Dania Matos, William & Mary’s deputy chief diversity officer, has been counted among the nation’s leading women in higher education.
She is included on a list of “Top 25 Women in Higher Education and Beyond” that appears in today’s issue of Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. This is the seventh year that the magazine has released the list as part of Women’s History Month. Matos is the first person from William & Mary to be featured in the report.
“It is a huge honor to celebrate my inaugural year at William & Mary with this incredible recognition by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education amongst such notable women during Women's History Month,” said Matos. “Addressing inequities in higher education is no easy feat and the labor not often visible, but the impact is one we cannot do without if we truly are to achieve inclusive excellence. While I am being recognized, I know this work is not possible through just one person. It is our collective action and effort that brings about change so I thank you for being change agents with me."
According to the magazine, the list honors women in the academy "who are making a difference." Other women highlighted this year include faculty and administrators from Vanderbilt University, the University of Mississippi, Rutgers University and Brown University among others.
Matos started at William & Mary on March 10, 2017, as the university’s first deputy chief diversity officer. The position was created in response to a recommendation from W&M’s Task Force on Race and Race Relations. Throughout her first year at the university, Matos has worked closely with Chief Diversity Officer Chon Glover to develop diversity action plans for academic and administrative units, build strong relationships with university affinity groups, lead the IDEA grant program and organize training sessions and other special events, including the university’s Diversity & Inclusion Symposium.
“We are very excited for Dania as she receives this recognition! Since arriving at W&M, she has played a pivotal role in advancing the work of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion,” said Glover. “She is extremely committed and passionate about these issues, and we celebrate her current success and all that she will continue to add to William & Mary and to the world.”
Prior to her time at W&M, Matos worked at Brown University, her undergraduate alma mater, where she served on the president’s leadership and diversity advisory councils and helped develop diversity and inclusion action plans for the school. A graduate of Catholic University’s law school, she worked as a lawyer with private firms before entering the public sector to focus on indigent defense.She has also served as executive director of Latinas Leading Tomorrow, senior advisor for the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and a board member for the Latin American Youth Center, the Hispanic National Bar Association and the Hispanic Bar Association of Washington, D.C. The Embassy of Spain recognized her as a Hispanic leader in 2016.