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Pepperdine University Hires Vice President and Assistant Vice President for Community Belonging

Dr. J. Goosby Smith will be Pepperdine University’s first vice president for community belonging and chief diversity officer. And Dr. April Harris Akinloye will be assistant vice president for community belonging. Both start June 1, 2021.

Dr. J. Goosby SmithDr. J. Goosby Smith

In the new position, Smith reports directly to Pepperdine President Jim Gash.

Smith is currently holding a number of roles at The Citadel: associate professor of leadership, associate professor of management, assistant provost for diversity, equity, and inclusion, and director of the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Center.

Harris Akinloye is currently a senior consultant for diversity, equity, and inclusion at Social Good Solutions. In the past, she was chief diversity officer at Vanguard University.

Smith hold a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Spelman College and an MBA and a Ph.D in organizational behavior from Case Western Reserve University. She is pursuing a Master of Divinity from Interdenominational Theological Center.

Harris Akinloye holds a bachelor’s degree in speech communication and religious studies, a master’s degree in education from Pepperdine University and a Ph.D in education with a focus on cultural perspectives from the University of California, Santa Barbara.


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