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Nathan (Nate) Thomas, PhD, has been named Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the UNC School of Medicine. Thomas will join the School of Medicine leadership effective March 16, 2020.

Thomas has more than 25 years of experience in higher education, health, and government and most recently served as Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at The University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC) School of Medicine.

Thomas was selected for this position following a national search. Paul Godley, MD, PhD, MPP, who served as UNC School of Medicine’s first Vice Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, sadly passed away in March of 2019. Since Godley’s passing, Julie Byerley, MD, MPH, Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, has served as Vice Dean on an interim basis.

“The UNC School of Medicine is committed to building a more diverse community that reflects our state and those we serve. We celebrate Paul’s legacy of leadership in this area and thank Julie for all she has done in the last year to advance this commitment. We are excited to welcome Nate to Chapel Hill and to realize the benefits of his experience as a leader of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives,” said Cristy Page, MD, MPH, Executive Dean of the UNC School of Medicine.

Thomas has served as Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at The University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC) School of Medicine since 2017. He previously served as Vice Provost for Diversity and Equity at the University of Kansas.

Thomas is especially skilled in developing and implementing diversity, mentoring, and leadership initiatives. Thomas recently received a $3.2 million grant to pipeline students from disadvantaged communities to UMKC health science professional schools and helped the UMKC School of Medicine achieve national recognition by receiving the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award.

At the UNC School of Medicine, Thomas will work closely with leaders and administrators to promote and advance diversity and inclusion for faculty, trainees, students, and staff. He will oversee the work of the Office of Inclusive Excellence, and help implement the diversity initiatives of the UNC School of Medicine Strategic Plan, Forward Together.

“I am excited about the increasing diversity across the state and the opportunity to join the UNC School of Medicine and the talented team in Chapel Hill,” said Thomas. “I look forward to getting to work meeting and building relationships with UNC’s outstanding faculty, staff, trainees, students, and community members.”

Thomas will be accompanied to UNC SOM by his wife, Tamara Baker, PhD, who will join the faculty in Psychiatry as a professor with a focus on Gerontology.  We are excited to welcome her to UNC as well and look forward to having them both in our community.