion and Student Life

Michelle Hoereth is Assistant Director of Diversity and Inclusion and Student Life 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 spans across many sectors, including community development, urban education, and healthcare. Her work in these spaces have 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.

Jamia Jowers, Director, Obama Foundation Scholars 

Jamia Jowers currently serves as the Director of the Obama Foundation Scholars, a Master of Arts in International Development and Policy program at Harris Public Policy. She previously served as the Associate Director of Student Recruitment & Global Outreach. She also worked for the Office of Academic Leadership, Advancement, and Diversity under the Provost where she fostered a diverse and inclusive campus community through initiatives aimed at underrepresented minorities.

Administrative Support

The committee is grateful to Jane Le and Pete Rodrigue for assistance with survey administration, data analysis, and preparation of presentations.

Tanya Hines, Administrative Assistant for Special Projects, provides administrative support to the committee.



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