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LEAD Fund Mourns Passing of DEI Leader

Members of the Fund for Leadership, Equity, Access and Diversity (LEAD Fund) are mourning the death of their board chair, Dr. Christopher A. Metzler.

Metzler’s family announced that he “passed away in his beloved home in Grenada” March 23.

Dr. Christopher A. Metzler.Dr. Christopher A. Metzler.“As a scholar, leader, and DEI champion, Dr. Chris Metzler continuously illuminated our path toward a more inclusive future in which all voices are welcomed and valued,” said Dr. Edna Chun, vice chair of the LEAD Fund, a national not-for-profit organization founded in 2014 and styled as a “Think and Do Tank.”

Chun said that Metzler’s knowledgeable advocacy and inspiring perspectives at LEAD Fund provided essential guidance in the organization’s work to provide thought leadership in promoting inclusivity through research and education on issues related to diversity, social responsibility, and human and civil rights.

Metzler was a graduate of Columbia University in New York, in international human rights, and a graduate of the University of Oxford in England, in human rights law. He was a member of The University of Oxford and Kellogg College at Oxford

Among his accomplishments, Metzler is credited with having created the first certification in DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) in the nation at Cornell University, where he was a faculty member in DEI, law, and related disciplines.

“Dr. Christopher Metzler, a beacon of insight and advocacy in diversity, equity, and inclusion, leaves behind a legacy of profound impact and unwavering commitment to building a more just society,” said LEAD Fund Board Member Dr. Beverly Magda. “His wisdom and compassion will be dearly missed but forever cherished.”

Metzler was at the forefront in the movement to forge a corporate and higher education workforce reflecting the diversity of skills, talents, and ideas, said LEAD Fund President and CEO Shirley J. Wilcher, noting that Metzler, a as skilled communicator across party lines., will be missed my many.

“He was ahead of his time in understanding that the ‘benefits [of diversity] are not theoretical but real’, as Justice Sandra Day O’Connor once wrote in Grutter v. Bollinger,” said Wilcher.

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